Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Calling Ted Nugent on his hateful speech: The Right Wing's Double Standard

At an NRA convention over the weekend, "Catch Scratch Fever" rocker Ted Nugent denounced President Barack Obama and his top advisers as "evil" and urged National Rifle Association members to help "chop their heads off in November." He also denounced the administration as "criminals"

"I'll tell you this right now: If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year," Nugent said. "We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November. Any questions?" The violent language here is unmistakable. Whether it constitutes a direct threat or not, it certainly is hateful.

Nugent, speaking at the organization's annual gathering told NRA members but warned that if they did not "get everybody in your lives to clean house in this vile, evil, America-hating administration, I don't even know what you're made out of."

"If the coyote's in your living room, pissing on your couch, it's not the coyote's fault. It's your fault for not shooting him," he said. In apparent reference to President Obama's time in Indonesia as a youth, Nugent said a Democratic victory in November would mean "we'll be a suburb of Indonesia next year."

I am waiting to see if any radio music stations, classic or hard rock stations, will ban Nugent from the airwaves for his hateful remarks. I am certain that this will not happen.

Contrast a few years ago when the Dixie Chicks announced to a British concert audience that they were ashamed of being from Texas, right after George Bush Jr. launched the Iraq war. I remember the hateful, even threatening rhetoric towards the Dixie Chicks at the time- “we know where they live,” one radio announcer said at the time.

The Dixie Chicks were in fact banned from some radio stations for a time, and one could argue that their career was damaged to a degree.

What the Dixie Chicks said was at worst an insult. What Nugent said was hateful with violent imagery.

But certain factions of the right have always reserved to themselves the privilege of hating, while criticizing others for not being civil. They can dish it out, but they can't take it.

I've already seen some writers, like a Washington Post blogger complain about people being too indignant: “You may find this difficult to believe, but there is such a thing as too much indignation.”

To which I “nonsense!”; I will be indignant when someone makes such violent comments about my President.

If he has first amendment rights to use hateful speech, I have a right to be indignant and call him on his hate.  

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