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article imageTed Nugent: Stevie Wonder 'brain dead', Trayvon 'dope-smoking'

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jul 25, 2013 in Politics
Conservative rocker Ted Nugent has reacted to Stevie Wonder's decision to boycott Florida after the Zimmerman verdict, by describing Wonder as "brain dead" and the slain African-American teenager Trayvon Martin as a "dope-smoking hoodlum."
According to Mediaite, on Boston's radio show "PM In The AM," Nugent had earlier told the host Nick Cannon, that he is not racist. He said: "You’d be so hard-pressed, Nick, to find someone who has fought racism more than I have... I have always genuflected publicly in the most demonstrative way I possibly can that if it wasn't for black Americans’ musical genius and all the ingredients — the defiance, the reverence, the uppityness, the spirit, the attitude, the uninhibitedness... without that black musical creativity — there would be no Mariah Carey, there would be no Ted Nugent, there would be no 'America’s Got Talent.'"
Responding to Stevie Wonder's boycott of Florida, he said: "You've got to be kidding me. So 700 black people, mostly young children and young people were slaughtered in Chicago last year by black people, and not a peep out of Stevie Wonder. Are you kidding me? What is this, 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'? How brain-dead do you have to be? How strangled by denial, how dishonest, how cheap do you have to be to focus on a clear-cut case where all the evidence, from the DOJ, from the FBI, from the army of investigative specialists in Florida determined that George Zimmerman acted in self-defense against a life-threatening attack by hoodlum, dope-smoking Trayvon Martin?"
Nugent continued, saying he would pray for "Stevie Wonder and all these other numbnuts who think that Trayvon Martin's life is more important than the tens of thousands of slaughtered blacks at the hands of blacks."
He added: “How do you go from being one of the most soulful people in the world to being absolutely soulless?”
Trayvon Martin: 'Give a dog a bad name and hang him'
This is not the first time that Nugent has indulged in intemperate outbursts against the slain 17-year-old African-American, Trayvon Martin. In an opinion piece published on the right-wing website WND, he referred to Trayvon Martin as an "enraged black man-child" and a "dope-smoking, dope-peddling, gangsta wannabe, Skittles hoodie boy."
Nugent's tirade illustrates an aspect of the Zimmerman trial and acquittal which has been racial stereotyping of the slain teenager by the same people who deny the role that stereotypical notions of the "young black male" played in his death and the acquittal of his killer George Zimmerman.
A recent article on Digital Journal exemplifies the blatant "give-a-dog-a-bad-name-and-hang-it" stereotyping that aims to blame the teenager for his death, or more blatantly, imply he deserved to die. The writer begins with the assertion that Trayvon Martin was a "gangsta or perhaps 'wannabe gangsta,'" and presents a litany of traits that "prove" the thesis: Trayvon was a "wanna-be-thug"; he was "anti-social"; he "hangs around gangs... We do not know if Trayvon Martin was in a gang, but he had tattoos" (?); he participated in the "African-American subculture"; "uses/sells drugs"; "own or admires weapons."
The writer then concludes: "Trayvon Martin did not have every characteristic of a gangsta, but he was well on his way at the time of his death. These gangsta leanings help explain his death..."
Adopting a similar line of argument, Nugent implied that Trayvon's racial character was to blame for his death. He told Cannon: "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."
He added: "At some point you got to be afraid of black and white dogs if the Dalmatian’s doing the biting."
Nugent went on to give anecdotal evidence to prove that African-Americans are inherently violent. According to him, at a concert in Milwaukee a few years back, "black mobs were just attacking white folks coming out of the fair."
He also talked about how "black folks" were killing other blacks in Chicago.
'Black-on-Black violence' a myth?
As part of his criticism of protests against the acquittal of Zimmerman, Nugent repeated an argument common among Zimmerman supporters to the effect that blacks need not protest against the acquittal of Zimmerman because blacks kill each other in Chicago and elsewhere in the US.
