It's been a few days since the metal community was seemingly upended by a video depicting Phil Anselmo performing a Nazi salute and screaming "WHITE POWER" at the end of his set at Dimebash 2016. The video dropped like a nuclear bomb, bringing with it far-reaching radiation across the internet as music columnists, artists, and fans have been tearing each other apart over how strongly one should criticize or defend him. But when we fight about these things, we're all taking the easy way out by focusing solely on the target at hand and not at all why we fight about these things to begin with. We should be asking ourselves, Why does this happen? Why do we care so much about the actions of these people we don't know? Why do we get so offended and outraged when our preconceived notions and admiration for these people are questioned? And mostly, why is it that we suck so much at talking about any of this?
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.
Bassist Adam Duce has left Machine Head, leaving Rob Flynn the only original member.