Rick Sunderland, owner of the nightclub Dusk in Providence, has cancelled a show by the band Inquisition over charges that band members, Jason “Dagon” Weirbach and Thomas “Incubus” Stevens are white supremacists or Nazis. For information on the accusations against the band, see here and here.
Weirbach has denied that he is a Nazi, but that hasn’t persuaded a number of local Rhode Islanders from sharing their reservations about the band playing in Rhode Island on social media.
As the controversy heated up on Facebook, Sunderland cancelled the show and issued a statement saying, “I want to let you know… I will not let one event give what I’ve built for seven years a bad name… and I never want to alienate or hurt anyone’s feelings or be insensitive to their beliefs… therefore I’d rather have you guys always loving and enjoying Dusk. As a result of my introspection. I am not gonna allow the show to take place. Respect to all everyone.”
Activist Naomi Chomsky, who helped alert me to this issue, wrote to me after Sunderland’s statement was made public. She said, “As an anti-racist and a socialist, I don’t believe that it is ever acceptable to give white supremacists a platform. I believe it to be our duty to vehemently oppose it whenever it rears its ugly head, but it is especially heinous given that this band was dropped from another providence venue because they didn’t want to give their stage to white supremacists. I applaud Dusk’s decision to cancel their appearance. Providence does not welcome Nazis or their sympathizers!”