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46 thoughts on “Asking because I honestly want to know”

  1. abydosangel says:

    I’m in classic rock fandom and there’s not a lot of info about his background other than “Detroit” that I’ve come across (and I haven’t looked a heck of a lot, tbh)

    If I find something, I’ll let you know.

  2. Regina T says:

    Ted Nugent is definitely NOT black. I grew up listening to his music because my sister’s boyfriend blasted his music every time he came over….which was a lot. He was part of the Amboy Dukes before he was just plain ol Ted Nugent.

    Nugent is basically what I would call a gun-toting ultra conservative who believes the mind-numbing swill that all anyone has to do in life is pull themselves up by the bootstraps, work hard, and carry a big gun to get ahead.

    I cringe just thinking about how I thought he was so cool in 1979 when I was 13/14. I. Just. Suck.

  3. Not Ted Nugent says:
  4. Eileen Gunn says:

    I don’t know, ABW. But I’d certainly read this differently if he is:

  5. Aaminah Hernandez says:

    Um, NO.

    Not only is he NOT black, but he is a rabid racist and a Republican.

    If you aren’t familiar with Ted Nugent, then perhaps you at least recall the band Damn Yankees? Their song “High Enough” was quite popular for a time.
    Ted is the priest & lead guitar (super long dark hair, sleeveless denim shirt) in the video.

    Also, here’s his “official” bio –

  6. pvdugas says:

    I definitely want to hear this one! Ted Nugent is a hard-nosed stout republican and to think I loved some of his music from the 70s. His YouTube video about Obama really pissed me off. He swings way to the right.

  7. Tlönista says:

    He looks kind of pale in all those Google Image searches.

  8. Alex says:

    I am a loyal reader of your blog AND a woman is ready for “Final Conversations on Race in America.” I followed Eileen’s link and read the piece and I have to ask (because I honestly want to know)

    1. Is the question whether one of his parents was black?
    2. What difference does his race make as re the article Eileen cites?

    Here’s a couple of other links readers may want to check out:

  9. Adam says:

    I am intensely curious. Please do not keeping me hanging long.

  10. untitleme says:

    I sho’ hope not. But then again, with Barack Obama in office lots of folks are coming out and saying how black they are (Jennifer Beals & Slash from Guns N’ Roses) to name a few…

  11. Theora says:

    Jennifer Beals and Slash have been saying for quite a few years that they are mixed, it’s hardly concurrent with the advent of Obama. The issue is that reporters are making it news.

  12. Zahra says:

    Hasn’t Jennifer Beals always been black? I’m pretty sure she was the one who got her leading role on The L Word rewritten to make being a black woman who can pass as white a central part of the character, and that’s six years ago now.

    I wouldn’t hold the show up as a model on POC presentation, but the things they’ve done right–including having the character’s sister call her on her passing privilege; casting unable-to-pass actors for her sister, father, daughter, nephew; and having the character get upset when a white woman is cast to play her in a film in the bizarre show-within-a-show plot–have come pretty squarely from JB’s decision.

    Besides, she was stomping for Obama on the View way before Hillary dropped out.

  13. Saladin says:

    I’m from Detroit and at least as far as I’ve ever heard “the Nuge” is about as white as white can be. If he’s got any melanin in him it’s a well-kept secret. His reputation in Michigan is generally that of a loudmouthed redneck, his conservative politics have always kind of bordered on racism, and he’s a gung-ho hunting nut. I suppose it’s possible that he’s secretly an octoroon or something, but I’d be pretty surprised to find that out…

    Incidentally, the guy’s music is wack. But the Amboy Dukes were kinda cool…

  14. nojojojo says:


    Final Conversations??

