- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Facebook group created Monday for Tuffy Gessling, the rodeo clown who was banned for life from the Missouri State Fair for wearing a President Obama mask during Saturday’s bull-riding event, has already gained more than 30,000 supporters who think he has been treated unfairly.

“This page was started to show support for Tuffy Gessling a rodeo entertainer that is taking heat for telling a joke that has been around for decades. Tuffy’s big sin? He dared to tell the joke using Obama,” the group’s description reads.

SEE ALSO: NAACP calls on Justice Dept., Secret Service to investigate rodeo clown flap

The page reached nearly 17,000 likes the day it was created alone.

On Tuesday, a page administrator posted a quote, allegedly by Voltaire: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

The quote is not confirmed to be by Voltaire, but the message is clear: Supporters of Mr. Gessling believe his free speech rights have been trampled.

Image: Facebook
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“I’m afraid to comment, I might get audited!!” one commenter wrote.

The group has also started a White House petition to “Support Tuffy Gessling.”

Addressing the president directly, the petition states that “the events recently at the Missouri rodeo and the clown wearing a mask depicting your image, has created quite a stir. As you have stated, we need to have a discussion on this topic of racism and racial discrimination. However, I feel this is not what you had in mind. As this action by this rodeo clown does not distinguish you from past presidents, I do not relate this in any way to be racially charged. You are simply the sitting president at this time therefore it is your turn; it comes with the job.”

The petition has only gained 276 signatures at the time of this report and needs an additional 99,724 for the president to formally address it.