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NRA and Ted Nugent Inspired Hate Mongering and Bigotry

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 18/02/2016 John Rosenthal
TED NUGENT © Rick Diamond via Getty Images TED NUGENT

NRA and Ted Nugent Inspired Hate-mongering and Bigotry
Last week, I found myself in the company of a distinguished group of people I would usually be very proud to call my allies: Michael Bloomberg, Diane Feinstein, Chuck Schumer, Rahm Emanuel, Barbara Boxer, Senator Blumenthal and others. Unfortunately, we were brought "together" in an anti-Semitic Facebook post by long-time NRA Board Member and "pit bull", Ted Nugent. Besides our faces and our names, the post included Israeli flags near or over our faces and the following message: "Know these punks. They hate freedom, they hate good over evil, they would deny us the basic human right to self defense & to KEEP & BEAR ARMS while many of them have tax paid hired ARMED security! Know them well. Tell every1 you know how evil they are. Let us raise maximum hell to shut them down!"
Nugent essentially called upon an armed following (NRA members) to take action against me and eleven other mostly current or former elected officials. Ted Nugent has long represented the NRA and they owe us an explanation of exactly what they're conspiring to encourage their armed followers to do with respect to "shutting me down."
This is not the first time Ted Nugent has publicly made outrageous accusations and encouraged violence against NRA opponents, and given the NRA's lack of response and long history of making similar hate-mongering public comments, it won't be his last time either. Less than a month ago, Ted Nugent called for the hanging of President Obama and Hillary Clinton for their supposed wrongdoing during the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks. And just two weeks ago, he referred to Hillary Clinton as a "criminal ass b**ch" on his Facebook. Regarding Apartheid, Nugent was quoted in the Detroit Free Press saying "Apartheid isn't that cut and dry. All men are not created equal. The preponderance of South Africa is a different breed of man... They are different. They still put bones in their noses, they still walk around naked, they wipe their butts with their hands...These are different people."
The fact that the NRA continues to support board members that behave in this way is shocking. I sit on the boards of multiple organizations and I know that we have ousted board members for much less than Nugent's posts. Other organizations do not put up with this type of behavior either, just last week Mark Zuckerberg, on behalf of Facebook, publicly apologized for the Tweet of one of his board directors. In fact, repercussions for social media quips are so common that there are Buzzfeed lists dedicated to them. If you do an internet search for "job loss tweets" you will find dozens of examples of people losing their employment and board positions over offensive tweets and social media posts, most of these people even apologized prior to being fired. Nugent, on the other hand, has made no apology and the NRA doesn't seem to care.
To be clear, Ted Nugent's free pass from the NRA is not unusual for the historically racist NRA leadership. The NRA also didn't care when another board member referred to Iraqi soldiers as "ragheads" that were "inferior" and "lazy." They also didn't make a peep when their top lobbyist made race-fueled remarks about declining an invitation to meet with President Obama for a CNN town hall. The NRA has long promoted the idea through its programming that it was fair to compare liberals in this country to terrorists and recently posted a video claiming "the biggest threat to national security is sitting in the Oval Office". The NRA also continues to give air-time to a man who said universities encourage sexual assault victimhood.
Equally appalling, now-deceased NRA board member Jeff Cooper wrote in Guns and Ammo, that urban gun violence can actually be a good thing and "the consensus is that no more than five to ten people in a hundred who die by gunfire in Los Angeles are any loss to society. These people fight small wars amongst themselves. It would seem a valid social service to keep them well-supplied with ammunition." The NRA's head of research, Paul Blackman, continued the racist theme regarding the "virtues" of urban gun violence, by saying "studies of homicide victims-especially the increasing number of young ones-suggest they are frequently criminals themselves and/or drug addicts or users. It is quite possible that their deaths, in terms of economic consequences to society, are net gains."
There are whole websites dedicated to NRA board members' outrageous comments and yet the NRA has done nothing to hold anti-Semitic and racist board members like Ted Nugent and Jeff Cooper accountable. NRA's silence confirms its complicity and support. Anti-Semitism, racism, sexism and all other forms of bigotry appear to be welcome and encouraged by the NRA board and its officers. In fact, the only minority the NRA seems to care about is the small but heavily armed and angry group of supporters who want everyone to have unrestricted access to guns without detection and who just might be inspired by NRA Board member Ted Nugent's violent direction "to raise maximum hell to shut us down."

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