Tom Morello responds to Twitter user who accused him of “white privilege”: “I’m not white”

Morello had faced criticism after explaining his friendship with Ted Nugent

Tom Morello has delivered the simplest of ripostes to a Twitter user who accused him of “white man privilege”.

“I’m not white,” the Rage Against The Machine guitarist replied to user @TheRealNubian2, who had criticised him for defending his friendship with Ted Nugent – despite his controversial right-wing views.

Morello initially appeared on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show earlier this week, where he opened up on how he struck an unlikely friendship with the right-wing guitarist.


“For his 60th birthday, someone reached out to me and said, ‘We’re making a video, and we’re asking guitar players [to say a few kind words],” he explained.

“At the time, the Ted Nugent which was sort of known in the world in general was this kind of more right-wing caricature – people were not thinking of him, first and foremost, as the guy who shredded on ‘Stranglehold’.

“But then 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.

Ted Nugent performs during a campaign rally for U.S. President Donald Trump at Capital Region International Airport on October 27, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“And then the second was things that Ted Nugent taught an adolescent Tom Morello about sex. And then I went through ‘Cat Scratch Fever’ — these strange words, like the lyrics to the song ‘Cat Scratch Fever’, the lyrics to the song ‘Wang Dang Sweet Poontang’, which were utterly foreign to me, and I had to ask about on the playground. Anyway, so Ted called me up after that. And while we certainly have differences, I consider him a friend.”


Morello was born in 1964 to a white American mother, Mary Morello, who is now in her 90s and memorably founded anti-censorship group Parents for Rock and Rap in 1987.

His father is Ngethe Njoroge, a Kenyan diplomat who served as the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in the ’70s.

Nugent, meanwhile, has courted controversy as a vocal supporter of Donald Trump – previously claiming that he was “sent from god”.

As for Twitter, the exchange seemingly reached a civil conclusion when Morello confirmed he’d be up for being a guest on TheRealNubian’s podcast.

Meanwhile, Rage Against The Machine are finally set to head out on their reunion tour in summer 2021, after it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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