The big headline of this week in our community has been Phil Anselmo‘s (ex-Pantera) public display of racism. For those who somehow haven’t seen it, a video can be found below the jump. What it boiled down to is Anselmo shouted “White Power!” at a show as he did the Sieg Heil, better known as the Nazi salute. The reactions to this across the internet obviously varied, from the disappointing defenses to the utter bewilderment of dedicated fans. I have enough faith in our audience that I’d like to think you trend more towards the latter.

This type of behavior is, without question, unacceptable.

Anselmo tried to play it down as a joke. Instead of apologizing, he said, “Some of y’all need to thicken up your skin.” However, he was obviously not joking. Even if he were (which he wasn’t), it’s still not acceptable. I’ll get to why I make this assertion. The point of this article isn’t that racism is bad. This should be obvious. It’s not that it still exists, as it obviously does, both within the scene and also in the world at large. I hope that is obvious as well.

The point of this article is how important it is to speak up against it. Why? Because Anselmo has been displaying this kind of behavior for decades, with his behavior just now becoming the subject of conversation. Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn spoke up against it in a video he made, saying, “You know, the thing that’s amazing about this is that we’re all scared to say anything. […]  I am scared to put this video out. […] You’re a big bully. A big, scary dude. But…enough’s enough”.

Rob Flynn, a man who sold over three million records, who is one of the biggest names in the scene was afraid to speak up against it. And you might be afraid to speak up as well. But you have to.


I get it. Pantera were one of the most notable names in metal in of its formative years. They still have a lot of very dedicated fans, with their name commanding a lot of respect. However, power and fame doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) grant one license to say hateful things. This isn’t some off-kilter remark we’re talking about. Metal spans the entire globe, standing as one of the most diverse and welcoming communities on the planet. There are metal bands with members from all ethnicities, all groups, all countries. The same goes for listeners. Metal is huge in India, in South America, in Southeast Asia. How is it acceptable that one of the biggest names in the genre, one thousands—if not millions—look up to, to say something as blatantly racist and hurtful as this? Metal is something that brings people together, not something that drives them apart. What’s happened here? The roots of metal were always, admittedly, aggressive, with some big names in metal being tied to similar issues before. What happened here?

Let’s look at what Robb Flynn said again (transcript courtesy of Blabbermouth):

I can understand why you edited it out, Chris R, because, really, it was almost too much to believe, wasn’t it? That this shouldn’t somehow be seen. Thankfully, you decided to do the right thing and you put it up, knowing full well that you were going to get the wrath of the metal community. And you have. Over a thousand comments on your YouTube page. Five hundred comments on Blabbermouth. They shut down the comments page. Same with MetalSucks, who wrote a very poignant statement about not letting Phil Anselmo off the hook anymore.

It’s totally understandable that Chris R., the uploader of the video featuring Anselmo’s transgressions, was afraid of the ire of the metal community. We’ve seen this happen before. In previous articles we ran where we challenged some of the uglier aspects of the community, we received hateful, violent messages. We’re unfortunately a bit more experienced in dealing with this, but that’s not the case for the average metalhead. This isn’t just about uploading a video. If you go look at the comments section of articles relating to this matter, there is so much hatred and vitriol—even threats of violence.

Chris R. did the right thing.

This brought it to the attention of many. The thing is, this isn’t something new. Robb Flynn implies how he and others didn’t want to speak up against this. Jorgen Munkeby of SHINING (NOR) said that we all should have said this long ago. Metalsucks posted an excellent exposé on Anselmo’s history of racism.

But this doesn’t end on Anselmo.

Racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry happen in the metal scene on a daily basis. I hear it from both friends in the scene and artists. When I interviewed Marc Okubo of Veil of Maya a few years ago, he told me that he received racially-charged remarks frequently on their tour. Some were harmless, but still born out of ignorance. YouTube comments on any metal video with a female or minority member almost inevitably end up being disparaging about the member’s nature. We’ve ran multiple editorials regarding women in the scene and their grievances. There is so much ugliness in metal. But hopefully you already know this. That’s not what we’re here for. We want to fix our scene.

