(Updated Information) Mayor Sandy Stimpson released a statement regarding his resignation from the Comic Cowboys Mardi Gras group.
Mayor Stimpson said, “After viewing the Comic Cowboys parade, I resigned as a member because of my concerns that their satire has divided our community. As mayor, my heart’s desire is One Mobile which is all about unifying the city. If my membership in any organization is a hindrance to that mission, then it’s no longer in my best interest to be a member. Like all elected officials, I must respect the right of our citizens to peaceably assemble and exercise their right to free speech. But I do not condone divisive or discriminatory language. I have also spoken with the leadership of the Comic Cowboys and shared my concerns with them. My goal going forward is to make sure they have less and less material for their satire.”
(Original Story) New information revealed at Mobile’s City Council meeting on Tuesday involving the Comic Cowboys’ sign controversy during this year’s Fat Tuesday parade. Mobile’s Mayor Sandy Stimpson says he had been a paying member of the Mardi Gras society for the last four years, including this year. Many people criticized the signs involved in this year’s parade for being racist.
Stimpson tells News 5 that after seeing the Cowboys’ floats parade during Fat Tuesday celebrations he decided to resign his membership. Although, he admitted to seeing the floats prior to the parade, at a Comic Cowboys’ party on Saturday night, but he wasn’t sure which floats would parade.
Several people addressed the council today asking if there was anything that could be done about what some deemed as racist floats.
The Comic Cowboys have been part of the Mardi Gras scene since 1884. Members have simple floats or wagons with large signs ridiculing political or social headlines. The group’s motto is “without malice” but some say signs in the 2017 parade went too far with signs targeting African-Americans.
News 5’s Alison Spann talked with Mayor Stimpson and she will have more updates here on wkrg.com and on News 5 at 5:00 P.M.