  15. Aaminah Hernandez says:

    Um… I left a comment on this in the morning, when there were only two comments, but it has not shown up. Guessing it went to spam, because it did include two links. :)

    No, he is not Black… he is a racist, a Republican (not that I don’t know Black Republicans, but please), and very very right wing in every way. He has expressed much pride in his whiteness…

    That said, maybe it’s just excessive posturing to hide the truth? Self-hate? LOL… just saying… since I don’t know why the question is being asked, but Alex & Saladin got me thinking…

    I live in Michigan and my father has mutual friends with him. As to the hunting, I have mixed feelings on hunting, but I give him credit for being all about hunting for food as opposed to sport and bow hunting, which is more “sporting” than some other methods.

  16. steadycat says:

    He looks and acts as white as can be. He also proudly wears his red neck racism, and all the other isms. *whispers* Were you watching him with the 3D glasses on? :-)

  17. Alex says:

    Yes, Final. As there is no biological or scientific basis for the illusion of race, it remains a socio-psycho-historooo, whatever construct. As such, the conversation will end when a critical mass of us decide to talk about something else, base our opinions of folk on something else, etc.

    I’m waiting to hear why ABW posed the question, hoping to find out she (and/or anyone else) cares what Nugent’s “race” is.

  18. Adam says:


    I found that photo of those twins fascinating. Both are beautiful girls and they will, without doubt, will be loved dearly by both parents.

    I married woman of very dark hue (I am white) from Central America and each of three children are a different shade.

    While I understand that Biology and Science in general does not support the “myth” of race, the social, legal, and economic system(s) in the U.S. have supported it. The legacy of those social/ecomomic/education inequalites between whites and blacks is still present.

    I suppose the “final conversations” about race will unfold when larger numbers of my fellow white citizens and cohorts are prepared to be emotionally and intellectually honest about this legacy and how our disposition in this country differs drastically from our fellow citizens of darker hue.



  19. brownstocking says:

    We know race is a social construct, blah blah blah, but we can’t have a final conversation until we’re all using the same lexicon. When mainstream says “race is dead” etc, they mean “let’s stop talking about oppression and racism,” and that’s bull.

    As far as the Nuge: Um, I’m going with white. Because if he was Black, wow, the level of self-hatred and internalized oppression would make Ward Connerly look like Huey P. Newton.

    Jus’ sayin.

    BTW, Nuge: who the eff are you to weigh in on what you clearly can’t respect, let alone know?

  20. dianne says:

    “As far as the Nuge: Um, I’m going with white. Because if he was Black, wow, the level of self-hatred and internalized oppression would make Ward Connerly look like Huey P. Newton.”

    Laughing ’til my head pops off. This nails the linked post dead-on.

    Since race is a “social construct,” how’s about we create a new one? Is he a white person? A Black person? No no – I think he must be a Stupid person.

    Ah, that works well for me….

  21. nojojojo says:


    Got it. Anyway, since on this site we mostly talk about the economic/physical/health/educational/ etc. impacts of this sociological construct, it would be nice if you didn’t try to derail or trivialize these things by suggesting it’ll all just go away if we click our heels three times. ‘K? Thanks. By the way, have you read “Required Reading”? (One of the top-level tabs.)

  22. claire says:

    jennifer beals has never hidden her multiraciality. she was giving interviews about it back when “flashdance” came out in 1983 or 4.

  23. untitleme says:

    Hasn’t Jennifer Beals always been black? I’m pretty sure she was the one who got her leading role on The L Word rewritten to make being a black woman who can pass as white a central part of the character, and that’s six years ago now

    I could be wrong but it appears that when Flashdance got huge back in the 80’s, JET magazine put her on the cover and did an story talking about her father Albert Beals who owned a chain of supermarkets in Chicago. Since JET and Ebony are based in Chicago, they most likely heard of Albert and Jennifer and connected with her with black people altogether. They NEVER interviewed her, by the way and as far I as could tell she NEVER gave any interviews for black publications throughout her career. Anyone can chime in with their thoughts…

  24. Alex says:

    Adam: Thanks. You said it much more eloquently than I.

