Here's What You Need To Know About Juggalos And Insane Clown PosseA year ago, fans of the band Insane Clown Posse announced they would stage a march in Washington, D.C. The protest is set for Saturday, and here's what you need to know.
Not sure who the Juggalos are or why they're protesting? Here's what you should know:
1.Who are they?
The Juggalos are fans of Insane Clown Posse, a rap group that calls itself "the most hated band in the world." The name stems from a 1992 ICP song, "The Juggla," and, according to journalist Patrick Flanary, is a "term of endearment among the fans."
"Despite a sizable population of female fans (dubbed Juggalettes), ICP's following is 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, where long-hairs and pink-hairs mingle, where nobody makes fun of the fat kid toweling off."
Juggalos often paint their faces to look like clowns, and some sport tattoos of "hatchetman," the logo for Psychopathic Records, ICP's recording label. There is an annual festival called the Gathering of the Juggalos, sponsored by Psychopathic and featuring its artists as well as other musicians. This was the 18th year for the Gathering.
There's even a book about their fandom, You Don't Know Me But You Don't Like Me. The author, Nathan Rabin, told NPR back in 2013 that "for 360 days, being a Juggalo makes them an outcast and makes them reviled and makes them a pariah. But four or five days of the year, being a Juggalo makes them the king of the world and everybody loves them and Insane Clown Posse is the most popular group in the world. It's this alternate universe they can escape into from the dreariness and the mundanity of everyday life."
No, just fans of Insane Clown Posse. But back in 2011, the Justice Department's National Gang Intelligence Center decided the Juggalos were a "loosely organized hybrid gang," like the Crips, Bloods and MS-13. The annual Gang Threat Assessment report said they engaged in criminal activity and violence.
"Crimes committed by Juggalos are sporadic, disorganized, individualistic, and often involve simple assault, personal drug use and possession, petty theft, and vandalism. However, open source reporting suggests that a small number of Juggalos are forming more organized subsets and engaging in more gang-like criminal activity, such as felony assaults, thefts, robberies, and drug sales. Social networking websites are a popular conveyance for Juggalo sub-culture to communicate and expand."
As Patrick Flanary explained to NPR, "there were only two crimes that were cited by the FBI study back in 2011. One had to do with a violent home invasion, where a Juggalo was suspected and later convicted; and there was another violent crime associated in 2012. But as lawyers pointed out, this doesn't apply to every person who claims he or she is a Juggalo. It isn't fair just because this group depicts violent images, talks about very crude murder scenarios."
The ACLU filed the lawsuit on the band's behalf and in a statement announcing it, Michael J. Steinberg, ACLU of Michigan legal director, said:
"The Juggalos are fighting for the basic American right to freely express who they are, to gather and share their appreciation of music, and to discuss issues that are important to them without fear of being unfairly targeted and harassed by police. Branding hundreds of thousands of music fans as gang members based on the acts of a few individuals defies logic and violates our most cherished of constitutional rights."
It's related to the gang classification and lawsuit. The website announcing the Juggalo March says its goal is to "make a collective statement from the Juggalo Family to the world about what we are and what we are not."
"The Juggalo Family must truly shine and show America and the world that we are not a gang, public menace, cult, or any of the other untrue labels they have attempted to slap on us throughout the years. We must collectively show them that we truly are a family that is united by a shared love of music and fellowship."
Correction Sept. 15, 2017
A previous version of this story referred to a 2011 Wired article. The article actually came out in 2010.