DETROIT - Ted Nugent lashed out this week against news media portrayals of him as racist for his recent remarks about the Trayvon Martin case.
The Detroit-born rocker turned the tables, decrying the “racist slant of the media” in reporting on his comments criticizing Martin and bashing Stevie Wonder’s boycott of Florida.
“I don’t think you’ll find another person where the term ‘racist’ - that vicious, hateful term - is leveled at a guy that has probably done more to promote black artists, specifically, than pretty much anybody this side of (Atlantic Records founder) Ahmet Ertegun,” Nugent told the Detroit Free Press Thursday.
The outspoken guitarist found himself back in the headlines after a Tuesday appearance on Nick Cannon’s podcast, in which Nugent described Martin as a “gangsta wannabe.” He also discussed criminal profiling: “If a Dalmatian has been biting the children in the neighborhood, I think we’re going to look for a black-and-white dog.”
On Wednesday, he told a Boston radio station that Wonder was “brain-dead” for boycotting Florida over its stand-your-ground law.
Nugent contends his comments were unfairly portrayed as a personal attack on Wonder.
The guitarist said he not only respects but genuinely reveres “Stevie Wonder’s enrichment to society and my life personally. I have nothing but reverence for the great man. … I just think it’s hypocritical, it’s dishonest, because you can’t boycott places that believe in self-defense.”
Nugent grew up on Detroit’s west side and splits his time these days between Texas and Michigan. He had some pointed words about Detroit’s bankruptcy filing, which he called the inevitable result of “an intentionally engineered suicide course” underway since the 1960s.
He blamed “the liberal Democrats who moved into Detroit that did the Mayor Coleman Young boogie, epitomized by Kwame Kilpatrick and the Jennifer Granholms.”
As if to preemptively deflect criticism, Nugent defended his take.
“So Martin Luther King died in vain? No judging by content of character? Now it’s acceptable to judge by color of skin? This is why I’m anti-racist, and those that level that term (‘racist’) against me are indeed the racists,” he said.
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