In recent months, Ted Nugent’s virulent racism, sexism and violence-mongering have received considerable national attention and widespread criticism. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis was right on target when she denounced her Republican opponent Greg Abbott’s embrace of Nugent as “repulsive.” 

As a Davis campaign spokesperson pointed out, “Greg Abbott’s decision to defend his appearance with an admitted sexual predator disrespects every Texas parent with a daughter.”

John McCain, Ron Paul and some other Republicans joined Democrats and independents in criticizing Nugent’s description of President Barack Obama as a “subhuman mongrel” and a “chimpanzee.”

Nugent’s reluctant apology for this racist remark was highly publicized, but his promise to stop calling people names did not survive that interview. Unable to control his own unsavory impulses, Nugent also recently accused President Obama of causing “a power struggle between the different races” in a way that resembles the rise of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.  

As David Neiwert of the Southern Poverty Law Center has noted, it is Nugent who “has a long track record of extremist rhetoric and behavior, often violent and outrageous in nature.”

In a 1990 interview, Nugent defended not only his frequent use of the N-word but also his time at a 40,000-acre ranch in apartheid South Africa. 

Nugent announced: “Apartheid isn’t that cut-and-dry. All men are not created equal.”

He said: “The preponderance of South Africa is a different breed of man … I say that with great respect … but they are different. They still put bones in their noses, they still walk around naked, they wipe their butts with their hands.” 

Two decades later, greater public exposure of Nugent’s bigotry and extremism is leading to growing public criticism and political opposition. Just last month, city officials in Longview paid about $16,000 to end contract negotiations with Nugent because they decided he was not an appropriate choice for their family friendly July 4 event. 

All the negative publicity surrounding Nugent should have given pause to organizers of Saturday’s event in League City. Building mortgage-free homes for wounded veterans is a praiseworthy project, but Nugent’s appearance will gravely tarnish the event because of his unrelenting racism, sexism and violence-mongering. 

The First Amendment protects Nugent’s right to perform. The First Amendment also protects the right of other people to protest against Nugent’s bigotry and extremism. At a time when right-wing Texas Republican politicians are exploiting hatred and prejudice for partisan gain, workers, people of color, women, gays and lesbians, the disabled, the marginalized, young people and people of conscience cannot remain silent or passive. 

Together, we must oppose such hatred and prejudice. Together, we must stand up for justice. This is why a spirited protest against Nugent’s appearance in League City will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday on the public sidewalks at Marina Bay Drive (FM 2094) and South Shore Boulevard (north side).

Everyone who would like to help send a strong message supporting freedom, equality, solidarity and justice for all is welcome to join us. 

David Michael Smith is a former professor at College of the Mainland.

(9) comments


get a life

George Croix

What an utter, narcissistic clown.
Do tell...
Whatsamatter, ex-professor, you don't believe people can 'evolve'...[rolleyes]

Kevin Lang

He has as much right to protest Nugent's presence as much as Nugent has to say the things he's said. Anyone that wants to protest the protest also has that right. And, when you're done protesting, there are a few nice restaurants nearby for you to celebrate the camaraderie of your protests.

Steve Fouga

Protests are part of a long tradition of Americans standing up for their views. I'm not the protesting type, but to those who visibly and publicly let their opinions be known, I say good on ya.

As for Nugent, I was over him in the 70s. Can hardly imagine he's still relevant to anybody, but I guess he is.


Lars Faltskog

Superb article on all fronts. Interestingly, if a preponderance of a conservative-type community such as Longview has the wherewithitness to reject the public performance presence of the likes of Nugent, then League City could put itself on the map of doing the right thing as well.

All of that said, I, like many others will choose not to participate in the protest. Simply becauseI am a beliver of the right to free expression. Nugent can freely express his ignorance in some rural enclave near LC and "concert" to his heart's content. He'll likely find many followers, unfortunately.

Carlos Ponce

David Michael Smith, your 15 minutes are up!
History lesson:
GDN March 1, 2003 David Michael Smith called for a protest of millions against the war in Iraq. The only people who showed up were members of HIS Progressive Workers Organizing Committee. I'm sure he'll claim "millions" protest on this occasion too. He would have made a lousy math teacher.

George Croix

Well, gooollllyyyy, break out the underwear de-wadder and use it before the eyes bug out to far.
Did somebody say Smith didn't have a right to protest?
Here's a clue:
Just because someone has a right, doesn't mean anybody else has to agree with that person using it, or even like the person.
I know this escapes 'progressives', who are big on 'rights', as long as they don't interfere with the 'progressives', of course.
Smith's protesting.
I protested his protest.
What about my 'rights'....
Remove underwear before de-wadding...

Kevin Lang

Did somebody say that somebody said he doesn't have the right?

Did you forget to take your own advice?

George Croix

I named no names.

"He has as much right to protest Nugent's presence as much as Nugent has to say the things he's said. Anyone that wants to protest the protest also has that right."

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