The Smashing Pumpkins‘ Billy Corgan expressed his discontent with the “hashtag generation” and “social justice warriors,” comparing them to cults, Maoists and the Ku Klux Klan, in an interview with libertarian radio host, and noted conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, Pitchfork reports.
Both Corgan and Jones took the view that the campaigns of “social justice warriors” — a disparaging term used to describe those with progressive views, often when it comes to identity politics — are threats against free speech.
When asked by Jones how he thinks social justice warriors could be stopped, Corgan replied, “Well, there’s two schools of thought: One is, they’re gone. They’re Maoists. They have the Little Red Book in their hand. You’re not gonna get them back.” He then agreed with Jones that social justice warriors were like a cult, adding “the only thing that’s going to adjust their ideological fixation is reality.”
Corgan continued: “I’m horrified as somebody who believes in free speech and is an artist, because those people are gonna be coming for me. It may not be tomorrow, but it’s soon enough because I said the wrong thing on the wrong day because I was tired and I didn’t take my X2 that day, or whatever… To live where every word is a land mine — you know what I’m saying — it’s not the world I want to live in.”
Corgan said this “lack of tolerance of ideas and other points of view is the great Achilles heel of the social justice warrior movement,” and suggested they were “making up stories about ghosts that don’t exist.” Jones and Corgan then discussed their belief that social justice warriors were using outrage to indoctrinate left-leaning folks who didn’t want to be on the wrong side of history, with Corgan comparing them to “marks” made to believe that a wrestling match was real.
Jones then suggested that social justice warriors were willing to shout down anyone they disagreed with purely out of hate, “literally like a dumb Klan guy that just pulls over on some black guy walking home from work and kills him ’cause they’re black.”
Corgan then picked up the analogy and said, “I’m not saying America doesn’t have a racist bent, so let’s put that out there to start with, but let’s go back to a time where racism was accepted, it was institutionalized. OK? If you could go back to Selma 1932, and the Klan member spitting in some person of color’s face, don’t you think that guy thought he was right, too?” After Jones agreed, Corgan added, “Ok. So how is this any different?”
The entire interview is available to watch on Jones’ site, with the “social justice warrior” conversation beginning about an hour-and-a-half in.