I know it’s not always easy to stand up and say something. It’s awkward. It could get you ostracized—or worse. But you have a choice. Those who are on the receiving end of bigotry don’t have the luxury to make this choice. You do. The more people let bigotry slide, the more it gains ground. No one feels like they can stop it by themselves. That’s just it—they can’t. As a group, however, by standing in solidarity, we can slow its tide, one voice at a time. It truly makes a difference and it’s the only way we can eventually make metal as open to anyone who wants to be part of our family.

Next time you see some bigotry, be like Chris R. Be like Robb Flynn. Say something. Do something. Don’t let these subhuman Nazi worshippers and blatant purveyors of bigotry poison our community. There are people of every color, every nationality, every orientation all around the world who are connected by this beautiful music. There are people who battle depression with the help of it. There are people who find themselves within it. There are people who find their best friends, the loves of their lives, the meaning of their lives with it. Don’t let hateful people take those incredible opportunities away. Don’t let them think that this loving, powerful community be divided by something as meaningless as the color of one’s skin or even their place of birth.

Thank you, Robb Flynn, for speaking up and putting your weight behind this powerful message.

Thank you, Chris R., wherever you are, for helping this snowball get rolling.

Comments

48 Responses

  1. DJustin Daniels

    It honestly boggles my mind that these are still issues today. Metal was supposed to be a place where everyone who was outcast could come together as equals, and it seems we are becoming even more intolerant than the intolerant people that made us. Sad really.

    Reply
  2. Daniel Tiberius

    Well said dude. It takes us people who aren’t systematically oppressed, being a straight white cis male, to really make the changes and police ourselves here. Sure some people will fight back for themselves but when they hear it from people outside of that situation it holds more water. Stand up for POC, LGBT, women and anyone else that needs it. We have influence, use it.

    Reply
    • Daniel Tiberius

      Edited out “our” since that’s not what I meant and it’s just terrible in general. Thanks for pointing that out.

      Also it’s not your music so I won’t keep my “hipster bullshit” out of it. It belongs to all of us. Giving a shit about people who aren’t straight white males isn’t being an establishment pussy. It’s having a soul.

      Reply
  3. preheating2616

    Metal is mostly a White thing.

    Don’t shit on your own constituency by attacking people who stand up against White genocide.

    Reply
    • Matt Steelman

      “white genocide”

      Fucking wow. Claiming genocide because people besides whites enjoy, and want to be a part of the metal community. You realize you’re literally oppressing a group of people while SIMULTANEOUSLY trying to play the victim as if you’re the one being oppressed.

      Fuck right off.

      Reply
      • Tre Watson

        the term is Crybullying, and it happens waaaay more often than you’d think.

    • Nayon

      “white genocide” being a hilarious notion aside, Rock in Rio (Brazil) and Hammersonic (Indonesia) are some of the biggest festivals out there, and Japan has huge events as well. There’s so much metal all around the world and your remark just betrays your ignorance.

      Reply
    • deuterostomia

      look at hollywood, unabashedly eurocentric history books, global standards of beauty – between representation in current media as well as history in general, your kind’s bloodthirsty colonizing has already made the world plenty white, and somehow you’re still greedy. typical

      Reply
      • Nayon

        Hahahahahahahahahhahaha

        You’re telling this to ME? Sure, you can justify any point of view if you take a hilariously narrow and warped point of view on history.

    • Tre Watson

      As a Black person who makes metal, I think it’s my obligation to tell you that you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. i guarantee if we look at strictly numbers of fans, more than anything, metal is an indian/middle and far eastern thing. it is very much niche in every country where white people tend to be.

      also, “White genocide?” please, show me where there are piles of white people being murdered right now. and if the bullshit you spout is figurative, find a better term.

      like, wow, do you kiss your sister with that mouth?

      Reply
  4. deuterostomia

    imagine all the useful things you could have done with the hour it took you to type this hilarious bullshit

    Reply
  5. Nayon

    You could have just typed “I really hate nonwhite people” and saved yourself the time you took to write or copy paste that manifesto and saved me the time reading it.

    Reply
    • Anon

      You could have just typed, “I really hate white people” and saved yourself the time you took to write or copy paste that manifesto and saved me the time reading it.

