Tom Morello Reminds Us "I'm Not White" After Being Accused of Showing "White Man Privilege"
Published Mar 04, 2021Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello was accused of showing off "white man privilege" by a Twitter user last night, and the guitar hero's response was something else. As Morello bluntly replied, "I'm not white."
The back-and-forth between Morello and a user called @TheRealNubian2 came about over the guitarist defending his friendship with controversial far-right music figure Ted Nugent. Earlier this week, Morello had appeared on Howard Stern's SiriusXM show where he spoke about his unlikely friendship with Nugent despite their very different political views.
"For his 60th birthday, someone reached out to me and said, 'We're making a video, and we're asking guitar players [to say a few kind words]," Morello told Stern.
"At the time, the Ted Nugent which was sort of known in the world in general was this kind of more right-wing caricature — people were not thinking of him, first and foremost, as the guy who shredded on 'Stranglehold,' he continued.
"But then I had to think, 'What is the video that I'm going to make for Ted's birthday?' And I put some thought into it, and I said, 'It's gonna be about two things. One, it's gonna be things that Tom Morello and Ted Nugent have in common,' and I went down this long list of [things like] free-speech advocates, our love of rock'n'roll, our respect for Black artists who created rock'n'roll.
"And then the second was things that Ted Nugent taught an adolescent Tom Morello about sex. And then I went through 'Cat Scratch Fever' — these strange words, like the lyrics to the song 'Cat Scratch Fever', the lyrics to the song 'Wang Dang Sweet Poontang.' which were utterly foreign to me, and I had to ask about on the playground. Anyway, so Ted called me up after that. And while we certainly have differences, I consider him a friend."
This all led to Morello being called out, with the guitar being tweeted at with a "Tom Morello's white man privilege is showing," leading a pretty awkward exchange.
For the record, Morello's mother, Mary Morello, is white, while his father Ngethe Njoroge is a Black former diplomat from Kenya.
I'm not white. https://t.co/BG9nv0AChW— Tom Morello (@tmorello) March 4, 2021
Despite everything, Morello also wasn't a total dick about it all and tweeted the following: