Ted Nugent on Ferguson: "Smear on"

Why do so many Republicans think that talking about race is automatically race-baiting?

Published August 22, 2014 5:10PM (EDT)

Ted Nugent                (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
Ted Nugent (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

In the midst of turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri, following the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, noted racist Ted Nugent has thrown his oversize camo-print cowboy hat into the ring with a new column on the real problem with Obama: He cares too much about race!

Nugent writes:

You may recall how, before any facts were determined, the president played the race card like an old pro when he said the Cambridge police acted "stupidly" after they arrested his buddy Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates.

The president played the old, tattered, over used and abused race card again when he said Trayvon Martin could have been his son.

Now, horrifically, he has played it once again by talking about the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Content of character anyone?

Each of these instances are quite telling about our president - the Great Racial Divider. Ignoring the daily slaughter of blacks by blacks in his hometown of Chi-raq, he only chimes in when the perpetrators are non-black and the perceived victims are black.

OK, Nugent, just saying buzzwords in a certain order does not actually make an argument. Obama talking about Brown's death is race-baiting?

From the Aug. 21 edition of "The O'Reilly Factor," NAACP Washington Bureau director Hilary Shelton spoke about the difference between black-on-black killings and this instance of a cop killing. "It's more of a blue versus black issue than a black-on-black issue or a white-on-white issue ... we know statistically that more crimes are committed by people of the same race against other people of the same race that they are. So those are issues that we have to address, and certainly the high homicide rate, particularly gun-related homicide rate in this country should be discussed. But in this case we want to talk about the issue of police-community relations."

A hyper-conservative argument against Obama speaking out about race and civil rights issues is that he only does it to score political points. Nugent writes oh so eloquently, "Make no mistake -- Mr. Obama has not spoken out of concern for racial harmony and unity, but rather to ensure black Americans remain squarely in his camp on the big-government boogie bandwagon known as the Democratic Party. Heartbreakingly, while Ferguson burns, I'm afraid this is all much ado about politics."

A similar argument has been circulating as activists make moves to increase voter registration in Ferguson. What could be more blatant agenda pushing, some say, than making sure black people vote Democrat? The executive director of Missouri's Republican Party, Matt Willis, wrote of the effort: "If that's not fanning the political flames, I don't know what is."

Obama addressing these issues is not him race-baiting. It is the president addressing the most important issues facing the country. That black people want to vote a certain way is not an issue of sneaky Democrats registering them to vote without their informed consent. It is because certain candidates respect their rights.

Nugent ends his diatribe by blaming the strife in black communities on social welfare programs. "You don't need to be a social psychologist, anthropologist, criminologist or even a greasy Motown guitar player to understand why America has urban war zones," he writes. "It is the result of liberals who believe every problem can be solved by massive government spending and a bumbling, lethargic, counter-productive bureaucracy, instead of demanding accountability...That apparently is quite OK with liberals so long as they can continue to try and con the American people, especially black Americans, into believing that access to guns and racism are the problem."

So he is saying that programs to give children healthy meals and to improve inner-city schools is responsible for crime? Not hundreds of years of oppression and structural inequality? That seems like a bit of a stretch, even for Ted.

By Joanna Rothkopf

MORE FROM Joanna Rothkopf

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Ferguson Guns Michael Brown Obama Ted Nugent