UPDATE: After months of controversy and protest, Ted Nugent played at the Northwest Ohio Rib-Off festival on August 8, 2014. On the day of his performance, Toby Hoover of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence delivered more than 6,200 petition signatures to Mark Mori of the Toledo Blade on behalf of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV). The opposition generated to Nugent’s performance by CSGV’s petition and other parties led the publisher of the Blade, Allan Block, to apologize for the newspaper’s hiring of Nugent in a letter published on July 27, 2014. “I will not support inviting him again,” declared Block. Nugent further damaged his standing with the Blade during his performance by telling the audience, “The Toledo Blade hates you. They hate your guts … They hate me. They hate freedom. So as long as you know the Toledo Blade hates you, you’re a good American.”
Joint Petition from the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:
The Toledo Blade newspaper is sponsoring a food and music festival in Maumee, Ohio this summer with a scheduled appearance by a known extremist: National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent.
In addition to being an adamant opponent of sensible gun laws, Nugent regularly makes headlines with his racist, misogynist, and threatening statements. In July 2013, Nugent said “The Black Problem” in America could be solved if African-Americans put their “heart and soul into being honest” and “law-abiding.” On January 17, 2014, he called President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel” and “chimpanzee.”1
Mike Mori, the Blade‘s sales director and event director for the Northwest Ohio Rib-Off, has acknowledged the problems with Nugent, saying he “is not a fan of [Nugent’s] politics.” “I wish the guy would just not say the things he does,” said Mori. He clearly recognizes that the Blade made a bad call in hiring Nugent and seems torn about what to do. A strong show of opposition can sway him towards the right decision.
The Northwest Ohio Rib-Off webpage brags that “nothing goes better with savory BBQ than jamming, rib-bone in hand, to a rocking band.”2 Certainly, nothing goes worse with good food than the virulently racist rhetoric of a man who has no regard for the dignity or rights of others.
Tell the Toledo Blade: Cancel Ted Nugent’s appearance at your festival immediately.