    NoJo: Derail? Not my intention. I was asking because I honestly wanted to know: what does it matter?

  25. WNG says:

    Slash said some really nasty things about his mother being black years ago – someone will have to look those up, but ass far as I know Jennifer never tried to hide who she is – and she’s had some great racial storyline on the L Word.

    As for the Nuge…I have to honestly say that at time I’ve doubted his level of humanity, never mind race. But I tend to be pretty unforgiving.

  26. WNG says:

    WHY SO MANY TYPOS?!?! Sorry!!!

  27. Dana says:

    I sho’ hope not. But then again, with Barack Obama in office lots of folks are coming out and saying how black they are (Jennifer Beals & Slash from Guns N’ Roses) to name a few…

    Both of those folks were known to be black decades prior to Obama’s rise to prominence. How widely, I dunno, but I’d heard about their heritage on TV (in a biographical context, as opposed to a gossipy one), so it definitely wasn’t a secret.

    And that article is the most annoying form of concern trolling. If I ever hear another “here’s what’s wrong with black people and I know just how to fix it!!!” rant supposedly addressed to people who have been members of the black community all of their lives from someone who wouldn’t stay in a black community an hour past sundown again, it’ll be too soon.

  28. Kim says:

    Alex, are you serious? They could be talking about the Better Butter Battle or comparing roses to tulips, it’s still wanting to know if it’s an example of a group in power using a celebration of a marginalized group as a way to blame said group for what has happened *because they were marginalized in the first place.* Since it’s such a common sense thing, and clearly you’re literate, I think it’s fairly easy to wonder if you’re baiting, or maybe just to flat-out assume.

    Nugent “looks white” and is in country music culture, that’s all I have to go on, but I sort of hope he is black/identifies with the black community because it means he has just a tiny bit less condescension and audacity for me to be angry at.

  29. Kim says:

    He’s hard rock, sorry, what am I talking about? He has books called ‘the truth about bowhunting’ so the stereotype took over.

  30. africameleon says:

    Ted Nugent is the whitest man alive!!!!!

    He’s an avent hunter and Gun Rights advocate! He’s a conservative! He lives in the wilderness of Nebraska, South Dekota, or some damn place! And he digs Asian chicks…..I mean he really likes them! Enough to marry his ex-wife when she was 17!……I’m just sayin’ he’s the whitest man alive, that’s all.

    He was a rock and roll artist (Cat Scratch Fever), and the lead man for Damn Yankee (Take me higher)……DISCLAMER: I know this b/c I happen to like a lot of RnR, but not this guy. He’s just too cheesy……anywho, to make a long story short and to answer your question. He’s not black.

  31. jenn says:

    “The Nug” is definitely NOT black! He’s a flaming bigot from hell.

  32. Tom says:

    I assume ABW is asking the question because of stunts like that recounted below. Apparently Ted Nugent thinks he is black because his music is heavily influenced by R&B and two of his biggest heroes are Rosa Parks and James Brown. The truth is the guy is nothing more than a shock jock attention whore who loves to piss off people for the sole reason that he can. I hope not a lot of breath gets wasted on him here. I personally think stuff like is more important. Or staying on the topic of cultural appropriation, it would be more interesting to poll people about what they think to be the most egregious example in fiction. I’ll offer my opinion: Bran Stoker’s Dracula. That’s right, I feel Dracula is a more relevant topic than Ted Nugent. Okay, if not Dracula then at least Disney: !

    [Note that I am anything but a fan of PETA–I found this using Google].

    And last but certainly not least – Ted Nugent is a ****ing asshole racist. He kept joking around about how he used to be a little black boy – what the hell does that mean? That’s not even funny! TN then went on to talk about how beating up Rodney King was a waste of sticks, that he should have just been shot. WTF??? Then he pointed out the only black guy in the crowd and proceeded to pick on him and make even dumber jokes.. quote – “I’m glad I’m not the only black man in the building” I tuned out the rest, we left while he was blabbing on about being black.. I have never been to a show where the singer had to mention the military or joke about black people just to get the audience to cheer. Morat and I were definitely out of place and it was time to leave before things got really ugly. I have a violent temper and zero patience for people that think that type of behavior is cool.

