Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan is not pulling punches, and a recent interview with the rock star has many people up in arms.
The interview, reported by Billboard to have taken place last month, was featured on Info Wars with Alex Jones. Well into Corgan’s time on the show, the talk turned to the upcoming election. At this point, Corgan spoke to concerns that he has with Bernie Sanders, the senator-tuned-presidential hopeful.
“To be talking in America in 2016 about ‘Mao is a good idea’ and a socialist is running for president and that’s okay. And we’re going to go back to these crazy tax rates where we’re gonna completely disempower the innovators in our country,” Corgan stated.
He continued by paraphrasing what he believes to be the mindset of many Sanders’ supporters.
“Forty-six percent of Americans don’t pay any form of tax — at least in terms of federal or state. Free stuff? Great. Give me more free stuff… That’s why I’m for Bernie Sanders.”
While Corgan did not, in any way, endorse Donald Trump, the current Republican frontrunner, he did take issue with the behavior of Sanders’ supporters at Trump rallies.
“When I watch some of the clips that you guys have been putting up at some of these protests, I have no respect for what these people are doing,” Corgan said. “They’re shutting down free speech. If they have that level of vitriol for let’s say Donald Trump as a candidate, because they feel it’s antithetical to what they believe in, where is the five times great condemnation for those societies that are treating their people far worse than just ideas and words?”
Corgan’s words are surprising for many, considering that his music is generally considered to be most favorable among demographics that lead towards liberalism. The rest of the interview, however, falls much along the same lines. Corgan spoke at great length about social justice movements and their effect on free speech. He mentioned several times that he was not speaking of a single group, but that he does believe that many social warrior groups use tactics that shut down free speech and unfairly leverage their position. He made it clear that he does not, in any way, condone racism, while simultaneously lamenting the notion that a single word, taken out of context or said out of anger, could end a person’s career.
“It’s pretty remarkable that I could say one word right now that would destroy my career. I could use the wrong racial epithet or say the wrong thing to you or look down at the wrong part of your body and be castigated and it’s a meme and I’m a horrible person. Every day through the media, through advertising, we see people being degraded, we see people doing all sorts of things that we should be horrified at as a culture. So we’ve normalized all sorts of things, but we live in a world where one word could destroy your life but it’s okay to, if you’re a social-justice warrior, spit in somebody’s face,” Corgan stated, according to Rolling Stone.
This echoes the concerns that Corgan expressed in another interview, also with Alex Jones. In the previous interview, he accused the social justice movement of creating issues or finding slights where none exist. He also stated that “lack of tolerance of ideas and other points of view is the great Achilles heel of the social justice warrior movement.” He also went so far as to compare such movements to cults or the Ku Klux Klan.
It will certainly be interesting to see what this opinionated musician has to say if Sanders’ campaign continues to gain momentum.
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