By Emily Mullen
Mumford & Sons’ banjo player Winston Marshall has faced an onslaught of criticism for his now-deleted tweet.
Mumford & Sons have been guilty of a lot of things, but fascism does seem a bit left field (or should we say right?). The allegations have stemmed from where all good allegations stem from, Twitter. In a since-deleted tweet from March 6, the bands’ guitar and banjo player Winston Marshall congratulated controversial right-wing journalist, Andy Ngo on his book release.
“Congratulations @MrAndyNgo,” Marshall wrote, “Finally had to time read your important book. You’re a brave man.” Marshall also included an image of the cover of Ngo’s book, Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy.
The backlash that followed was swift and though the post has since been deleted, Marshall has been criticized for his endorsement of the author and the book. Ngo’s characterization of Antifa as the enemy of the people and his continuous involvement with neo-fascist white nationalist organizations like Patriot Prayer and Proud Boys have transformed him into a highly controversial and contentious figure.
In the book, Marshall was celebrating, Ngo describes the Proud Boys as a “pro-Trump fraternity” which is extremely problematic since the Southern Poverty Law Centre has characterized them as a “hate group”. Ngo previously described the January 6ths insurrection of Washington’s Capitol Hill as a “peaceful and celebratory gathering”. While in 2019, rollingstone.com reported on footage of Ngo laughing and joking with the far-right group Patriot Prayer, as the members discussed the weaponry they would select for their upcoming brawl with Antifa fractions.
Online critics of Marshall’s tweet have described it as an “endorsement of fascism” while another added that it was “so damn disappointing and really reinforces all the bad stereotypes about what it means when you hear ‘the sound of banjos.'”
While this new development may have driven Mumford & Sons further away from respectability. It appears that they may have found some new avid listeners (see link below).
Mumford & Sons have yet to issue a statement on this controversy and District has contacted their representatives for comment.