National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent lashed out after the cancellation of an upcoming concert, claiming his critics are like Nazi chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
On July 21 the Coeur d'Alene Tribe announced that Nugent will not perform at the tribe's Idaho casino on August 4, citing “Nugent's history of racist and hate-filled remarks.” The Puyallup Tribe followed suit, cancelling two scheduled concerts at its Washington state Emerald Queen Casino because they didn't want their venue used “to promote his racism.”
Nugent, who is also a spokesperson for Outdoor Channel, responded to his critics in his regular column for conspiracy website WND.com, comparing them to an infamous Nazi. While claiming that American Indians are his “BloodBrothers,” Nugent wrote that those who lodged complaints against his scheduled performances were part of the “Josef Goebbels gang.” He also wrote, “Josef Goebbels and Saul Alinsky would be very proud of them and very angry at me. Cool.”
Nugent's Nazi comparison comes as the NRA is already under fire from a Jewish group after one of its lobbyists compared a proposal to expand background checks on gun sales in Washington state to the policies of Adolf Hilter, and mocked Jewish individuals who support gun safety.
In recently released audio, NRA lobbyist Brian Judy is heard telling opponents of the background check proposal that one of the proposal's primary backers, who is Jewish, is “stupid” because “he's put half-a-million dollars toward this policy, the same policy that led to his family getting run out of Germany by the Nazis.” Judy also said, “any Jewish people I meet who are anti-gun, I think: Are you serious? Do you not remember what happened? ... Why did you have to flee to this country in the first place? Hello. Is anybody home here?”
The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, whose offices were the site of a 2006 mass shooting perpetrated by a man angry at Israel, called Judy's comments “idiotic, simplistic and simply wrong” and called for his resignation. The group has also asked that the NRA “make clear that it rejects his ignorant and unproductive dialogue.” So far, the NRA has refused to comment on the controversy. While civil rights organization Anti-Defamation League has repeatedly explained that there is no valid comparison between gun safety proposals and the Holocaust, members of the NRA's leadership frequently make such claims.
Nugent routinely traffics in Nazi comparisons to attack his opponents. This year he has used the Goebbels comparison to criticize film executive Harvey Weinstein and outgoing congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA), who are both Jewish. Following controversy over his characterization of Obama as a “subhuman mongrel,” Nugent claimed that the United States was becoming like Nazi Germany and warned of a forthcoming “power struggle between the different races.” He has also compared Obama to “a German in 1938 pretending to respect the Jews and then going home and putting on his brown shirt and forcing his neighbors onto a train to be burned to death” and said we need to take back America from “the jack boot Nazi motherfuckers in the Department of Justice.”