Billy Corgan: Social Justice Groups Are 'Shutting Down Free Speech' - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music News

Billy Corgan: Social Justice Groups Are ‘Shutting Down Free Speech’

Smashing Pumpkins singer also blasts Bernie Sanders in new interview

Billy Corgan had strong words for social justice movements and liberals in a new interview. “When I watch some of the clips … of some of these protests, I have no respect for what these people are doing,” he said in an interview on InfoWars, a website run by libertarian radio host Alex Jones. “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.”

Related: Billy Corgan on Pumpkins’ New Tour, Quitting Twitter

Corgan expressed his feelings about social media, the entertainment industry, drones, hacking and self-righteous people. “The tactics in the social-justice warrior movement are to stifle and shut down free speech,” he said. “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.”

He also underscored that when he was talking about race and racism, with regard to social justice, he was not targeting and particular groups and that he condemns racism. Nevertheless, he expressed exasperation with the repercussions of saying a word that’s politically incorrect.

“It’s pretty remarkable that I could say one word right now that would destroy my career,” he said, as the screen displayed images of Michael Richards and Paula Deen, both of whom faced derision after using the N-word. “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. Every day through the media, through advertising, we see people being degraded, we see people doing all sorts of things that we should be horrified at as a culture. So we’ve normalized all sorts of things, but we live in a world where one word could destroy your life but it’s OK to, if you’re a social-justice warrior, spit in somebody’s face.”

The Smashing Pumpkins singer also questioned the motives of people who focus their derision solely on U.S. politics. “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,” he said. “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?”

He also expressed frustration, using subtext, with the Bernie Sanders campaign. “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,” he said.

The Pumpkin expressed similar feelings about social justice movements last month in an interview with Jones, comparing them to Maoists, the KKK and cults.

Watch a group of Donald Trump protestors gather outside the Republican National Committee offices.


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.