ICP on the Real “Killer Clowns”

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Following the series of reports of clowns terrorizing America, TIME thought it prudent to open the discussion to the clowns who are blamed for a whole range of things, from spreading ignorance about magnets to just plain inspiring millions of people to dress like masses of terrifying, drunk clowns: the Insane Clown Posse.

Violent J responded with a surprisingly inspiring editorial on the phenomenon, noting that the real point isn’t to be afraid of anyone in a clown suit—rather, one should take a moment to see the real “killer clowns” in our society for who they are, namely the FBI, violent cops, and racist groups who terrorize our fellow citizens:

But as ICP has discovered over the last decade, there’s a whole army of scary, terrifying and dangerous clowns out there in this country trying to suppress the rights of thousands of people to exercise the most basic part of the Declaration of Independence, which evokes the freedom to “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The only difference is these clowns don’t wear greasepaint.

These clowns threaten the very fabric on which our nation was supposedly founded upon—and for some f—ing crazy-a– reason, they’re getting away with it. From keystone-cop clowns shooting unarmed citizens, to racist clowns burning down Islamic centers or clowns in the NSA spying on us through our cell phones and laptops, America has turned into something far more terrifying than Insane Clown Posse’s Dark Carnival. Even a scrub like me who dropped out of school in ninth grade can see what’s going on. Today’s reality is scarier than anything you’ll ever hear on one of our albums.

The article goes on to detail how ICP’s fan base itself has been targeted by law enforcement agencies, particularly following the FBI’s 2011 decision to add Juggalos to the National Gang Threat Database—a decision that Violent J claims has resulted in individuals being arrested, losing their jobs, and much more as a result of simply wearing the band’s merchandise. As Killer J says, “Now that’s truly scary, and nothing to clown around about.”


Liz Wood is a freelance editor, fiction writer, and current student in the NYU MFA program. More from this author →