I recently attended the last True West Rodeo of the season and was dismayed at the active politicking of some local politicians. I was equally dismayed at the sexist and misogynistic comments from the rodeo announcer and the rodeo clown throughout the three-hour rodeo program.
Republican candidates for La Plata County seats were in attendance and repeatedly endorsed by the announcer. Candidates may have the right to advertise where they choose, but for Mr. Hamby to be referred to repeatedly as the sheriff was misleading and implied that he already occupied the office. Additionally, Mr. Hamby and his fellow candidate, Colton Black, and their supporters occupied the bleacher entrance all evening, creating a “gauntlet” through which attendees had to pass to their seats; it was the cheapest kind of political grandstanding. The parade of demeaning “jokes” about ex-wives and female politicians throughout the evening was also outrageous, insulting and inappropriate. With hundreds of impressionable children and young adults, as well as visitors to our fair town in attendance, what would possess the organizers to demean women in such a manner and actively encourage a culture of sexism and prejudice?
There is nothing fun or funny in such male-dominated behavior at a rodeo, or anywhere, and it is certainly not in keeping with the family values we hold dear and try to exemplify here in Southwest Colorado.