National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent claimed to be “so anti-racist” that people “would be hard pressed ... to find someone who has fought racism more than [he has],” moments before suggesting that African-Americans should be profiled the same way members of a community might profile a breed of dog that was attacking children.
Nugent's comments, which he made on entertainer Nick Cannon's July 23 podcast, are the latest inflammatory remarks he has made on the topic of race since the July 13 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Referencing July 19 remarks by President Obama that addressed issues of race in the country, Nugent said that a “little old white lady” who “clutches her purse tightly and shivers” when an African-American man joins her on an elevator has not wrongly “prejudged” in the same sense that “stormy clouds” are accurate predictors of a destructive weather event.
Nugent elaborated on this point, saying when “we've witnessed a number of storms that have destroyed homes, and threatened lives, and tipped over cars, I don't think we're prejudging those storm threats. I don't think we are prejudging. I think we are taking evidence, and going, 'uh-oh black clouds coming in, wind is picking up, I think I better head for a shelter.' ”
Nugent made a second analogy concerning racial profiling, stating, “I think when you use the word profile, if a Dalmatian has been biting the children in the neighborhood, I think we're going to look for a black and white dog.”
Nugent claimed that “the gangs of blacks lately that have just been just going down the downtown streets and breaking windows on cars,” and news reports featuring African-Americans accused of rape, burglary and murder led him to believe “at some point you got to be afraid of black and white dogs if the Dalmatian's doing the biting.”
NUGENT: I think that typically when you see the, I don't even remember the term they use, but the gangs of blacks lately that have been just been going down the downtown streets and breaking windows on cars. We played the Milwaukee state fair a couple years ago and these black mobs were just attacking white folks coming out of the fair. And over and over again I watch the news and here's a rape and here's a burglary and here's a murder in Chicago. 29 shot. 29 blacks shot by 29 blacks. At some point you got to be afraid of black and white dogs if the Dalmatian's doing the biting.
Citing the fact that the United States has an African-American president, attorney general and other individuals in positions of power, Nugent also claimed, “in 2013, I got to tell you, I'm not buying any claim of black oppression” :
NUGENT: I suppose when I say dear black America they go, 'oh right away he is just talking to blacks he doesn't care what anyone else thinks.' Well what I'm doing is I'm reaching out to those who believe that we are opposed to state to them that I'm not opposed. That I consider me you, I consider you me. I think we all want security, we all want the American dream, we all want to be rewarded based on our effort. And I believe that that crosses all lines.
And here we are in 2013, I got to tell you, I'm not buying any claim of black oppression. We have a black president, a black attorney general, black Supreme Court justices, we have Nick Cannon, we have the most respected and revered black leaders and entrepreneurs and CEOs and entertainers. There is no limitation to anybody of any color, any race, any ethnicity, any sexual orientation if you put your heart and soul into being the best that you can be, to speak clearly and show up early and produce more than the competition, I don't care where you're from, you will be the American dream. Case closed.
Nugent's comments on Cannon's show are just his latest incendiary remarks, some of which have led to calls for his removal from the NRA's board of directors. After neighborhood watchman Zimmerman was acquitted on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter, Nugent variously termed deceased Florida teenager Martin as a “dope smoking, racist gangsta wannabe,” an “enraged black man-child” and a “Skittles hoodie boy.”
On July 16, Nugent addressed black America on conspiracy radio program The Alex Jones show with the claim 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.”
Prior to Zimmerman's acquittal, Nugent had a lengthy history of making racial remarks, including wondering whether “it would have been best had the South won the Civil War” and claiming that “real Americans” are “working hard, playing hard, white motherfucking shit kickers.”