I thought it was just me who found his comments so offensive; but, apparently, Ted Nugent isn't very welcome in Canada either.
It seems one concert goer in Winnipeg some years back actually complained to police that Nugent's spewing of hate constituted a "hate crime."
Here is what he wrote:
HATE SPEECH OK, BUT NO DANCING?
By James Hogaboam, Winnipeg
(This article is from the August 1-31/2000 issue of People's Voice)
IT HASN'T BEEN too hot a summer in Winnipeg this year, but you'd think someone's brain was melted following police reactions to two separate concerts on the July 15 weekend.
On Saturday, a group of young people staged a guerilla concert at the outdoor Royal Bank stage at the Forks. Between 150 and 250 people attended the free concert that began around 2 pm. Surprisingly, police allowed the concert to continue until 9 pm after speaking with organizers. City police asked the concert to end at that time due to noise concerns of local residents. The organizers complied.
However, a number of people continued to dance and mingle on the ground around the stage, which is on national park land. Police arrested eight people for trespassing. These arrests weren't so strange. However, what occurred the next night constitutes a threat to public safety.
At the Winnipeg arena on Sunday was the "farewell concert" of the rock group KISS. The second opening act for KISS was right-wing southern rocker Ted Nugent. His '70s/'80s heavy metal music is traditional "sex, drugs and rock-n-roll" in its content.
Nugent likes to express his right-wing views during rants between his songs. Of course he ranted about gun laws, animal rights people, taxes and government, even encouraging his fans to join the Canadian Alliance. However, he decided to express his racist views as well, telling the crowd of 15-20,000 that "if you don't know how to speak f...ing English, you don't believe in Canada."
I spoke to several police officers inside the arena, asking them to press charges against Nugent on grounds of hate propaganda and racism. However, even though a few officers agreed that Nugent's comments were racist, they were not going to press charges.
Unfortunately, the officers were indeed following the law by doing nothing. On Tuesday, I was able to speak to Norm Tchir of the Winnipeg Police hate crimes division. Tchir explained that even though Nugent's comments may offend someone, they do not meet the requirements of a hate crime, because he did not mention a specific group, nor did he encourage the audience to do anything to non-English speaking people.
Is it just me or is someone spending too much time in the sun? It's against the law to dance and mingle on public park land, but it's OK to make racist comments in front of 20,000 people, some of them children of aging KISS fans?
We must toughen up the Criminal Code in relation to hate crimes. I suggest that we contact our MPs and local politicians, and labour organizations, and make sure that Nugent or any other performer who makes racist comments in public find themselves holding their after-performance party behind bars.