What’s The Difference Between Killer Mike And Jesse Hughes’ Defense Of Gun Ownership?
The music blogs and basically every media allowed to mention music or politic, from the Washington Times to NME or the Daily Beast, had a field day with Jesse Hughes today, but it would barely be the first time that the Eagles of Death Metal frontman is at the middle of a controversy. By now, you probably know he had a few rants on Instagram (probably all deleted by now) about the March for Our Lives protest against gun violence which took place over the weekend. He slammed the students several times, accusing them of ‘exploiting the death of 16 of our fellow students for a few Facebook likes and some media attention’ and reproaching them to ‘take multiple days off of school playing hooky at the expense of 16 [sic] of your classmates blood..’ and wishing that ‘these disgusting vile abusers of the dead live as long as possible so they can have the maximum amount of time to endure their shame … and be cursed…’
If you want to read the entire thing, you very probably can find some screenshots over the internet (like here), and all I can say is that it looked really really bad, as if the rants had been custom-designed to trigger a tsunami of reactions… and in this social media age where a misunderstood tweet can get you fired, the tsunami was real and is still having momentum at this instant, building a higher wave of backlash every second.
This post is not about defending Hughes (what he wrote is absolutely pathetic and not defendable) but I would rather want to put things in perspective. First of all, to all these people who are saying ‘I am done with EODM’,… where have you been all these years? This is not the first time Hughes is saying something destined to offend a large number of people, you don’t have to look ver far. Then, to all these people who write on every social media platform, ‘stop buying EODM music’, please shut the fuck up: we are all adults and can decide by ourselves what to do and the Orange Amps people are old enough to decide if they want to continue promoting the band.
Past all this, there is the easy target, Hughes is now THE example of the right wing musician next to Ted Nugent and the world is landing on him like a swarm of Mormon crickets on crops. To all these people who call him a piece of shit and an asshole, let’s just say it’s always a bit more complicated than this… the guy is a ball of weird and contradictory emotions, sounding terribly stubborn and arrogant but also emotionally vulnerable, with a personality mixing a serious case of PTSD and a grave example of paranoia, but always ready to give you a real hug. I spent an hour talking with him one night, and I still don’t know what’s going on inside Jesse Hughes’ head, but I know one thing, it’s more complex that the simple formula ‘he is an asshole’.
That said, I want to put things in perspective. While every one is talking about Hughes, another music celebrity gave his opinion on the subject and if this got noticed by many, it didn’t trigger exactly the same reaction. Over the weekend, Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike basically had the same comment to make about the march… I give you that the package was different, but at the end the message was the same. The rapper was interviewed by NRATV and he openly defended gun ownership during the interview, going even to criticize people for gun control by saying: ‘You’re a lackey of the progressive movement, because you’ve never disagreed with the people who tell you what to do.’
And if he made his point in a much more articulate manner than Hughes, what’s the difference between Hughes’ vile condemnation of the kids’ march and Killer Mike saying: ‘I told my kids on the school walkout, I love you, (but) if you walk out that school, walk out my house’?
Sure, since that time, Killer Mike has apologized and said that his interview was used as a weapon against the youth who organized the movement, but he said what he said during the first interview, he disagreed with his kids’ participation in the march and he was well aware about the intentions of NRATV, he was not ambushed.
The reasoning behind their speech and rant may be different,.. but not too different after all: Killer Mike defends gun ownership because we live in a brutal society, particularly brutal for black people, and he sees owning a gun as a right for black people to defend themselves in a racist society, even referring to Robert F. Williams’ ‘Negroes With Guns’…. While Jesse Hughes was himself the victim of a violent attack at the Bataclan in Paris which killed many people around him. Both justify gun ownership as a way to defend themselves in these terrible situations… Sure, one has already been endorsed by the right and Breibart news whereas the second one has already apologized and will never been mentioned by right-wingers because he was an avid supporter of Bernie Sanders, but at the end, what’s the difference? One thing is sure, nobody called Killer Mike an asshole or a piece of shit, but both share one thing, they don’t care about being politically correct.