      Reply
  6. Aristotelian1

    Metal is hardcore and for badasses! but we are inclusive and accepting of all people. We cherish diversity as our greatest strength. GAAAAAAYYYYYYY Nothing says rebel like spouting mantra the government and corporations spew over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. #SoBrave

    Reply
  7. Nayon

    Even if we suppose your position is correct, there is no reason not to be decent people to those who are different than you. Stop trying to use your scientific reasoning to justify bigotry.

    Reply
  8. Nayon

    Hey guys, a heads up.

    Feel free to discuss your opinions here, but posting blatanly hateful 3000-word manifestos is not welcome in our community. Regardless of what you think, it’s important to understand that we need to be respectful to each other. No, this isn’t me trying to suppress your opinions or being PC or whatever. If you can’t interact with your fellow humans with common decency and treat them with respect, please hold your discussions elsewhere.

    There’s that one awful comment I’m keeping up because the responses are worth it. We don’t condone any of this rhetoric. I’ve already had to deal with more commenters saying blatantly hateful stuff since posting this notice. Please stop.

    Feel free to discuss your ideas, but do it without implying our fellow metalheads are subhuman, ok? Metal is what bonds us here. When we’re rocking out in the audience or on stage or at home with headphones, it doesn’t matter who we are. What matters is that we love metal.

    Reply
  9. Kendon Smith

    I grew up loving metal. I quit playing in metal bands because of shit like this and virtually no one speaking up against it. Its good to finally see some changes for the better . Here’s to the hope that they will take root.

    Reply
  10. blackacidlizzard

    “I’m not suppressing your opinions, I’m just stopping people from hearing your viewpoint.”

    Orwell would be completely unsurprised.

    Gonna post an article condemning rappers for saying “Black Lives Matter” or giving the Black Power salute?

    Nah, as we all know, racism is Whiteness minus anti-Whiteness, and sometimes the second part isn’t even necessary.

    Reply
    • Nayon

      That’s not how it works dude. I’m not the government. I can’t punish you for saying things. But I own this server and the data on it. I can choose not to host comments that lament that we can no longer own black people. There are plenty places on the internet where you can discuss stuff like that, feel free to talk about this article on any of them. But my stance is that rhetoric that is so blatantly hostile towards parts of the community is something I will stand against. You can talk about your ideologies, but things that demean or insult anyone, yes, even white people, are not welcome here. It’s not about what race you are, it’s about treating everyone fairly. We’re not trying to create a hugbox or whatever people like you would call that. We have readers all across the world. If a comment is telling a reader from Brazil that they’re subhuman, then that comment does not meet the standard for polite discourse we try to uphold here.

      If you can present your opinion in a way that is not hostile to any of the readers, then feel free to do so. As you can see I’m not deleting every single comment I disagree with. I’m simply trying to uphold a level of discourse, and that level is upheld regardless of where you are from or who you are.

      Reply
      • blackacidlizzard

        ” I’m not the government.”

        Oh the delicious hypocrisy. Every single complaint about “racism” (read Whites not sacrificing enough) is based around claims of private individual action, as everyone knows that actual government policy is biased against Whites (the EEOC never visits you because you haven’t hired enough Whites, Whites are charged with hate crimes at 25 times the rate they are represented in crimes of inter-racial violence, etc), but you hide behind the “oh it’s OK when someone outside the government does it” when you want to silence speech you disagree with, even though it’s not ok when some unconscious nebulous network of “White Privilege” emerges from private action. It’s almost like you’re grasping at straws in the moment and proclaiming principles (eg the right of the individual to do as he wishes) that you don’t actually value.

    • Matt Steelman

      There’s a difference. Whites in America hold most of the power and influence. There’s deep rooted oppression residual from decades of whites asserting dominance over other races. A black person saying “black lives matter” or “black power” is a message to white people that THE ARE PEOPLE TOO. That they aren’t going to let people like Anselmo trample them or demean their existence like they have been for so long. They’re demanding to be treated as the human beings they are. They’re demanding decency and respect.

      White people saying “white power” is not fighting against the oppression of white people. Because the oppression of white people DOES NOT EXIST. People who say white power believe that white people should have all the power and influence, and people of color should be oppressed and controlled. The people that criticize the Black Lives Matter movement are people who are afraid of the thought that people of color are equal to them. To feel threatened by that very idea is true racism. And if your sense of self worth and importance is based on you being white, and not on who you are, how you treat people, or what you have accomplished, you are the weakest kind of person.

