Are the Juggalos Are Our Best Hope to Defeat Far-Right Extremism?
Our nation is in a bind. Far-right extremism is increasing its grasp on Republicans, particularly in red states. The Left is oftentimes fragmented and full of infighting. Only one group can save us: The Juggalos.
What are Juggalos?
Juggalos (and their female equivalents, Juggalettes) are fans of the Insane Clown Posse (ICP), a horrorcore hip-hop duo known for wearing clown makeup. ICP’s heyday was back in the 1990s, but they still have a devoted cult following of Juggalos who paint their faces, gather at a huge outdoor festival every year and drink Faygo soda.
A pair of foul-mouthed murder clowns and their followers might seem like an unlikely political ally. But don’t dismiss the Juggalos. Their subculture has immense strategic potential, for the following reasons:
1. They’re from strategic swing states.
ICP leaders Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope hail from the Midwest, and many Juggalos come from working-class rural towns. Winning them over means reaching states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa — critical battlegrounds the Democratic Party desperately needs.
2. They’re fiercely anti-racist.
ICP might use violent, offensive language, but it turns out they’re really anti-racist. They also write songs about killing Klansmen and Confederates. Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope can counter Donald Trump’s and the far-right’s message of racism in a way that doesn’t come across as snobby or condescending.
Just listen to the track “Confederate Flag.” A juggalo (or juggalette) absolutely would punch a Nazi.
3. Juggalos are politically motivated.
The Juggalos aren’t just music fans. They’re also politically active. In 2017 they planned an enormous Juggalo March on Washington, D.C., to protest being classified as a criminal gang by the FBI.
4. They’re cultural and political outsiders.
Americans are sick of Washington insiders and political elites. They want something new and different. And what’s more “different” than a man rapping in clown makeup? Nothing.
As mentioned before, Juggalos know how it feels to be stereotyped and stigmatized for being different. So they can sympathize with other marginalized people, including immigrants and the LGBTQ community. I mean, they’re already completely fine with men who wear makeup.
5. They love animals.
Unlike Donald Trump, whose mutant sons kill elephants and leopards for fun, ICP regards nature with a sense of awe. Just check out this Guardian interview:
“Have you ever stood next to an elephant, my friend?” asks Violent J. “A fucking elephant is a miracle. If people can’t see a fucking miracle in a fucking elephant, then life must suck for them, because an elephant is a fucking miracle. So is a giraffe.”
Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope would absolutely defend the Endangered Species Act.
6. They’re secretly Christian.
ICP’s work is full of vulgarities, but it actually contains themes of personal redemption and finding God. The Juggalos could help wrestle religion away from right-wingers and build a community of left-leaning Christians.
7. They’re intensely loyal.
The Juggalos and Juggalettes have been painting their faces and going to gatherings for more than 20 years. Despite social stigma and political persecution, they remain a devoted family. If you can win over the Juggalos, they’re yours for life.
Will the Juggalos save us all? Here’s hoping.
This article was originally published on Jan. 27, 2017. It has since been updated.