Ted Nugent recently claimed that President Obama is to blame both for racism and the high rate of suicide among veterans in the United States.
Just weeks before he is set to appear at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association (NRA), Nugent went on-air with radio station KFYI’s The Mike Broomhead Show and claimed that he has never been a witness to racism until President Obama came into office.
“Nowhere can I find racism except coming out of the White House,” Nugent said.
Nugent claims that, as a youth, he had been “shattered” to learn that such a thing as racism existed, but that he himself never witnessed it, claiming that “by the late ’60s, the ’70s, I couldn’t find racism. I never saw racism. I never heard of racism. I thought it was a thing of the past in isolated pockets of inbreeding and cannibalism and spiritlessness.”
And then, after claiming that he had never even “gotten a whiff of racism” until he heard President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder speak about such incidents as the Trayvon Martin case, Nugent referred to MSNBC host Al Sharpton as a “racist mongrel.”
Nugent, former musician and current conservative commentator and columnist, came under a great deal of fire after calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel,” a racially-charged term used by Nazis to describe Jewish people in order to justify genocide, a comment which many on both sides of the political spectrum found offensive and derogatory. He has also made headlines by making such claims as the United States would be better off if the South had won the Civil War and saying that African-Americans should be “profiled like dogs.” But, despite facing a public backlash that led to cancellations of appearances over the term, as well as his own racist remarks, Nugent again applied the term “mongrel” to Al Sharpton while claiming that racism is a new experience for him. You can listen to the audio below.
Nugent also claims that he knows exactly why so many veterans are committing suicide. With returning military members committing suicide at an alarming rate of 22 a day, which is a rate higher than 50 percent than the civilian population, there is no question that America is dealing with a suicide epidemic in relation to service members.
Although many experts point to such factors as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and lack of access to mental health care as leading causes in the high rate of suicides among veterans, Nugent, who claims to train with the military, says veterans are committing suicide because of President Obama.
“Our military is chomping at the bit” to fight the Islamic State, Nugent claims, but President Obama won’t allow them.
“These guys are killing themselves 22-plus a day because they are heart-broke that the Commander-in-Chief is their enemy. The Commander-in-Chief won’t even let them win a war […] The government won’t even allow the greatest warriors in the world to take care of business.”
In 2012, President Obama announced that there was a need to “end this epidemic of suicide among our veterans and troops” before signing an executive order written specifically to call for stronger suicide prevention in the military. In 2013, Obama made $107 million in new funding available, dedicated to provide better mental health care for veterans, with an emphasis on PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. Both PTSD and traumatic brain injury are considered “signature injuries” of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and have been seen as potential causes for suicide among veterans.
Nugent is scheduled to give a presentation for the NRA titled “Freedom Is Not Free And We The People Must Keep It Alive!” where, the NRA states, Nugent will “remind Americans that there is a cost for the Freedoms that we enjoy” while instructing the crowds on what they themselves can do in order to “keep this country free.” This appearance marks the sixth consecutive year Nugent has made a major appearance at the event, where in 2012 he claimed he would be “dead or in jail” if Obama was re-elected.
You can listen to Nugent’s remarks about why he believes veterans are committing suicide below. And for more on Ted Nugent, click here to read what he said that created an uproar, even from his followers.
[Image by Randy Snyder / Getty Images]