Target: Rodeo Announcer Ed Kutz
Goal: Apologize for saying that first lady Michelle Obama belongs in National Geographic Magazine
A rodeo show in San Louis Obispo, CA is attracting some unwanted attention due to an attempted joke made by announcer Ed Kutz during one of its recent performances. According to members of the audience, Kutz said the following: “Playboy is offering Ann Romney $250,000 to pose in the magazine, and the White House is upset about it because National Geographic only offered Michelle Obama $50 to pose for them.” The “joke” was met rather poorly by the crowd, who booed Kutz, and by other staff members for the rodeo, who are demanding Kutz apologize. So far, no such apology is forthcoming.
In addition to the obvious racist connotation, Kutz’s statement is sexist, degrading both the First Lady and Ann Romney to the level of objects to be judged by men. Michelle Obama and Ann Romney are both real people who are loving wives and mothers. It is wrong to compare either of them to a Playboy model and it is doubly wrong to compare Mrs. Obama to an animal or exotic curiosity. Tell Ed Kutz that this sort of racist and sexist discourse is never acceptable, no matter the setting and no matter what one’s personal politics are.
Dear Ed Kutz,
I am writing today in protest of the “joke” you made recently inferring that First Lady Michelle Obama ought to be appearing in National Geographic magazine, a magazine aimed at showcasing the beauty of the globe and often specifically the beauty of exotic animals. This kind of racist, sexist discourse should never be applied to anyone, let alone the First Lady of the United States. The comment, which according to witnesses came in a comparison between Michelle Obama and Ann Romney wherein the latter was compared to a highly paid Playboy model, had the additional effect of being sexist. Although I am certain you meant the idea of Playboy magazine offering $250,000 to Ann Romney for her to model to be a compliment, it is in reality a disgusting insult to compare a grown woman and mother to a Playboy bunny. The joke about Michelle Obama is doubly offensive, reducing her to an exotic curiosity due to her race.
I demand you make an immediate apology to both Michelle Obama and Ann Romney for this joke, which should not be acceptable to make about anybody, let alone the First Lady and the Republican challenger’s wife. In doing so, you will honor the demands of other members of the San Louis Obispo rodeo, who agree that your comment was unacceptable and feel it brings shame to their show and town.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Flickr via Calimityjane