Lydon, who previously backed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, said he supports Trump because of the economy.
“I’d be daft as a brush not to,” he told The Observer. “He’s the only sensible choice now that Biden is up – he’s incapable of being the man at the helm.”
According to the article, Lydon started supporting the US president after Trump was accused of racism. “I’ve been accused of the very same thing, so I’m offended for anybody who’s called that,” he explained.
In 2008, Lydon and his entourage were involved in a backstage altercation with Kele Okereke, after the Bloc Party frontman asked Lydon at Spain’s Summercase festival if he would ever consider reforming Public Image Ltd.
It was alleged that Lydon responded with a racist tirade including the statement, “Your problem is your black attitude,” followed by what Okereke called an “unprovoked racist attack” that resulted in him suffering severe facial bruising, cuts to his face and body and a split lip. He later referred to Lydon as “the devil in my eyes.”
Foals‘ Yannis Philippakis and Kaiser Chiefs‘ Ricky Wilson were present during the incident, and were said to have stepped in to help Okereke. Also present was Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai, who in a new tweet has responded to Lydon’s latest comments.
“John Lydon’s entourage attacked @keleokereke and used racist language,” Braithwaite wrote. “We were there. That he uses that incident as his reason to support Trump is extremely telling. What a disappointing man.”
John Lydon’s entourage attacked @keleokereke and used racist language. We were there. That he uses that incident as his reason to support Trump is extremely telling. What a disappointing man. https://t.co/P1g7U9tiph
— stuart braithwaite (@plasmatron) October 11, 2020
Lydon denied the allegations made against him at the time, claiming the “trouble was brought to” him. He added that he was in the middle of a “wonderful tour” and that his audience was made up of “all ages, all races, creeds and colours.”
He concluded by telling Okereke to “grow up and learn to be a true man.”
In his chat with The Observer, Lydon said he was “shocked” at being called racist, before the article noted that Lydon’s grandchildren, from Ari Up, are mixed race. It added that he supported Rock Against Racism, his first memoir was called No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs, he championed roots reggae, worked with Afrika Bambaataa, and pushed Virgin Records to sign reggae acts.
Lydon was then asked about the killing of George Floyd, an African American man who was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May after a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.
“There’s not anyone I know anywhere that wouldn’t say that wasn’t ghastly,” he responded. “Absolutely! It doesn’t mean all police are nasty or all white folk are racist. Because all lives matter.”
Lydon was then pointed out that when certain groups use the term “all lives matter”, it is sometimes used to diminish the Black Lives Matter movement, but he said he thinks that’s a misinterpretation.
“Of course I’m anti-racism,” he said, before adding that he won’t be dictated to by political groups or movements.
The Sex Pistols and PiL singer faced criticism on Twitter after a 2018 photo, in which he wore a t-shirt printed with the Donald Trump campaign slogan, was widely shared online.
While the t-shirt prompted widespread and renewed disappointment from Sex Pistols fans, Primal Scream have now argued that many bands wouldn’t have existed without the trailblazing star.