Ted Nugent has responded to allegations of racism, denying the claims and calling himself “the anti-racist”.
The response came after Nugent recently revealed that he lost a sponsor for his TV show Spirit Of The Wild due to allegations of racism made against him.
Saying he “paid homage and reverence to the black heroes of music” for his entire life in a Facebook Live video, Nugent added: “Everybody who pays attention — not the ones who call me a racist, but the people who are actually honest and pay attention know that I have paid homage and reverence to the black heroes of music all my life, which means I’m the anti-racist. So if you find somebody who calls Ted Nugent a racist, you are looking at a subhuman piece of shit who lives a lie.”
He added: “I’m a living, walking, breathing passionate music lover that was in the eye of the music storm at the most important time in the history of music, coming right out of the electrification of the guitar by Les Paul. And how Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley and The Ventures and Duane Eddy and Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley took that black music, and we celebrated it in song.”
Nugent, a vocal supporter of former US president Donald Trump, has attracted severe criticism over his alleged racist views over the years.
In 2014, he called then-president Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel” before apologising for the comment, while in a 1990 interview with the Detroit Free Press, he spoke of apartheid in South Africa, saying: “Apartheid isn’t that cut-and-dry. All men are not created equal.”
Earlier this month, Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello faced criticism based upon his friendship with Nugent. “While we certainly have differences, I consider him a friend,” Morello said in a recent interview on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show, explaining how someone reached out to him to contribute to a video wishing Nugent a happy 60th birthday.
He said: “I had to think, ‘What is the video that I’m going to make for Ted’s birthday?’ And I put some thought into it, and I said, ‘It’s gonna be about two things. One, it’s gonna be things that Tom Morello and Ted Nugent have in common,’ and I went down this long list of [things like] free-speech advocates, our love of rock and roll, our respect for black artists who created rock and roll.
“And then the second was things that Ted Nugent taught an adolescent Tom Morello about sex.”