Designated a Gang, Insane Clown Posse Fans Fight Back–Not That They’re Violent
Not all Catcher in the Rye fans murder rock legends, not all Bruce Springsteen fans close bridges for political retribution, not all Grateful Dead fans are stoners, and not all Insane Clown Posse fans are violent criminals, whatever the predilections of a few. That’s what the ACLU is claiming on the rap duo’s behalf, suing the Justice Department (and the FBI) for designating the band’s fans, who identify as Juggalos, a gang–as happened in 2011. Since the designation, Insane Clown Posse reports diminished sales of swag and shows, and some Juggalos report an uptick in harassment by law enforcement. Got a Juggalo tattoo? Since the group has been labeled a gang, that tat may be the trigger that gets you stopped and frisked, say, in Bed-Stuy or Eight Mile.
But that’s not where the Juggalos necessarily are. A large number of people who will read the headlines about this, see the words “gang” and “rap”, and immediately assume this story is about young black men. It’s also safe to say that following this presumption, those same people won’t care much about it. So we’ll point out here that the Juggalos, this gang, are “made up mostly of young white men from working-class backgrounds. They tend to feel that they’ve been misunderstood outsiders their whole lives, whether for being overweight, looking weird, being poor, or even for just liking ICP in the first place. It’s a world where man boobs are on proud display.” That’s from a 2010 article in Wired magazine, when the gang was just a gang. Some of those misunderstood white men throw sticks and stones–apparently enough of them to alarm the US Department of Justice–but it’s the names that hurt. Insane Clown Posse’s label, speaking of names, is called Psychopathic Records.