Last week the owner of Don Giovanni Records, Joe Steinhardt, made a public comment calling for Recess Records and Asian Man Records to “completely disassociate with sexist, racist, and homophobic punk bands like The Queers and Screeching Weasel.”
The event was triggered by Joe Queer’s support for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on his personal Facebook page.
Queer’s comment has created a divide in the punk community, with some actively seeking to join in on Steinhardt’s call while others support Queer’s position, or at least his right to say it. Among the most vocal in support was Screeching Weasel frontman Ben Weasel.
I contacted Joe to see if he’d like to respond to his critics, he agreed to an interview and on Friday night TuffGnarl.com editor Jesse Scheckner, fellow writer Rob Zimmerman and I sat down with Queer and discussed topics ranging from racism, punk rock, modern politics and Atlanta real estate.
The result is the Special Edition of Hangin’ Tuff with Chuck Livid.
Personally I do not agree on the stance Queer took in the Ferguson debate but I do agree with his right to freedom of speech. Being accused of racism and seeking the loss of livelihood by a flash mob on the web, many of whom are unfamiliar with his work because his opinion differs from theirs, is not only erroneous; it is destructive and cheapens future socio-political discussions in the punk community.
As of August 31st, Steinhardt has yet to provide a single example of the band being sexist, racist or homophobic.
Rob Zimmerman’s “Observations on Modern American Policing By a U.S. Veteran”
The police shooting of Dillon Taylor in Salt Lake City which Joe Queer referenced.
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