Conservative media and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign breathlessly condemned rapper Jay Z for “drop[pping] the n-word” in lyrics during a campaign concert for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Friday, but they had nothing to say about Trump surrogate Ted Nugent, who repeatedly says “nigger” in contexts that are racist.
Following Jay Z’s Friday performance at a Clinton campaign rally, conservative media lost their minds because Jay Z used “the N-word many, many, many times”:
Trump also complained about Jay Z’s performance, saying at a November 5 rally, “He used every word in the book last night. He used language last night that was so bad and then Hillary said, 'I did not like Donald Trump's lewd language.' My lewd language. I tell you what, I've never said what he said in my life.”
But then the next day, the Trump campaign invited Nugent, a National Rifle Association board member who has appeared in a Trump campaign video, to perform and speak at a Michigan rally. Nugent has a troubling history of making racist commentary, including using “nigger” as a slur.
In a March 31 post on his Facebook page, Nugent promoted a meme popular on racist websites depicting a fake moving company called “2 niggers and a stolen truck.” The image included racial caricatures of black people:
In 2015, Nugent devoted his June 24 column at conspiracy website WorldNetDaily to praising the word “nigger,” and defended its use as a racial slur. Citing himself as someone who “continue[s] to use the word nigger at one time or another,” Nugent praised the use of the word by several well-known people not bound by “political correctness,” including former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective and current Fox News contributor Mark Fuhrman. (Fuhrman was a detective on the O.J. Simpson murder case. During Simpson's trial, the defense produced tapes of Fuhrman saying “nigger” more than 40 times over a 10-year period. According to the tapes, in his capacity with the LAPD, Fuhrman said things to African-Americans like, “You do what you're told, understand, nigger?” )
Promoting his column on Facebook, Nugent wrote, “When I play my Motown guitar, I niggerup”:
In April 2015, Nugent wrote a post on Facebook referring to civil rights leader Al Sharpton as a “mongrel.” In the comment section, Nugent “liked” a post where somebody wrote, “Isn't 'mongrel' better than 'nigger'? Can't please some people.”
In a 1990 interview unearthed by Media Matters in 2014, Nugent told Detroit Free Press Magazine, “I use the word nigger a lot because I hang around with a lot of niggers, and they use the word nigger, and I tend to use words that communicate.” In the same interview, Nugent defended Apartheid in South Africa, arguing that black South Africans are “a different breed of man” because they “still put bones in their noses, they still walk around naked, they wipe their butts with their hands.”
In a 1995 interview with Bob Mack of Grand Royal Magazine, Nugent claimed that “real America” is populated by “working hard, playing hard, white motherfucking shit kickers, who are independent and get up in the morning.” When Mack asked Nugent, “Aren't there any blacks?” Nugent responded, “Show me one. Show me one.” Moments later Nugent called James Brown and Wilson Pickett “niggers … spirited, genuine African Americans,” while labeling black rap artists “big uneducated greasy black mongrels”:
There is strong evidence that Nugent’s use of “nigger” is tied to his racism against blacks. While Nugent notably called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel,” he has also repeatedly attacked the black community at large.
An example of these attacks was seen in Nugent’s ongoing reaction to the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman on charges that he murdered African-American Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. Following the acquittal, Nugent called Martin a “dope-smoking, racist gangsta wannabe.” Then in the following weeks Nugent claimed that people should profile African-Americans in the same way members of a community might profile a breed of dog that was biting children, that African-Americans could solve “the black problem" if they were more honest and law-abiding, and that the African-American community has a “mindless tendency to violence” and an inability to “read or speak clearly.”
Nugent has also offered inflammatory commentary on Clinton during the presidential campaign, including calling for her to be hanged for treason and promoting a fake video of Clinton being shot.