  33. Lookout Mama says:

    Is “batshit insane” a race?

  34. A Sarah says:

    But Alex, lots of things are social constructions. Money, for example. The thing called “United States dollar” is one that has socially-constructed value: the only reason that piece of paper works as currency is because we say it does. That doesn’t mean that money doesn’t have very concrete real-world implications for a lot of people up to and including life or death. And it sure doesn’t mean that the best thing to do about inequity in wealth is to say, “Hey everyone, money’s just a social construction, so can we please move on from all this talk of inequity and class and such,” KWIM?

    But maybe I’ve misunderstood you.

    Ted Nugent. *shudder* Don’t know. But I’m curious about where you’re going with this too.

  35. soul says:

    Slash’s father is Nigerian.

  36. Adam says:

    A Sarah,

    Your “U.S. Dollar” analogy is very good.

  37. Alex says:

    A Sarah, I agree that social constructs have real implications. That doesn’t mean they must stay in place forever. Change is possible. The desire to move on does not imply abandoning vital discussion; rather it is a call for an advancing discourse. Something more than the circular conversation that’s been playing for way too long.

    Kim, What’s “common sense” in one place is not necessarily the same thing in a different quarter. A world view different from your own doesn’t have to be “baiting.” Apparently you were able to intuit why ABW posed the question; I was not able to intuit her intention and so I posed a question of my own and expressed an opinion.

    “Final” conversation is a reference to what I consider a monotonous perspective on race in America. It is rare to hear anything fresh or useful or educative or redeeming or otherwise progressive or positive in the “conversation(s) on race” in America. I’m ready for a final conversation, one that may go on for a conversation but at the end of it, we will finally be able to say something new, see something new among us.

    One of the most radical gifts Obama brought us was a campaign devoid of the same old talk about race in America. My hopes are high that we are in fact entering the era of the Final Conversation.

  38. Alex says:


    I’m ready for a final conversation, one that may go on for MANY YEARS BUT at the end of it, we will finally be able to say something new, see something new among us.

  39. kickypants says:

    Alex, you say: “One of the most radical gifts Obama brought us was a campaign devoid of the same old talk about race in America”

    I have a different take on the near complete absence of a discussion about race over the course of his campaign. I do not see it as a gift, but rather a calculated decision to avoid discussing race at all costs (he only brought it up when forced to – ie: his speech after the Jeremiah Wright nonsense –

    He and his strategists recognized that talking of race would alienate his core supporters – middle-class, college-educated/college student, liberal, white folks. They knew that talk of the institutionalized racism, that I believe Obama does acknowledge to some extent, would scare people off. He didn’t want people thinking he was one of those scary, angry black men who would remind them of uncomfortable history like slavery and lynchings and uncomfortable current realities like racialised poverty, employment inequity, and the like. Or worse yet, that he would require that they actually do something about all of this!

    I like Obama as much as the next white girl, but I also try to see him clearly. His refusal to talk about race is anything but a gift.

  40. brownstocking says:

    Thanks, A Sarah, that was a good analogy.

    Slash has never hidden his heritage, neither has Jennifer. I remember hearing about Slash behind the Axl Rose racist song.

    The Nuge has a soul, I’m glad he’s white and just ig’nant. I would really cry if he was Black.

    Cheney, now he has no soul.

    I loved the link about racist Disney, because I was never allowed to watch Disney growing up, BECAUSE of the blatant (and not so) racism in many Disney films. It’s sad, but my niece can watch the Disney channel and those films, now, and she’s only 5.

