The Puyallup Tribe of American Indians in western Washington, following the lead of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in Idaho, today cancelled two shows by rocker Ted Nugent who is finding himself at the center of a growing controversy over his record of racist and violent rhetoric.
“The Ted Nugent shows, scheduled for August 2nd and 3rd at the Emerald Queen Casino, have been cancelled,” the tribe announced on the casino’s Facebook page without further elaboration.
The cancellation, Hatewatch learned, came just a short time before Seattle TV station KOMO was expected to air a segment on the Puyallup tribe booking Nugent for the shows.
Puyallup Tribal Council Vice President Lawrence W. LaPointe told local media that the tribe booked Nugent without realizing that he espouses “racist attitudes and views.” “The first amendment gives people the right free speech, but I think racism is intolerable and not acceptable here,” he said. “We’ve been getting lots of complaints from the community and other organizations.”
The development, a little over a week before the first scheduled show, came three days after the Coeur d’Alene Tribe cancelled Nugent’s upcoming appearance, generating national headlines and attention. The tribe cited his “history of racist and hate-filled remarks.”
Details of the decision to cancel Nugent’s two shows at the Puyallup’s Tacoma casino haven’t been made public, but it’s expected to cost the tribe thousands.
After the Coeur d’Alene cancellation went viral on social media, the Puyallup Tribe began receiving heavy criticism on Facebook and various blogs.
Around the nation, posters urges those opposing Nugent’s brand of racist rants to call the Emerald Queen and register their disgust over an Indian Tribe hosting a racist who mocks Indians. People did just that, with growing numerous of postings, some saying the tribe was letting incoming phone calls go straight to voice mail.
Nugent also began receiving criticism from American Indian news sites, including IndianCountry.com.
“Nugent’s racially-insensitive behavior extends to Native Americans as well,” the site said in a lengthy post on Tuesday. “He frequently wears a feather headdress on stage and appropriates a sacred Native symbol in his song ‘Great White Buffalo,’ both of which are highly disrespectful to Native culture.”
The Indian Country article referred to Nugent’s comments on WorldNetDaily (WND.com) about a movement to change the name of the Washington Redskins pro football team.
Nugent is no stranger to controversy. The longtime NRA board member was investigated by the Secret Service in 2012 for making threatening remarks about President Obama and has frequently been criticized by animal rights and wildlife advocates.
The latest controversy began on Monday after Hatewatch called the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of American Indians and asked why that tribe – which has devoted itself to fighting hate and racism – would host a performer like Nugent. Nugent, among many other things, has called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel” and Hillary Clinton a “toxic cunt.” Many of his racist, antigovernment remarks have been made from the stage during rock performances, during which he sometimes wears an Indian headdress.
A tribal spokesperson told Hatewatch that it “was a good question,” and within hours the Coeur d’Alene tribe announced it was cancelling Nugent’s scheduled performance at their casino in Worley, Idaho.
“The Coeur d’Alene Tribe has always been about human rights – for decades, we have worked individually and as a Tribe to make sure that each and every person is treated equally and with respect and dignity,” the tribe said in a statement.
“We know what it’s like to be the target of hateful messages and we would never want perpetuate hate in any way,” Chief Allan, Chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, said.
The Coeur d’Alene Tribe did not publicly explain how its staff came to book Nugent, but one official said something “apparently fell through the cracks.” The tribe has not yet responded to a request for details related to the cost associated with the cancellation, including ticket refunds, promotional advertising, legal fees and any cancellation payment for Nugent or his promoter.
“We adamantly do not want our casino to be used as a venue for the racist attitudes and views that Ted Nugent espouses,” said Laura Stensgar, the executive director of marketing for the casino. “We adamantly do not want our casino to be used as a venue for the racist attitudes and views that Ted Nugent espouses,” she said.