A gun control group is petitioning the National Rifle Association (NRA) to remove rocker Ted Nugent from its board of directors after he wrote an uttered a string of racially inflammatory comments about the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Nugent’s seeming focus on fanning racial tensions did not sit very well with The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), an umbrella group comprised of 47 individual organizations across the country working to promote gun control laws.
“The NRA likes to bill itself as the ‘oldest civil rights organization in the United States,'” they explained in a petition published Wednesday. “If they want to wear that mantle it’s time for them to walk the walk and end their relationship with Ted Nugent immediately.”
Speaking to Raw Story, CSGV Communications Director Ladd Everitt said the petition had over 1,600 signatures as of Thursday morning. “For us, the impetus for this was that we all felt that Nugent was going into, even for himself, new and darker territory with [his rhetoric],” Everitt said. “This constant stream of quotes has been just so overtly racist, it really calls into question why [the NRA] allows this man to sit on their board.”
Nugent has been on a tirade about race in America since George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing Martin, notably calling the dead 17-year-old boy a “dope smoking, racist gangsta wannabe” in a column for the conservative blog Rare, and a “gangsta wanabe, Skittles hoodie boy” in a separate piece for conservative conspiracy website World Net Daily.
Nugent also spoke to Internet conspiracy radio host Alex Jones on July 16, just two days before his WND column was published, claiming that racism against African-Americans is actually a “dirty lie” and accusing “black mobs” of “the worst racism since the Klan.”
“The blacks have bought into this lie that somehow they’re oppressed when the president is black, the attorney general is black, governors are black, senators are black, congressmen are black, mayors are black, Oprah Winfrey, the richest people in the world are black,” he insisted. “It is a dirty lie.”
Nugent went on to blame Rev. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Attorney General Eric Holder for inflicting a “curse” upon black people that’s left them in “self-inflicted shackles.”
“I would like to reach out to black America and tell them to absolutely reject the lie of Al ‘Not So’ Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson, and the Black Panthers and Eric Holder and Barack Obama,” he told Jones. “They are enslaving you and the real shackles on black America, 100 percent of the time come from black America.”
He’s since announced plans to “boycott” the city of Chicago over its gun control laws, in response to legendary black musician Stevie Wonder’s announcement that he will no longer perform in states with “Stand Your Ground” laws. Speaking to a right-wing radio host this week, Nugent said Wonder must be brain-damaged and that his boycott is inspired by a lifetime of drug abuse.
Of course, this whole effort begs the question: What good will a petition do? After all, it’s not like CSGV has the NRA’s ear, but Everitt seemed to think otherwise.
“A lot of [our members]… are saying, ‘Why would I want to do something to help the NRA?'” he explained. “A lot of them are totally fed up with the NRA and view Nugent as something useful to us, a man who is more likely to bring the organization down quickly… But I told them kind of jokingly, ‘If your goal is to keep Ted on the board, maybe a petition from a gun control group is a good way to do that.'”
An NRA spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
This video is from “The Alex Jones Show,” published July 16, 2013, as snipped by Media Matters.
(H/T: Huffington Post)