A recent article in The Root magazine attempts to draw attention to what the writer considers utter meaninglessness of the oft-used expression "black-on-black violence" by asking "Don't White people kill each other too?" The write asks that If whites kill each other too why don't we ever hear the expression "white-on-white violence?" And if that expression sounds absurd, why should the expression "black-on-black violence" be less absurd?
Referring the reader to statistics published by the US Justice Department (PDF), The Root, said:
... white Americans are just as likely to be killed by other whites. According to Justice Department statistics, 84 percent of white people killed every year are killed by other whites.
In fact, all races share similar ratios. Yet there's no outrage or racialized debate about "white on white" violence. Instead, the myth and associated fear of "black on black" crime is sold as a legitimate, mainstream descriptive and becomes American status quo.
The term "black on black" crime is a destructive, racialized colloquialism that perpetuates an idea that blacks are somehow more prone to violence.
The author continues:
In Michelle Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, she explains that the term was coined in the 1980s as American cities underwent transformation as a result of riots, white flight and the onslaught of the drug trade. David Wilson, a professor at the University of Illinois, documents the phenomena in Inventing Black-on-Black Violence. Wilson says that instead of attributing increased crime activity to poverty, inequality and disenfranchisement, the media chose to blame "a supposedly defective, aberrant black culture."
In a 2010 piece published by The Root, "The Myth of Black-on-Black Violence," Natalie Hopkinson opines that journalists should follow the direction of the United Kingdom, where the Guardian newspaper banned the use of the phrase. A Guardian stylebook asked authors to ''imagine the police saying they were investigating an incident of white-on-white violence ... " Hopkinson concludes, "The term 'black-on-black violence' is a slander against the majority of law-abiding black Americans, rich and poor, who get painted by this broad and crude brush."
Writing in the The Daily Beast, Jamell Bouie, comments on the same subject:
The idea that "black-on-black" crime is the real story in Martin’s killing isn't a novel one.
But there’s a huge problem with attempt to shift the conversation: There’s no such thing as "black-on-black" crime. Yes, from 1976 to 2005, 94 percent of black victims were killed by black offenders, but that racial exclusivity was also true for white victims of violent crime—86 percent were killed by white offenders. Indeed, for the large majority of crimes, you’ll find that victims and offenders share a racial identity, or have some prior relationship to each other.
...in general, [crime] is driven by opportunism and proximity; If African-Americans are more likely to be robbed, or injured, or killed by other African-Americans, it’s because they tend to live in the same neighborhoods as each other. Residential statistics bear this out (PDF); blacks are still more likely to live near each other or other minority groups than they are to whites. And of course, the reverse holds as well—whites are much more likely to live near other whites than they are to minorities and African-Americans in particular....
"Black-on-black crime" has been part of the American lexicon for decades, but as a specific phenomenon, it’s no more real than "white-on-white crime."
Sociologists: Violent crime correlates with socio-economic status not race
Sociologists have shown that rates of violent crime correlate with socio-economic status and not skin-color. It is significant that so far no study has found a correlation between race and violence/crime. On the contrary, sociologist have found that violent crime and homicidal violence is characteristic of inner city communities worldwide regardless of "color" or race.
A study by researchers at the National Research Institute of Legal Policy, Criminologist Unit, Helsinki, Finland, published in the British Journal of Criminology found that low socio-economic status or social disadvantage, not race, was the most important predictor of violent behavior.
The website of The American Psychological Association, writes: "Buka, Stichick, Birdthistle, & Felton, (2001) found youths from low-income neighborhoods witnessed significantly more severe violence (viz., murders and stabbings) than youths from middle- and upper-income neighborhoods."
Scientific studies imply that discussing the problems of inner city crime and violence under the heading "black-on-black violence" only drapes the real problems of political and socio-economic inequality in an obsfucating blanket of racialized terminologies which allow society to continue justifying its refusal to address the issues.
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