  41. A. says:

    “One of the most radical gifts Obama brought us was a campaign devoid of the same old talk about race in America. My hopes are high that we are in fact entering the era of the Final Conversation.”

    In other words – the “White people aren’t willing to hear an actual PoC discussion on racism without them complaining about “What about us” and all that garbage.”

    Know why you’re not hearing anything refreshing on race, Alex? It’s because YOU are doing the same thing now that many white people have done before whenever the topic of race is brought up. Hope for the best and meanwhile ignore the present. You’re getting the education here – you just have no desire to hear it because it’s not feel-good.

  42. Eileen Gunn says:

    Alex, since you asked, the link that I posted uptopic to the Ted Nugent diatribe reads very differently to me if I assume that Nugent is white than it does if I assume he is black. And it reads even more differently if I assume he is a black man who is passing for white and trying to make his identity clear to black people without blowing his cover. (That sort of thing seems like something from 40 or 50 years ago, so it seems just bizarre.)

    The tone of it seems like a white guy. Basically, he’s saying “I love Rosa Parks and I all my musical influences are black, so that entitles me to dig into black culture and tell y’all what is wrong with it.” Sounds white to me. (No offense white people — I’m white myself — but it’s a familiar approach.)

    If you assume he’s a black man, you’re wondering why he’s going on so much about admiring Rosa Parks, which is sort of the default setting. (Not that Ms. Parks has not gotten roundly trashed by racialist conservatives.) And then he goes in and talks trash about a number of issues that he seems to think are (1) black issues and (2) issues you can talk people out of. It sounds wrong, in ways that I don’t have time to analyze.

    If he’s a black man passing as a white man, then you have to wonder why. Really, WHY? Is it some kind of coded communication? Does everyone know he’s black but me? Why doesn’t he just come out? That does not compute.

    So, Alex, like ABW, I am wondering what is going on there. The essay I linked to is a perplexing one. Frankly, it sounds inauthentic to me, it sounds phony and manipulative. I don’t trust it, and I can’t figure out who the actual writer is.

    Thanks to those who have offered some clue as to whether he’s white or black. Can anyone explain why he’d seek to be given credit as (basically) what they used (in the ’50s) to call a white Negro, and then trash the black community?

    Sounds like a right-wing ploy to me.

  43. Kym says:

    The Nuge is so far from black it hurts.

    Nice that he “admires” Rosa Parks and all that, but like most whites who “admire” black culture, they’re pretty quick to tell us what’s wrong. Very few of them can ever cite what black folks are doing RIGHT. Everything’s about single moms, black-on-black crime and Jesse Jackson. Ask The Nuge and other white folks like Billo the Clown to name ten famous black people, he’ll probably spout off the names of rappers and athletes.

    He’s a total loon, but I still dig ‘Cat Scratch Fever’. Ah, classic rock when it was cool to run around in a loincloth!

  44. Tom says:

    “Can anyone explain why he’d seek to be given credit as (basically) what they used (in the ’50s) to call a white Negro, and then trash the black community?”

    He is not asking to be given credit, he is trying to boost his own credibility. He claims to understand the black community because he “loves” Rosa Parks, has black musical influences and sees pregnant black teenagers at high school games. In his twisted little mind, that makes him qualified to conclude that black people have nobody to blame for their problems but themselves. Nugent’s message is this: white America, you are doing nothing wrong, keep up the good work; black America, you are doing a lot of things wrong, get your act together. Fortunately he is mostly irrelevant considering that he is lecturing to an audience that is just like him (white ultra-conservatives), pretending to tell them something they don’t already “know”. If and when this fringe element is ready to listen to something like then it will be time to engage them, until then it might be best to focus effort on people who are open to facts and reason.

  45. dcmoviegirl says:


    What. Did he say something recalling Dave Chapelle’s
    I KNOW BLACK PEOPLE!! gameshow, except not funny?

  46. dcmoviegirl says:

    …Also, you what they say about shaking that family tree…So, you never know.

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