Ted Nugent denied white supremacy and systemic racism exist in the U.S. during a series of videos the rock guitarist and National Rifle Association (NRA) board member shared on social media this week.
“White supremacy has never influenced policy. Not since Jim Crow. Not since there were water fountains for colored people and white people. We fixed that. It’s been fixed,” Mr. Nugent said Thursday.
Mr. Nugent, who is white, made that claim in a video carried live on his Facebook and YouTube accounts, echoing assertions the 72-year-old musician and activist said in another video the day before.
“There isn’t any systemic racism. We fixed that,” Mr. Nugent, a former columnist for The Washington Times, said in the Wednesday video. “It’s 2021, and there’s no white supremacy. It’s not a threat.”
Mr. Nugent, speaking from his Texas home, acknowledged in each of the videos that some Americans still hold racist views espoused by white supremacists, but he insisted they are few and far between.
“There might be a couple of dirtbag white supremacists out there, but they’re virtually inconsequential,” Mr. Nugent said in one of the videos. “They mean nothing!” he exclaimed in the other.
On the contrary, however, both the previous Trump and current Biden administrations reported within the last year that violent white supremacists pose a significant threat to national security.
Chad Wolf, who led the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under former President Trump, said last year that white supremacists pose the “most persistent and lethal threat” among domestic extremists.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) reiterated in a March report that racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, including specifically those “who promote the superiority of the white race,” present the most lethal threat among the different sorts of violent domestic extremists and are the “most likely to conduct mass-casualty attacks” targeting civilians.
More recently, the White House noted the existence of systemic racism last month while reflecting on the murder of George Floyd, a Black man killed by a White police officer in Minnesota last May.
President Biden said video footage of Floyd’s murder “ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism” that exists in the U.S., calling it a “stain” on the nation’s soul.
America has a long history of systemic racism. Black Americans — and Black men, in particular — have been treated, throughout the course of our history, as less than human.
Vice President Kamala Harris. “Black Americans — and Black men, in particular — have been treated, throughout the course of our history, as less than human.”
Nationwide, white supremacists and neo-Nazis killed over 70 people from 2015-2019, according to the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.
Mr. Nugent, who first gained fame in the 1970s for songs including “Stranglehold” and “Cat Scratch Fever,” revealed last month he was sick with COVID-19, the disease the novel coronavirus causes.
He previously denied the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, too. Mr. Nugent called the global outbreak a “scam” several times before he became one of more than millions of Americans to have contracted COVID-19.
• Andrew Blake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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