Barack Obama and his allies on the left are impossibly thin-skinned, as evidenced in the case of a rodeo clown losing his job for wearing a mask of the 44th president. Though administration minions are permitted — even expected — to lambaste their political opponents, criticism of Obama, no matter how playful, is cause for immediate and severe action.
As Halloween approaches, wearing an Obama mask has once again become an issue of exaggerated importance.
When an employee at the Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Kentucky showed up to a recent costume party in a unique getup featuring Obama’s likeness wearing a straitjacket, it appears there was scarcely any negative reaction. In fact, the employee performed a routine along with other colleagues that resulted in a third place finish for the dressed-up team.
After the party was over, however, a hospital official issued an apology for the ostensibly offensive costume, explaining that employees will not be allowed to wear such attire at future events. While some would contend that even that action was an overreaction, the Human Resources vice-president was not satisfied with merely offering a statement.
Each employee of the medical center — about 750 total — will now be required to take diversity training classes as the result of one staff member’s innocuous costume.
While there is a possibility that this administrator would have similarly overreacted had the employee worn a George W. Bush mask during the Republican’s terms in office, there is no doubt that free expression as it pertains to the president has taken a significant hit since 2009.
Obama is a public figure if ever there was one, meaning that he should be fair game for those who wish to make a statement — good or bad — about his performance, policies, or even his appearance. Presidents before him even joined in on the jokes made against them.
In today’s contentious political climate, though, Obama is somehow seen as off-limits. Those working on his behalf are quick to pounce on any perceived sign of disrespect, often using the opportunity to imply some tacit racism on the part of the actor.
–Western Journalism staff writer
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Photo credit: MShades (Creative Commons)