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Ted Nugent just called Obama the n-word — even if he insists that he didn't

The veteran rocker took evident joy in using the word repeatedly in his latest WND column


Scott Eric Kaufman
June 25, 2015 9:14PM (UTC)

In his latest World Net Daily column, conservative rocker Ted Nugent did the unthinkable -- he openly praised President Barack Obama. Of course, that praise came in the service of an article whose main purpose seems to be how many times Nugent could gleefully repeat the word "n*gger" with all the dignity of Rex Kramer: Danger Seeker -- but praise is praise.

According to Nugent, however, the point of the article is to welcome the president to "The Honest Society," a "clan" of people who are "not afraid of speaking honestly without fear of politically correct word Nazis going berserk." Members of "The Honest Society" agree that the "dishonest referencing of the word by its first letter is the epitome of political correctness gone mad."

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Nugent offered a brief lesson for those who "have completely lost touch with the real world" and don't realize that "the word n*gger has historically been used in a powerfully positive way when describing the proud heritage and history of deeply respected, even revered 'blackness.'"

He thanked Obama for allowing him to partake of that "blackness" again, as he misses that bygone era in which "the greatest compliment a musician could ever dream of [was] when the word was used to describe my Motown touch."

"What sort of goofball could possibly believe that certain words are OK for one group of people but forbidden by others?" he asked. "That, by the way, is the definition of racism." He does not, however, explain how exactly language usage varying between distinct subcultures functions as "the definition of racism."

But why would he? His half-hearted gestures at high-mindedness are little more than a series of excuses to use a word previously forbidden to him, and in this respect he is no different from a child in a tree house exploring English profanities out of earshot of his parents.

The point is not what any of the particular profanities actually mean -- the point is how enjoyable it is to speak out-of-line without fear of reproach. And that, Nugent believes, is the takeaway from the president's appearance on Marc Maron's "WTF" podcast.

Conservatives are now free to follow Mark Twain, whom Nugent claims "used the word n*gger in a non-threatening, non-racist way throughout his personal and professional life" -- though why they're going to enjoy doing so with such relish emphatically puts to lie the notion that they're uttering the word "in a non-threatening, non-racist way."

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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

Barack Obama Charleston Marc Maron Racism Ted Nugent

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