There is absolutely no place for racism in Metal. Actually, The Dead Kennedys were right on the money. There’s no place for racism, or any other kind of “-ism”, anywhere, if I’m going to be frank about it. The very fact that someone who is considered to be an icon in parts of the Metal community is obviously, as shown by his actions at Dimebash 2016 and in several recorded instances before that, an out-and-out racist should be a source of shame for us.
For many of us, including myself and no lesser person than Robb Flynn of Machine Head, deplore this sort of vile bigotry. If you haven’t seen the video Robb posted, you really need to. Anyone who can, following that video (especially the footage of the incident and the conversation Robb had with Anselmo backstage before going on) still defend Anselmo seriously needs to take off their rose-tinted glasses.
Phil Anselmo, like Ted Nugent, is a racist bigot, pure and simple, and he shouldn’t be allowed to get away with spreading his bile while representing our community (which is exactly what he is doing every time he sets foot on stage or is interviewed). Defending the likes of them or sweeping their comments and actions under the carpet is just not acceptable. Americans will bang on and on about “freedom of speech” and them having the right to say whatever they want, whenever they want without being restricted.
Since that’s true, they’ll have to accept that we also have freedom of speech and we will exercise the right in order to call them what they are: racist bigots who are to be denounced at every possible opportunity.
If you don’t agree, you’re part of the problem.
Sadly, Anselmo and Nugent are not the only ones. A few days ago, I stumbled across a video internet news report that was following up on a YouTube video posted by an American black girl who was bemoaning the comments she was getting from both black and white that she shouldn’t be listening to Metal because it was “white people music”.
Which, of course, is total fucking bollocks. Let’s not go into detail about Metal’s roots in Blues, which started in the Mississippi Delta by black slaves, eh? Let’s also not dwell on the incontrovertible fact that Metal was profoundly affected by Jimi Hendrix and Phil Lynott, who were both black.
It got worse when the journos interviewed one Militia Vox (who is a solo artist as well as being the singer in tribute act, Judas Priestess and is pictured below). She told stories of being told by record company executives that she was “too black to sell” as a Metal singer.
What in the name of Lemmy Kilmister has the colour of someone’s skin got to do with anything? I’ll tell you what, shall I? Absolutely NOTHING.
That, as you can probably tell, left me astounded. But then it got worse AGAIN, when the item went on to interview Canadian journalist, Laina Dawes, who wrote a book called What Are You Doing Here?, about her experiences as a black woman who loves Metal.
They were sickening, including things like monkey chants when she walked past groups of fellow attendees at festivals and gigs.
None of this is “fine”. None of this should be brushed aside as “a joke” or having “a twisted sense of humour”. The comedian, Frankie Boyle has a twisted sense of humour, but he’s not racist. The things he says are obviously comedy because he’s delivering his material as part of a comedy show. Phil Anselmo doesn’t have a “twisted sense of humour“. Look at his face and body language in the clip. He wasn’t joking. He also wasn’t joking when he said he hated Machine Head‘s “nigger” phase. He’s a racist prick, and we need more people like Robb Flynn to call him on it and show the Metal community (or at least certain pockets of it) that racism is not acceptable and needs to be rooted out.
If it turns out that this sort of rubbish is acceptable, as Mr Flynn himself said, “Count me out”.
By the way, from now on, there will be no more Pantera, Down or Superjoint Ritual played on The Wyrd Ways Rock Show, for the very same reason I don’t play any NSBM or Ted Nugent.