Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins frontman and TNA Wrestling employee, recently stopped in at the InfoWars for a long, free-ranging interview on the state of American politics. Turns out, this guy really doesn’t like the social justice movement, and he’s not too fond of Bernie Sanders, either.
“To be talking in America in 2016 about ‘Mao is a good idea’ and, ‘A socialist is running for president and that’s OK’ … that’s just crazy to me,” said Corgan.
Now, we could sit here all day arguing about whether this represents a fundamental misunderstanding of Sanders’ democratic-socialist leanings (it does), or whether Bernie himself has ever said anything remotely positive about Mao Zedong (he hasn’t), or whether Corgan any historical knowledge of America’s democratic-socialist history under FDR, which paved the way for an era of unprecedented period of prosperity in our country (he doesn’t).
But why sit here arguing when we can learn about Corgan’s feelings on so-called “social justice warriors”? Let’s take a look at some of his better quotes from the interview, which you can watch in the video below.
“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.
The amazing thing about this quote is that it came as the screen was displaying pictures of Michael Richards and Paula Deen. Which means that Billy Corgan is bummed that he can’t shout the N-word and stare at boobs, I guess.
Yes, his career would be ruined if he said a racial slur in public, but that is not “pretty remarkable.” That’s actually a good thing, because it means the free market isn’t down with blatant racism.
“You try to tell someone here who you might argue is taking advantage of our social welfare system or is gaming the system somehow and say, ‘Look, you’re telling me America sucks and you’re spitting on the flag, try living in one of these third world countries and see how far that gets you.”
We can boil this down to two Republican talking points:
1. Welfare queens are ruining this country.
2. Love it or leave it!
Also, he’s obsessed with spitting, even though—and maybe I’m out of touch here—I haven’t seen a ton of stories about social justice warriors spitting on people or flags or whatever. I could be wrong. Maybe there’s a big liberal media conspiracy to silence a widespread spitting epidemic. I’m just saying I haven’t heard about it. More on that later.
“It’s always very interesting to me when you see the way gays and lesbians are treated in some other countries in the world. If [American protesters] 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 greater condemnation for those societies that are treating their people far worse than just ideas and words?”
This is one of the classic dumb arguments against groups experiencing prejudice in America. “Hey, gay people get stoned to death in other countries, so why can’t you just accept some mild hatred, name-calling, and oppression here? It’s not that bad!” The idea that the existence of worse conditions elsewhere means that the LGBT community shouldn’t antagonize for better treatment in America is, frankly, stupid. Just like the idea that instead of advocating for better conditions in their home country, under-privileged or oppressed communities should focus on foreign lands—where they have ZERO influence—until those places are up to the American standard. Essentially, this is a do-nothing argument, which is super convenient for people who don’t have to deal with that shit.
And, “just ideas and words”? I think Billy needs to read up on anti-LGBT legislation that is either pending or already passed in this country before he reduces this issue to a few bad eggs yelling “homo!” from the window of a passing car. And that’s not even getting into anti-gay violence that—sorry Billy—also exists in America.
“The tactics in the social-justice warrior movement are to stifle and shut down free speech. And I would argue in the world that I live in, which is the bareknuckle world, they’re leveraging their position because they don’t have power.”
Please note: Billy Corgan is not a millionaire musician. He’s a bareknuckle fighter. He’s basically the main character from the song “The Boxer” by Simon & Garfunkel.
Now, to address his point, yes, there are instances of totally absurd hyper-sensitivity and bullying from the so-called SJW movement. This kind of idiocy seems to flourish on college campuses, where if somebody spray-paints the word “Trump” on a quad bench, it’s quite possible that hundreds of students will have public meltdowns about “safe spaces.” I grant you this, Mr. Corgan.
BUT. That’s just a vocal, annoying minority—usually composed of economically privileged kids, by the way—and their inability to function in a hard world doesn’t give people like you an excuse to excoriate and diminish an entire social justice movement, or to sit there like a slobbering idiot and pretend that Bernie Sanders and Mao Zedong are the same person. That’s lazy thinking, and just makes you seem hateful.
“When I watch some of the clips … of some of these protests, I have no respect for what these people are doing. They’re shutting down free speech. … I just don’t get it. To me it’s antithetical to the society that I believe in. But I try to listen to their argument.”
You know who else agrees with you about not shutting down rallies, and limiting protests to outside the venue? BERNIE SANDERS!! And also, I guess, Mao Zedong?
But as far as trying to listen to other people’s arguments? No, I really don’t think you do.
Watch the full interview here: