Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has criticised “social justice warriors”, a pejorative term used to describe someone expressing socially progressive – and sometimes ardent – views.
The comments came during an appearance on the radio show of broadcaster and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The discussion between the pair led to the topic of “this hashtag generation” and social justice warriors, which Corgan labels as a Maoist “cult”.
“I’m horrified as somebody who believes in free speech and is an artist, because those people are gonna be coming for me,” Corgan says in the episode. “Let’s face it. It may not be tomorrow, but it’s soon enough because I said the wrong thing on the wrong day because I was tired and I didn’t take my [Xanax] that day, or whatever. You know what I mean? It’s like, to live like that, to live where every word is a landmine… it’s not the world I want to live in.”
Corgan goes on to compare actions such as no-canvassing to the bigoted views of the Ku Klux Klan: “If you could go back to Selma [in Alabama] 1932, and the Klan member spitting in some person of colour’s face, don’t you think that guy thought he was right, too? So how is this any different?”
He continues: “I was there growing up at the time when they let the KKK march down the street, and what was the big issue? It was a free speech issue. We don’t like it. They’re thumbing in our nose but, you know what, it’s better to have an America where these idiots get to walk down the street and spout their hate.”
“That’s the world I grew up in, a liberal, Democratically-leaning Chicago that was about tolerance and free speech, not ‘shut it down because it’s unpleasant’… The lack of tolerance of ideas and other points of view is the great Achilles heel of the social justice warrior movement.”
Meanwhile, Corgan recently revealed that he’s working on a memoir and that he’s written “about” a thousand pages of it.
The book is expected to be titled God Is Everywhere, From Here to There, although no release date has been announced. He has described his progress on the book as “slow” and said that he’s changed the names of people that feature in the book, although “the average person will [still] be able to go, ‘Oh that’s so-and-so'”.
“It’s not meant to be a clever legal device, it’s actually meant to get you out of what you think you know and take you hopefully into the very interpersonal experience of what I experienced. Which, I would argue, is mythology. Most of what I have experienced in my life isn’t real.”