Philip Anselmo spoke to Metal Insider about his relationship with the press, two years after he was publicly chastised by the media for giving the right-arm salute and yelling a white-supremacist slogan at a California concert.
“The media in general is ridiculous politically, depending on which channel you have on,” he said. “Both sides are ridiculous, so I’m having a hard time putting any faith or truth in mainstream media. As far as music media, I don’t understand the obsession with it. I don’t go to music web sites ever. It doesn’t intrigue me. I already know what I like, and I listen to music that’s sent to me or someone recommends to me. That’s how I discover music. And these sites all have these clickbait titles of scandal and outrage, and this freedom to write not only falsities, but also to make accusations and implications of some of the worst kind ever. I’ll shoot straight and I don’t give a fuck.
“When people throw around the word ‘racist,’ I don’t take that lightly,” he continued. “That’s not a word that should be tossed around. That is a hard-hitting implication, and a motherfucking albatross to throw around someone’s neck.
“These bloggers that write for these web sites find this false strength when they write and attempt to tear down, and not just me, some of the architects that their entire platform is built on. And this pious, opinionated moralism, and they get away with damn near-slander and hide behind fake names. These are some of the most visited web sites, and I think it’s on that grand chance that there’s going to be a clickbaity title. And some of these titles end up being a true story, but the ones that are just knee-jerk reaction pieces that are written up callously and with malice attached, and, to quote my own lyrics, ‘without a passing nod to face the intended target.’ [Are] some of these puritan pious ass-kissing web sites going to maybe reach out and ask me personally, ‘What led you up to this point were you did this thing that outraged me?’ Will they reach out to me? Fuck no, they’re not? And you know what that makes them? When they’re obsessed with looking for these things, it’s a great deal of projection. It’s a moral virtue signal to take up for this cause that they think can’t defend itself.”
Anselmo added: “I grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana in some of the most diverse situations and neighborhoods of my life. I’ve seen the marginalized my entire life, and they wouldn’t want these weakling pussies fighting for them. They can fight their own battles. I’m on to their game, and they can’t peg a goddamn thing on me. I challenge any one of them to a debate. I know I won’t be taken up on this challenge, but once you attack my character, anyone with a modicum of honesty, if they took a brief visit through my life and summed up what I’m all about, they would know that any claims of superiority over skin color is one of the last things on my agenda. I’m worried about standing on my own two legs, and that’s my government and political lean. I guess if you put me on some political compass, I’d be leaning way, way, way left, but not crazy fringe hardcore left. Once you get the hardcore wing, left and right become the same bird. Anyone with those kind of ideas can fuck off.”
At a January 2016 “Dimebash” event at the Lucky Strike Live in Hollywood in honor of late PANTERA guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, Anselmo performed the PANTERA classic “Walk”. As he left the stage, he made a Nazi-style salute. The former PANTERA frontman appeared to say “white power” as he made the gesture, but later claimed he was joking about drinking white wine backstage and was reacting to the audience members up front who he says were taunting him.
In the days following the incident, MACHINE HEAD‘s Robb Flynn — who played PANTERA songs with Anselmo at “Dimebash” — released an eleven-minute response video in which he denounced Anselmo as a “big bully” and a racist. He concluded by saying that he would never play another PANTERA song again. ANTHRAX‘s Scott Ian, who is Jewish, released a statement on his official web site saying, “Philip‘s actions were vile” and invited Anselmo to make a donation to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a human-rights organization that confronts anti-Semitism and hate speech.