Ted Nugent, the onetime rock and roll guitar god now known primarily as an outspoken advocate of gun rights and other conservative causes, once defended South African apartheid and why he calls African-American people “n******.” He also boasted about the extreme steps he took in order to shirk service in the Vietnam War, which included using his own clothing as a bathroom for a full week.
The comments appear in a 24-year-old interview by the now 65-year-old rocker, from the Detroit Free Press newspaper, and even though Ted Nugent has recently been in the news for various outrageous and racially charged comments, referring to President Barack Obama as a “subhuman mongrel,” the July 15, 1990 interview from Detroit Free Press Magazine really takes the prize.
Published just five months after South Africa released Nelson Mandela from prison where he had been held 27 years, Nugent was asked about a 40,000-acre ranch he then owned in the apartheid state, Nugent defended the system of institutionalized racial oppression.
“Apartheid isn’t that cut-and-dry,” Nugent explained. “All men are not created equal.”
Ted Nugent then went on explain why black South Africans were not equal, though he prefaced his remarks by saying he meant them with “great respect.”
“They still put bones in their noses, they still walk around naked, they wipe their butts with their hands. And when I kill an antelope for ’em, their preference is the gut pile. That’s what they f****** want to eat, the intestines. These are different people. You give ’em toothpaste, they f****** eat it. I hope they don’t become civilized. They’re way ahead of the game.”
About four years after Ted Nugent made his remarks about black South Africans, Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the country’s president.
But Nugent wasn’t finished talking about his views of black people, and why he is fond of referring to them as “n*******.”
“I use the word n***** a lot because I hang around with a lot of n******, and they use the word n*****, and I tend to use words that communicate.”
Nugent said that he did not “mean to offend,” by his use of the word, saying, “I’m a fun guy, not a sexist or racist.”
The Detroit-area native Nugent also recounted how, when he was the leader of the 1960s Detroit rock group The Amboy Dukes who had just scored their first hit single with the song “Journey To The Center Of Your Mind,” he was called before his local draft board and required to serve in the Vietnam War. But Nugent found a novel way to avoid military service.
According to the Free Press article, starting 10 days before his date with the draft board for a physical and mental exam, Nugent “ingested nothing but Vienna sausages and Pepsi and a week before his physical, he stopped using bathrooms altogether, virtually living inside pants caked with his own excrement, stained by his urine.”
By appearing in that self-degraded state, Ted Nugent was able to avoid service to his country. But he told the Free Press that dodging the draft should not be taken as a reflection on his patriotism because he would gladly serve in a war started by a conservative president such as Ronald Reagan or then-President George H.W. Bush.
Check out the entire 1990 Ted Nugent profile, below.