Juggalos, Nevertheless Persisting

Ap_925902884326_wide-1e3cb312acc82d9c88e9e71bb53377ba1220901f-s900-c85Hannah Gais at The Baffler:

Formed in the outskirts of Detroit, ICP really came into its own in the early 1990s, after Violent J had an epiphany featuring a terrifying vision of a clown and a carnival of horrors—one that was, in his words, “twisted and strange as fuck.”[*] J’s experience encouraged the band, which at the time was known as Inner City Posse, to undergo an overhaul of its aesthetic, eventually topping off the change with a new band name: Insane Clown Posse. Numerous critics have been tempted to brush ICP off as a shallow, noxious rap group with not only vapid, but occasionally violent, misogynistic, and homophobic lyrics, and a gaggle of hedonistic and occasionally crazy fans—known as “juggalos” (male) or “juggalettes” (female).

By 2011, a string of crimes perpetrated by individuals self-identifying as juggalos prompted the FBI to designate ICP’s entire fan base as a gang. The move had profound consequences for fans throughout the country, causing some to lose their jobs, their children, or even be denied military service. Aside from the obvious free speech violations wrought by the FBI’s decision, the fact that ICP’s fan base skews poor and rural has had profound economic consequences as well. Their willingness to stand up to the federal government has earned them fans on both the left and the right. Yet thanks to Trump’s ascendency, juggalos’ call for justice took on new meaning for parts of the left: they were standing up to fascism.

more here.