      Reply
      • Flavius Stilicho

        Oh, here we go. Black Lies Matter. Where do we start? With the “gentle giant” Michael Brown? After getting high and holding up a convenience store, he decides to grab a policeman’s gun. “I dindu nuffin” were probably the last words he uttered. His absent father then shows up and cries tears in front of the press – tears of sadness for all the years he wasn’t a father to the boy. What a martyr to the cause, that Michael Brown. They should name a day after him.

      • Nayon

        You’re entitled to your opinion on that case, but that does not relate to BLM as a whole. Please try again.

      • blackacidlizzard

        OK, should we talk about Treyvonn Martin who was attempting to bash a man’s skull into the pavement for asking him questions? Or Freddie Grey, with a rap sheet dozens of counts long including violent crimes? Or how about Jamar Clark, who beat a woman, attacked an EMT, and had the entire “Black community” rallying around people who lied about the shooting (just like the eyewitnesses lied about the Brown shooting). Really, what do you want to hold up as the epitome of the B(L)M movement? The riots? The multiple assaults and shootings during eery demonstration? Come on, tell us.

      • Flavius Stilicho

        Stop with the hate facts, bro! Don’t you know that Black people are oppressed and their far-greater-than-average criminality is all due to their oppression?

      • blackacidlizzard

        So to summarize:

        “You Whites have all the power, and that’s why special government benefits are given to other races, and never to you.”

        and:

        “You Whites are not being silenced, and that’s why we don’t let you speak”

        You sound like Lenin talking about how the Kulaks are exploiting the Soviet people. Do you have a single honest bone in your body?

  11. Flavius Stilicho

    At least Rob (((Reiner))) had the decency to both mock and sympathize with us Whites in Spinal Tap. But I read this grovelling drivel: “Please, Lefties, we are as anti-racist as you!”

    Why don’t you just rename this website “Rockers for the SPLC!”. “F*ck yeah! We’re hard-core antifascists, don’t ya know!”

    Reply
    • Nayon

      I have nothing against white people dude. I don’t know where you’re getting this. Obviously I’m white as well. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting everyone to be a part of the metal community regardless of the color of their skin or their place of birth. Metal is a worldwide phenomenon. People who try to push out those who are different from them purely because of the color of their skin make metal an unwelcome place to others who also want to headbang without care. That shit doesn’t matter in the eyes of the riff.

      Reply
      • Flavius Stilicho

        The self-flagellation is cringe-inducing. Big f*cking deal – the guy does a Nazi salute at the end and everyone kvetches like a New York bubbie clutching her pearls.

      • Nayon

        Sorry you feel that way. If you don’t think there’s anything wrong with a nazi salute then there’s not much I can say to you. But you seem to be the one who’s upset here.

      • Flavius Stilicho

        I’m upset that Whites have to apologize all the time for every perceived slight to minorities and Jews. Grow a pair, bro.

      • Nayon

        That’s one way to frame it I guess. Seems like there’s no way we can reach an agreement here so I’ll just let you be.

  12. Thyasianman

    Had no clue this happened til I read your article. Great article though man. It’s great to see such a level headed post about a touchy topic. As for all the negative responses, it’s mind boggling. I wouldn’t expect anything else than positivity given you’re just calling for fellow metalheads to respect other metalheads regardless of external features. Keep it up though.

    Reply
  13. PhilsasintimidatingasAlesana

    Never been a Pantera fan,and even less a fan of Anselmo,the guy does have a long history of being a complete tool and drama queen and constantly makes an ass of himself,being the natural born clown he is and making us all laugh our asses off,but crap like this ain’t funny,just cause you killed all your brain cells sucking dick for coke doesn’t mean you have the right to be such a bigoted turd, and whats with all these brown nose fanboys defending his actions?,can’t believe there’s still behavior like this being displayed in this day and age,it’s fucking 2016,people,wake the fuck up…and I thought David Vincent was the biggest disgrace to Metal…fucking sucks that true heroes like Lemmy are gone and we’re left with is douchebags like this jackass….by the way,all you fangirls can leave all your hate mail right on the tip of my cockhead,then go get an alcohol soaked tampon to get all the sand out of your vaginas with.

