Two months ago, I wrote a column criticizing Operation Finally Home’s decision to have Ted Nugent headline its fundraiser at South Shore Harbour Resort on April 12 and the League City Council’s approval of $15,000 to $20,000 to support the event (“Nugent would tarnish project for vets,” Dec. 21, The Daily News).
My column pointed out that Nugent is infamous for his sexism, racism and violence-mongering and provided numerous examples of his slurs and threatening language.
I appreciate the numerous contributors who have criticized Nugent’s bigotry since then, as well as Heber Taylor’s editorial questioning the League City Council’s funding for the event.
And now that Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has asked Nugent to campaign with him, Nugent’s bigotry is drawing the attention of media across the country.
Nugent’s First Amendment rights are not in question. But neither is his long history of hate-filled rhetoric toward women and people of color.
In a 2013 column, Nugent wrote that undocumented immigrants should be treated like “indentured servants” until they “earn their citizenship.”
In a 2013 interview, Nugent recounted his experience shooting hundreds of feral hogs with a machine gun from a helicopter.
He recalled later telling a group of San Antonio businessmen, “And now if they would just take me to South Central ... OK! I kid.”
Nugent’s fantasy about murdering impoverished people of color in a Los Angeles community as if they were feral hogs is racist and reprehensible. It is not funny.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day last month, Nugent claimed African-Americans need to “admit to the self-inflicted destructo-derby they are waging. …”
Nugent’s racist assumptions are laid bare in his assertion that African-Americans could solve “the black problem tonight” if they just put their “heart and soul into being honest, law-abiding (and) delivering excellence at every move in your life.”
In an interview last month, Nugent described former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as having “spare scrotums.”
He went on to call President Barack Obama “a chimpanzee” — an old, vicious racist slur.
As another critic recently pointed out, Nugent also described the President in that interview as “a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel.”
Editorial writer Tod Robberson of The Dallas Morning News got it right when he wrote Tuesday: “Nugent is a racist. I don’t know of any other way to put it. Anyone who would characterize the first African-American president in U.S. history as a ‘communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel’ is a racist.”
As CNN’s Wolf Blitzer pointed out Tuesday: “That’s what the Nazis called Jews to justify the genocide of the Jewish community … They called them untermenschen, subhuman mongrels.”
Robberson also wrote that for Nugent “to refer to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as a ‘worthless b----,’ and having referred to feminists and female politicians as ‘fat pigs’ and ‘dirty whores’ cannot be construed as anything but sexist.”
It says a lot about officials in League City and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott that they want to be associated with Nugent.
But a broad spectrum of democratic-minded people will continue to speak out forcefully against Nugent’s bigotry and the Republicans’ embrace of bigotry for political gain.
David Michael Smith is a former professor at College of the Mainland.