NOT CLOWNING AROUND

WHY in­sane clown Posse’s MARCH of THE jug­ga­los WAS no LAUGH­ING MAT­TER

Kerrang! (UK) - - News -

ASYOU’RE no doubt al­ready aware, on Saturday, September 16, some 3,000 In­sane Clown Posse fans marched on Wash­ing­ton.what’s per­haps less well­doc­u­mented, as peo­ple race to make easy jokes, is ex­actly why the Jug­ga­los. as they’re af­fec­tion­ately known, trav­elled from across the U.S. to de­scend upon the coun­try’s cap­i­tal.

In short, it’s be­cause they were protest­ing the FBI’S clar­i­fi­ca­tion of them as a “loosely-or­gan­ised hy­brid gang” as part of their 2011 Na­tional Gang Threat As­sess­ment, which sug­gested,“many Jug­ga­los sub­sets ex­hibit gang-like be­hav­iour and en­gage in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity and vi­o­lence.”

It’s a clas­si­fi­ca­tion that’s had very real reper­cus­sions for Jug­ga­los – from in­creased po­lice scru­tiny (in­clud­ing fans be­ing pulled over be­cause they’ve got the Detroit rap duo’s ‘hatch­et­man’ logo – in fact the sym­bol of Psy­cho­pathic Records and its artists) to los­ing jobs as a re­sult of em­ploy­ers be­com­ing aware of their mu­si­cal af­fil­i­a­tion.

While the mu­sic of Shaggy 2 Dope and­vi­o­lent J – who play their first UK tour in 14 years in Novem­ber – is met with de­ri­sion in some quar­ters, and the sight of hordes of peo­ple in clown make-up might be hard to take se­ri­ously, the point they’re mak­ing is: the be­hav­iour of iso­lated in­di­vid­u­als shouldn’t be used to car­i­ca­ture an en­tire fan­base. Many clearly agree, too, as the march far out­num­bered that of the pro-trump rally hap­pen­ing less than a mile away on the same week­end.

Of course, these lazy la­bels and con­dens­ing of false­hoods and halftruths are noth­ing new. In the af­ter­math of the 1999 mas­sacre at Columbine High School, the me­dia clam­oured to sug­gest the ac­tions of the shoot­ers, Dy­lan Kle­bold and Eric Harris, could be at­trib­uted to them lis­ten­ing to Mar­i­lyn Manson. De­spite the fact, as it turned out, nei­ther liked Manson’s mu­sic, the shock rocker and his ac­tual fans were de­monised for years af­ter the event.

So what can be done? In the case of the Jug­ga­los it’s all about clear­ing their col­lec­tive name.a num­ber of them (and the band them­selves) are al­ready do­ing so, hav­ing se­cured the ser­vices of the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union (ACLU) of In­sane Clown Posse’s na­tive Michi­gan.yet a wider shift in at­ti­tudes, to see a change in the of­ten dan­ger­ous, di­vi­sive la­belling of al­ter­na­tive cul­tures is cru­cial.

The fight – peace­fully fought, of course – con­tin­ues.

JUG­GA­LOS HAVE BEEN LA­BELLED A ‘gang’

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