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Jim Goad, former wigger

Interview with Jim Goad, A Former Wigger

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Here at Radical Dose we are fascinated with the phenomenon known as the negrification of white people, or the processes by which white people start acting black. In order to understand this phenomenon and also explore ways of reversing it, we make it a point to research the creature known as the wigger, and especially people who are former wiggers. To this end, we’ve interviewed Jim Goad, former wigger.

Radical Dose: You’ve called yourself a wigger in the past. Did you act or talk black? If not, what would you say made you a wigger?

Jim Goad, former wigger

Jim Goad: That’s a photo strip of me circa 1990 when I wrote an article for “Playboy” about Vietnamese gangs in Orange County, CA. This is during my wigger phase. The wiggeriest part is the Raiders shirt, the sunglasses, and the plastic Mac10 water pistol. I never “spoke” black. But there was a phase around 1987-1990 when I listened primarily to hip-hop, read books such as “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” and “Manchild in the Promised Land,” and sympathized with “the cause.” The Raiders shirt and “loc” sunglasses were my personal homage to NWA’s fashion sensibilities.

Then I gradually started to believe that “racism” didn’t explain most black people’s problems. What sealed the deal was living through the LA riots of 1992 and realizing that no matter how down I was with the cause, I was still a white devil to them anyway.

RD: 87-90 was a long time ago. For many the wigger phenomenon did not really take off until the 90s with NWA and especially early 2000s with Eminem. What music would you say was the gateway to wiggerdom in your time?

JG: I started listening to hip-hop earlier in the 80s around when Run-DMC’s first single came out and Sugar Hill Records was still a thing. It was a new way of making music—looping a six-or-seven-second “break” while speaking in rhyme over it. My favorite act back then was Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. I cannot fucking STAND Eminem and am still mystified why anyone thinks he’s good, much less great.

RD: In our previous interview with a former wigger, our interviewee expressed a view that at the time, he was confused about his identity and that it was always partially an act, but part of him actually believed he was black. Did you experience similar identity crises?

Mercifully, no. But there was white guilt. The moment that shifted was when I was married in Las Vegas by the Reverend Walker Goad, who told me that the first Goads in America were indentured servants and convict laborers, which disrupted the whole narrative.

You mentioned sympathising with “the cause” and being shaken out of it when you learned the facts about white servitude. Would you describe your wiggerdom being primarily political in nature?

Also cultural. I still think that hip-hop was better than any of the punk or metal that white people were doing in the 80s. But to me, “political” implies activism and advocacy. With me, it was more that I identified with outcasts. This was before the wholesale Negro Worship that was to follow. Even the sort of Elvis-Costello-resembling white rock critics who would be fully “woke” these days were saying that rap wasn’t real music back then and that it wouldn’t last. And burglars on TV were still black.

Hmmm… very interesting way to put it. You’ve been once rather uncharitably called The Last Hipster. Is that something that’s always been important to you, to side with or identify with the outcast?

Not really a priority or a choice. As you pointed out a long time ago, I’m neurodivergent. But regarding being called The Last Hipster…that was written after I’d done prison time and had fought against anti-racist skinheads in the streets of Portland. And wrote about it using my own name. “Hipster” implies effete and sheltered.

Sympathy for the outcast is not something to be scoffed at. However, I wonder if blacks could credibly claim to be outcasts in the 80s. The 50s maybe, but 80s? Two decades after Civil Rights?

As everyone constantly reminds me, I was actually alive in the 80s and exposed to the major narratives. For the most part, it was “rap isn’t music and any blacks you see on TV dramas are likely to be criminals.” People such as Al Sharpton were portrayed as attention-starved irritants. I think even “Spy” magazine voted Sharpton the most annoying person in the world during one of their annual competitions. And in “The Village Voice,” rock critic Robert Christgau was appalled by Public Enemy’s first album (1987) and called them racists. Now similar outlets are terrified of even thinking anything bad about blacks. As for civil rights, a federal bill from 1964 is a different thing from media depictions. 

To someone who wasn’t around in the 80s, this very notion that a respectable white critic would declare rap “not music” is flabbergasting. These days, all you hear is about how raw and authentic rap is. And yet that’s what you remember was the mainstream opinion back then. Do you think they were wrong at the time? And what do you think changed to make them change their tune?

I think the one who said it was not music—well, pretty much everyone said that back then—was Bill Holdship writing for a free California paper called BAM (Bay Area Music). The only thing that ever makes most people change their tune is public shaming and threats of ostracism.I think very few people actually change their opinions due to analytical thinking. And it’s gone through these odd phases of “Public Enemy is racist…if you don’t like hip-hop, you’re a racist.”…Don’t listen to hip-hop, because it’d make you a racist cultural appropriator.”

When I first heard those records from the early 80s, I knew this was going to be the next new big thing in music. But I didn’t realize it’d continue to be the big thing for another 40 years. Another thing that caused my shift away from wiggerdom was the fact that I interviewed a lot of the famous rappers back then, and with very few exceptions, I wound up thinking, “Holy shit, they’re dumb.”

Which ones would you say were the exceptions?

KRS-One, who not only was smart, he was the only one who apologized for being late. They were all late, but he was the only one who apologized. Also Ice-T, who was not a very good rapper, struck me as intelligent.

Funny. I always thought Ice Cube would turn out to be the smart one.

Ice Cube was friendly but didn’t strike me as a brainiac. And NWA at first was merely homicidal. It’s when he bought into the whole Farrakhan/devils stuff that I started to feel alienated by all this. There were other acts such as Intelligent Hoodlum, who had a line, “Tricked by the devil into feeling inferior/When in reality, my people are superior” that made me realize I’d always just be white to them.

I bring Ice Cube up because if you pressed white nationalists today to name one rapper whom they like, it’d probably be Ice Cube, due to his comments about the Jews. Do you think that comes from Farrakhan as well?

Yeah, because it was right after he’d split from NWA and had a line “You let a Jew [Jerry Adler] run your crew.” But Public Enemy, especially Professor Griff, were doing the Jew stuff way before that. One of my most cherished lines I ever wrote was something like, “But then the group faced controversy after Professor Griff made unflattering comments about Jews. The group [Public Enemy, not the Jews] broke up shortly thereafter.”

You were alienated by NWA and IH’s anti-white pronouncements. Do you think that was baked into the gangsta rap cake from the start or did it come about later, as an unnatural development?

I’d only be speculating. But there was a certain era where it started to be openly articulated. I don’t remember the Geto Boys mentioning white people. But then after the LA riots, Willie D did a song called “Fuck Rodney King” because Rodney asked everyone to get along.

I also met Nick Bougas a month or two before the riots. He lived in Burbank and seemed to think that the riots would be a turning point that would wake a lot of people up. The specter of Reginald Denny getting his head bashed in by dancing Negroes surprised a lot of people.

I guess living through the LA riots and interviewing retarded rappers will wake anyone to the racial question. But for our readers back home who may not have access to such radical solutions, how would you recommend they attempt to cure their wigger loved ones?

Through a rigorous process of De-Negrofication as outlined here.

Jim Goad, thank you for your interview. Any parting words for the Radical Dose audience?

Avoid people who think you were created by an evil scientist.

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