In 1977, Ted Nugent told High Times magazine how he avoided serving in Vietnam: He didn't bathe for a month, and for the final week before his physical examination he didn't use the bathroom, simply defecating and urinating in his clothes. When he walked in for his physical examination, he told High Times, he was "a walking, talking hunk of human poop."
Thirty years later, Nugent claimed he made up the story. A classic case of "he said/he said."
The man nonetheless known for pooping his pants to get out of the draft is now painting those Native Americans who criticize him as unclean and revolting. Following a protest in Sturgis, South Dakota on Wednesday, Nugent announced on his Facebook page, "4 stinkyass unclean dipshit protestors that admitted they hate me AND ALL WHITE PEOPLE THAT STOLE THEIR LAND BULLSHIT!! See, it aint me they hate, they hate all Americans that produce & live the American Dream."
Four? More like forty, Mr. Nugent. On Wednesday, August 6, close to 40 people protested in front of the Full Throttle Bar, the largest concert venue in Sturgis, during the Sturgis Bike Rally.
Protestors have followed Nugent’s Shut Up and Jam! tour into Lakota territory, and according to Tom Cheyenne, Dakota, president of the American Indian Movement Grassroots, AIM will always protest Ted Nugent's U.S. concerts. "He has been saying things about Indian people, especially about our Lakota people, and I don't like it when I hear those racial remarks," Cheyenne said. "We got to do something, we have to keep our spirits high when somebody talks like we are nothing.”
Nugent told Gannett Wisconsin Media that "I take it as a badge of honor that such unclean vermin are upset by me and my positive energy," and "By all indicators, I don't think they actually qualify as people, but there has always been a lunatic fringe of hateful, rotten, dishonest people that hate happy, successful people.”
That quote came on the tail of a petition filed in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, requesting that Nugent’s show be canceled. He insisted the quote was not about Native Americans, but people who have tried to shut his shows down.
Two Indian casinos, the Couer D’Alene Casino Resort Hotel in Worley, Idaho, and the Emerald Queen Casino (owned by the Puyallup Tribe) in Tacoma, Washington, have canceled Nugent shows over his history of racist remarks (for context, check out the list of Repugnant Comments Ted Nugent Should Apologize For compiled by Media Matters.) . There was also a protest against a Nugent concert in Montclair, New Jersey, and he was actually paid about $16,000 this summer, not to perform at a Longview, Texas, Fourth of July Festival.
While some say Nugent is an equal opportunity offender, one of his recent comments goes straight to the heart. “My lifestyle as a white guy—though I’m hard to accept that designation—is more in the Indian tradition than many of the Indians themselves," he told Glenn Beck on the conservative talker's Blaze TV show. Here's the clip:
Protesters came to Sturgis from almost all of the reservations in South Dakota, including Pine Ridge, Rosebud, Cheyenne River, Standing Rock, Crow Creek and Lower Brule as well as Rapid City. It went well, according to Doug Bissonette, Lakota, who drove up from Pine Ridge to attend. “It turned out pretty good, a lot of bikers gave us the thumbs up," Bissonette said. "The owner said he kind of regretted it (hiring Nugent) and wouldn’t do it in the future.”
Indeed, Full Throttle owner Michael Ballard stated that had he known sooner about the protest and comments Nugent has been making, he wouldn’t have booked him. But for financial reasons, the show would go on. "I can't turn around and walk away from $150,000," Ballard told KOTA. "I mean that's the nuts and bolts of it. Now that we're made aware of it, we'll listen to it next time."
The only reported negative incidents at the protest occurred when a jeep went by the protest and occupants called out, “FU!” to the protestors. “That and a couple of guys tried to come out of the concert to come after us, I think they were drunk,” Bissonette said.
James Swan, Lakota, founder of the United Urban Warrior Society of Rapid City, South Dakota, said people came from Wisconsin, as did a couple from Hawaii who were caravaning their way from Bear Butte, a sacred place of prayer that stands imposingly just two miles outside of Sturgis.
“There was a really good turnout,” Swan said. “My message to Nugent was, he is not welcome in Indian country. We asked him to quit wearing a headdress, and running around in a loincloth. Wearing the headdress and using foul language, it’s disgracing us. He just doesn’t get it, he said nobody minds if he wears the Green Bay Packers t-shirt.”
Down the street, another concert venue, Buffalo Chip, was well attended by many Natives who passed by and lent their support. The Nugent concert was outdoors, but surrounded by walls. Swan said that bikers were really cool, and called Nugent “Shitty Pants.”
Phillip Yenyo (Mashika) of AIM Ohio, and Albert Ortiz (Kiowa) of Indiana and Kentucky AIM, were planning another protest in Oxford, Ohio on Saturday night at the Indian Creek Ampitheatre, the next show on Nugent’s schedule. AIM will be planning additional protests; a good way to find out about actions in your area is to search for your local AIM chapter or United Urban Warrior Society pages on Facebook.