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Opinion >  Column

Shawn Vestal: Ted Nugent’s most-enduring record a monotone of racism and hatred

This Aug. 16, 2013, file photo shows Ted Nugent performing at Rams Head Live in Baltimore. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe on Monday said the cancellation of the concert at the casino in Worley was because of what it called the rocker’s “racist and hate-filled remarks.” (Associated Press)
This Aug. 16, 2013, file photo shows Ted Nugent performing at Rams Head Live in Baltimore. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe on Monday said the cancellation of the concert at the casino in Worley was because of what it called the rocker’s “racist and hate-filled remarks.” (Associated Press)

Why did the Coeur d’Alene Tribe cancel the concert of super-bigot and hack rocker Ted Nugent?

Because the left hates guns.

Some people thought it was because a tribe inviting The Nuge to play for them was a bit like the NAACP inviting David Duke. Some thought it was because a tribe that has a record of standing up for human rights and against racism had a responsibility not to host someone who called the president a “chimpanzee” and a “subhuman mongrel,” and who suggested that it might have been better – Obama-wise – had the South won the Civil War. Others wondered if it was related to Nugent’s practice of wearing a Native American headdress onstage, or mocking those who object to racist sports-team names. Others might have thought it had something to do with Nugent’s witheringly ignorant comments about poor people, another of the many types of people other than white hunter-Americans that he likens to animals.

There are many, many reasons that the tribe – or any decent earthling – might not want to support this jackass. Including this one: His music is lame. The tribe itself said it didn’t want to support Nugent’s “racist and hate-filled” blather.

But Nugent sees through all that.

“I have been involved in upgrading our Second Amendment rights in all 50 states, so we the people can in fact keep and bear arms … the left hates that,” Nugent said in an interview Wednesday with “The liberal Democrats and the Huffington Post and the Saul Alinsky gang, they hate that I’m so effective. I have expanded and increased hunting opportunities all across the globe. So I am able to, dare I say, perfectly articulate my case – they are not!

“So they literally have an army assigned to destroy Ted Nugent.”

Gotta dig that martial language. This anti-gun, anti-Nuge army is not garrisoned only on the Coeur d’Alene reservation; there are outposts all over the country. Good thing the Nuge goes heavily armed. The city of Longview, Texas, paid $16,000 to cut Nugent out of its Fourth of July celebration, after protesters protested. A local GOP official called it “expensive political correctness.” Most recently, the Emerald Queen Casino near Tacoma, owned by the Puyallup Tribe, canceled Nugent’s Aug. 2 and 3 concerts there.

Protesters in New Jersey and Wisconsin have also attempted this summer to get a Nugent show canceled – without success in those cases. Nugent said of the Wisconsin protests: “I take it as a badge of honor that such unclean vermin are upset by me and my positive energy.”

His positive energy. He compared his hometown of Detroit to “Return of the Planet of the Apes.” He said Barbara Boxer “might want to suck on my machine gun.” Nugent has called Hillary Clinton names I can’t print here. He once said, when asked if he knew any hard-working black Americans, “Show me one. Show me one.” He called rappers “big uneducated greasy black mongrels.”

His record of bigotry is so vast – and so frequently given a media microphone – that it was surprising to hear the Coeur d’Alenes had booked him. If nothing else, there was a clear failure to Google. But the tribe and casino corrected course quickly, and they’re putting their money behind it: they’re refunding ticket buyers’ money. The tribe will also presumably have to pay a fee for the cancellation, though that’s still being worked out, a tribal spokeswoman said.

Perhaps the cable news channels could follow the tribe’s lead and uninvite The Nuge now and then. No one who is so bigoted consistently gets such a large and approving public megaphone, and though Nugent – like all good self-pitying zealots – considers himself a media victim, the truth is that he gets an enormous amount of more or less respectful coverage because he’s such good copy.

He’s “outrageous.” He’s “controversial.” He’s “outspoken.” He’s “politically incorrect.”

Nugent’s radio interview this week was just one of many that have accompanied his new album and tour. Everywhere he goes, someone sticks a microphone in his face. So, after the tribe canceled his show and made national news – citing his well-documented history of “racist and hate-filled” blather – Nugent doubled down and insisted, as all bigots always do, that he is not one.

“To call me a racist is a clear act of desperation,” he said. “Because everybody knows I’m not a racist! My [former] bass player Johnny Gunnel happens to be a black guy. My [former] bass player Marco Mendoza was born in Mexico! Are you kiddin’ me?”

Not racist!

Someone, somewhere is right now crying “censorship.” Which is dumb. No one is shutting Nugent up in any way. But the Coeur d’Alene Tribe – unlike most everyone else who uses Nugent’s shtick to make money – recognized that they didn’t have to hand him a microphone.

Shawn Vestal can be reached at (509) 459-5431 or shawnv Follow him on Twitter at @vestal13.

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