    PS : Good for Flynn to put that vid up,it makes up for this:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HJzeJiHHQOY

    Sorry,bud,people don’t forget.

    Reply
    • PhilsasintimidatingasAlesana

      *for putting this video up…. chronic blunt started to kick in.

      Reply
    • PhilsasintimidatingasAlesana

      Bhahaha,just watched the rest of the vid,loved the part where Flynn compared Pantera’s drag queen days to Machine Head’s wigger phase,he even shows a screen shot of the from this day vid,so,at least he admits it,unlike Phil who pretends Glamtera’s Tigertailz/Pretty Boy Floyd clone era never happened…Robb definitely should stick to being an activist or maybe writing a book or something,though,since Machine Head has always sucked so much ass.

      Reply
  14. Nayon

    Whomever the dude who keeps coming back to make new accounts to call others “cucklords” and then complains about getting banned about despite not making inflammatory comments, please don’t bother. If you can’t participate in discourse without calling someone a cuck or posting super long eugenics manifestos, please don’t bother coming back. You’re clearly arguing in bad faith and while you had some comments that weren’t super bad, they get deleted when I block the account. If you really must return, try engaging in civil discourse and if you REALLY must talk about eugenics, which is super irrelevant to this article, please do humor me and try justifying why it’s ok to be hateful to other members of our community just because their skin color is different. Even if you firmly believe in eugenics that doesn’t explain away why you should treat other people like subhumans. Because you’re clearly just using questionable science and history to justify acting hateful.

    Reply
  15. Graham ☮ Simmons

    It goes without saying I agree with Rob Flynn about Phil Anselmo being a racist piece of shit, anyone who knows anything about metal since the 90’s should know that much. But sadly I think there is an elephant in the room here. If you are good at what you do it doesn’t matter how much of a piece of shit you are, unless you cross a line and violate another individual’s right or freedoms, you will be paid for your services. Fortunately for Phil he has never crossed that line, he is just an idiot who spews hateful bullshit.

    Also, the way some people tip-toe around the subject really disgusts me. I love Rob Flynn for doing this, he’s a fucking stand up dude for it… but to say “no white man has ever been oppressed by black people” and not two minutes later say “I was jumped by 15 black guys” – both of which are word for word direct quotes… I mean what the actual fuck? Can we just be real here? Stop laying it on so fucking thick.

    Reply
    • Nayon

      I think the difference is a group of individuals attacking Robb versus the government and other people/groups in positions of power systematically oppressing people. It’s not really the same thing.

      Reply
      • Graham ☮ Simmons

        Ok, if that is what he meant he is also factually incorrect. The government doesn’t only oppress black people, they oppresses everybody. The government drafted 2.8 million people in 1917 alone, and they kept at it until 1973, sending millions upon millions of men – and boys – across the planet to fight and die for profit. There’s no racial undertone to that act like there is to some of the laws in place today – particularly around sentencing laws and the war on drugs in general – but it is equally evil. There’s no racial element to them stealing a percentage of everyone’s paycheck to fund the killing of innocent men women and children for profit – but it is equally evil. They don’t care what your skin colour is, they will steal your money and use it to exert their dominance over whomever else they are stealing from.

        The underlying cause of the issues here is crystal clear: the government’s absolute power over the individual. If you want to turn it into a thing about race go ahead, but that is disingenuous, race is not even a part of it. As a white man, if I try and not pay my taxes, I am thrown in jail for simply standing up against something I don’t believe in. That is a white person being systematically oppressed and race is simply not a part of it.

  16. kisiel

    This is the gesture incorporated by Germans appropriated by Germans, who among any other barbaric acts, killed my fellow countrymen, and destroyed most of my country, including wiping out most of its capital, so I obviously feel only disgust towards a fool who raise his hand like this. But i can feel a flood of hypocrisy from the politically correct bigots from the left side. I’d wish to hear any words of condemnation after Vital Remains Crucifix incident or Dark Funeral vocalists praising of murder of Catholic priest by one of those bands fans. Should Christians or followrs of other religion be excluded from this ‘loving, powerful community’? Is it okay that some groups are under special protection, while slamming and offending others are totally ok?

    Reply

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