“I Want To Terrorize Americans”: Crackhead Barney Strikes Back

crackhead barney

Crackhead Barney has been rocking diapers and menacing conservatives for years, but it wasn’t until the performance artist went head-to-head with Alec Baldwin in a New York coffee shop in April that she gained true notoriety. Following a dramatic guest appearance on Piers Morgan, the self-identified white woman called up her biggest stan, the author Brontez Purnell, to talk Trump rallies, Black titties, and babysitting men.



CRACKHEAD BARNEY: How’s everything?

BRONTEZ PURNELL: We leave tomorrow for Baltimore and then I leave for Paris for a bit, so I’m getting everything together.

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: Cool. So what fucking questions do you want to ask me? I hate interviews, but ask away.

PURNELL: Am I allowed to ask what your sign is?

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: Gemini, I’m June 10.

PURNELL: My dad was a Gemini.

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: I hate Geminis, they’re assholes. I can’t stand them, they’re trashy people. But I know a lot of big characters are Geminis, like Kanye, Trump, and of course, me. They have no moral fiber, no integrity. I think that’s why they stand out.

PURNELL: One time I saw this quote from you where it said something like, “This Black woman is trying to destroy America, and—”

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: Who said that?

PURNELL: You, in a text thread.

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: Oh yeah. Today I said my big Black titties are going to start a civil war, because Piers Morgan made another video about me. He had to defend his stance of having me on his show, so I went on a Twitter rampage. I honestly don’t give a fuck what Black people think about it. He had these two Black coons as the fucking—I don’t know what the fuck they were doing. Do you think Black people are going to be my mouthpiece? If you want to talk to me, talk to me, but never have some fat coons come and defend you. Black people are just as irrelevant as white people in this thing. It’s an American mindset. Fuck his 40-year journalism career. He can be my cameraman. If he goes on like this, he’s going to be working for me.

PURNELL: I think he’s obsessed with you, and rightfully so.

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: Dude, it happened a week ago. In media, that’s a long time. You still talking about it after a week?

PURNELL: I’m still thinking about it.

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: Good. That’s the whole point. I want to terrorize Americans.

PURNELL: Wait, did you go—

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: I’m just an unapologetic nigger. I think that’s really the problem. A lot of Black people come and apologize, like Nick Cannon. They’re apologetic niggers. I’m unapologetically a nigger. One of the comments said that I’m getting rewarded, but when Black people do something bad like me, they don’t get rewarded. They have to apologize and cry and do all this garbage. I’m just like, fuck you. I’m a white woman.

PURNELL: [Laughs] Can I ask an annoyingly emotional question?


PURNELL: How do you feel like you are able to keep yourself safe?

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: Usually I’m like, “Whatever, who cares?” But I think for the next big rally I may have to hire security. The Trump rally two or three Mondays ago was small, maybe 100 people. I got assaulted within five minutes, possibly even less. They were throwing my mic, I was ripping their sunglasses off, it was bad. And we got thrown out of the area. This was the Trump trial.

PURNELL: What about your emotional safety?

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: Oh, that week was crazy. It’s a lot. You have to do mental gymnastics and tell yourself you’re fine. One thing that you need to have is a decompression debriefing group, and I have a really good support system of artists that I can confide in and they make me feel better about myself. They give me false hope, but whether it’s fake or real, it’s a comforting hope that I’m doing the right thing. I really have a good support group of artists. Of bums.

PURNELL: Oh my god. What is the thing that compels you to keep going?

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: I like danger and I want to see how bad it gets. I like to shake up norms. Yesterday I was watching a podcast with three Black guys. First they said that I’m a lesbian and I can’t get a man. Then they were confident that I would go on their podcast, suck all their dicks, and wash their cars. I’m not going to even talk about Black men and their bullshit because I’m not a mommy, I can’t really babysit men. But they said some really compelling stuff. They said that the Piers Morgan interview was the most unstable thing they’ve ever seen on network TV, and I really liked that. Why was Piers trying to conduct a serious interview with me? He didn’t question my clothes. He just went into a serious interview knowing that I looked so insane, and a lot of people are upset because Piers Morgan gave me, an insane person, a platform to just go wild. Then a lot of people thought that I was going to come and apologize. But you have to think like a white person. White Americans, white men especially, are never apologetic. They do genocide, they steal money, they fraud, and they’re just, like, “Yeah, I’m normal.” So this is the monster you created. I don’t care either. Let’s all not care.

PURNELL: You sometimes do theater work, but obviously your soul is in a more street-based interaction. How do you know what needs to go to a closed, controlled setting, as opposed to what the world needs to see?

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: People like my theater work, but it’s a challenge for me to deal with the confines of a theater, four walls. You know the director Nile Harris?


CRACKHEAD BARNEY: It’s hard working with him. I need crack to work with him. I need some type of stimulant because when I’m working with him, I want to kill him, I want to kill the cast. But he allowed me free range. He’ll tell me what to do, but then he’ll be like, “Just do whatever you want.” I like that about him. I think I’m good with theater, but I just have to tell myself that this isn’t the streets.

PURNELL: You were a sculpturist too, right?

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: Yeah. Sculpture is like performance. I don’t think I’m a good fine artist. I think I’m better with my performance.

PURNELL: Well, I went to UC Berkeley for conceptual art, and they’re always like, “All sculpture relates to the body.” Do you believe that?

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: Yeah, it’s sort of performative. Ceramics is very sensual. You put that shit between your legs, you pinch to form, you have to be very patient. Chiseling and clay work is very physical, so it is a performance.

PURNELL: Do you ever think that you would make fine artwork again?

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: I did titty painting. I put my titties in paint and put it on the canvas, and I sold it to my follower, a white man. He said he always wanted to own a pair of Black titties. I’m allowing myself to be fetishized by these white followers. I have a lot of white followers. I don’t know if they follow me because I entertain their racist ideas of being Black. A lot of them say I’m their spirit animal. The fuck is that?


CRACKHEAD BARNEY: Being a crazy nigger, white people like that. They like crazy nigger shit.

PURNELL: There’s such a low bar to being a spirit animal for a white person, though.

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: My friend told me that’s racist. He’s white.

PURNELL: My personal thing with being watched as a “crazy Black person” is that public image is never about what we think about ourselves, it’s what other people think about us.


PURNELL: You can be the most respectable Black person ever, but that’s still another silo of cooning. And this view gets me in trouble a lot, but a friend once said that there’s basically no way to have a 100 percent positive representation of a Black body.

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: That’s why I say, fuck it. Why the fuck am I gonna apologize for fucking with some stupid rich white man? He’s fine. That rich white nigga will recover.

PURNELL: I definitely think so. But your bravado kind of explodes a narrative and brings it to this nuclear fission point, too. I hate to say this to you, but you’re kind of like if GG Allin was a politically engaged Black woman.

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: Oh, thank you. I love him.


CRACKHEAD BARNEY: On Piers Morgan, that’s why I was using the crutches. If you watch one of his interviews on the [Jane Whitney] talk show, he kept stamping his cane. So while I was performing for Piers Morgan, I was thinking of GG Allin.

PURNELL: And the only one that defended you was the white twink.


PURNELL: What’s next for you? Do you have any long-term shows? Why can’t you just go ahead and get that Netflix show?

CRACKHEAD BARNEY: I don’t like being on TV because you get addicted to it. Piers Morgan better give me a TV show or shut the fuck up. Stop talking about me. I don’t care if they don’t like me. I’m going to fuck you until you love me. That’s my performance art. Everyone hates my performance, they always did, but I tell myself to keep doing it until they just have to accept it.

crackhead barney