Mobile’s city government has no business censoring the Comic Cowboys or any other group participating in public events. No doubt the Cowboys’ satire can ruffle feathers. But is that not the essence of political satire? Is that not why the Founders thought it imperative that the Constitution guarantee the right to free speech?

Whether the oftimes irritating observations of the Cowboys or the cries for justice voiced by those marching from Selma to Montgomery, they both enjoy by right the protection of the First Amendment.

If citizens are truly concerned about keeping Mobile’s Mardi Gras parades a “family event,” then how about banning the exploitation of young girls who prance down the street gyrating like strip club pole dancers? That practice is, indeed, repulsive and should be deemed contrary to good taste, public moral, and achievement of a “family-friendly event.”

I am not a member of the Cowboys nor do I always agree with either their message or the manner in which that message is sometimes displayed, but that is no basis for banning them. The Cowboys were organized (like the Zulus in New Orleans) to poke fun at the pretensions of Mardi Gras “royalty” and to point out that many times the emperor has forgotten his clothes. They don’t discriminate among political parties, races, creeds, colors, religions, sexes, etc.; they throw their barbs at anyone and everyone. That is a healthy thing in a free society.

I urge you to keep the government’s hands off the Cowboys.

Michael Gewin