Phil Anselmo Responds to Racism Accusations, Calls Out Robb Flynn and Scott Ian
Phil Anselmo sat down with radio host Eddie Trunk on SiriusXM yesterday for a 20-minute interview. Though Anselmo vowed his talk with Decibel Magazine earlier this year would be his last on the topic, Trunk asked him about the racism accusations that were leveled against him earlier this year for the white power salute he gave at Dimebash. And, as Phil is wont to do, he started talking.
Anselmo is now chalking up the white power salute as a response to “two or three hecklers” in the front row:
When people start screaming racist, over and over and over and over again at me, what I did was show them what was the ugliest possible thing I could think of at the time was. They were looking for what they got and sadly I gave it to them. What I did was absolutely stupid and I own it, I own it. Instead of pawning it off on oh I was drunk or whatever, I did it. It’s on video.
Despite saying “instead of pawning it off,” that’s exactly what he’s doing here, coming up with excuses. Further, none of this explains why Anselmo’s label, Housecore, subscribed to a white supremacist channel on YouTube mere days after the incident, or any of the myriad on-stage rants or personal accounts about Anselmo’s behavior in the past.
Anselmo also addresses the video response given by Robb Flynn in which the Machine Head frontman took Anselmo to task, and Scott Ian’s request that Anselmo donate to a Jewish charity:
“Everybody in my camp, everybody around us, everyone of us. Anybody who has ever watched Robert over the years knows that he watches me and watches me and watches me. And sits in a corner, watches me. And then we get onstage together… You know what, it all comes down to and straight up, he wants to ride the coattails, he wants to ride the coattails.
He started off a song and I told him to stop—and I told him to stop, I hadn’t even announced the song, so he took that as a slight… And I said something like ‘you don’t know me’ which once again is my sense of humor and I know it hurt it his little ego or whatever, which you know, sorry for you brother, but I’m not sorry.
So he made an eleven minute video; some dude who knows nothing about me except Pantera and this and that. And I’m a believer in freedom of speech whether you are joking around or not, whatever. This whole I’m a racist thing is… it’s infuriating because it’s false, absolutely false. And I’d like to turn around and say ‘hey what have you done to better your community Robert? If you’re going to call me out on this supposed heinous act. What have you done? What have you done?’
I know what I’ve done, I know what I’ve done for the inner city kids in Detroit when the Kronk Boxing Gym was getting closed down. I forked over thousands of dollars that I most certainly did not have to make sure those kids got fed, clothed and a place to sleep. Because it was run by the last father figure I had in my goddamn life: a black man named Emanuel Steward, rest in peace. Who used to call me before every fight that he would call on HBO and say ‘whatchu think Phil?’ And he would ask me my opinion of what I thought the outcome would be…
“‘Look at how virtuous I am’, and that’s where little Robert comes in. Look at me, what, living in California? You’re going to compare that shit, compate [it] to living in the south? You’re out of your fucking mind.”
“He had ulterior motives and then you’ve got Scott Ian, who, the day after it happened, he wrote me some e-mail and ‘Phil, what I saw was ugly and this that and the other,’ so says the guy who wrote a record called ‘Speak English Or Die.’ If that record were to come out this year or last year, fuckin’ forget it. Think he’d get pounced on? You’re damn right he would and he knows it.
‘Virtue! Virtue! Virtue signal…’ or if you’re really sorry, donate to this Nazi hunter Jewish cause or whatever. I did it in an hour. Did you ever hear about that story? Of course you didn’t. You know why? It doesn’t make good headlines. I donated that hour if not that goddamn second.”
As far as Phil’s prior relationship with Robb, only those two men know the truth. But frankly, none of that matters: we all saw the same video. Any alleged on-stage slights are completely irrelevant; Flynn’s video response was level-headed and classy, not petty. On the other hand, Anselmo accusing Flynn of “riding the coattails” is extremely petty.
The irony of Anselmo accusing Flynn of implying “look at how virtuous I am” while doing the exact same thing by referencing a black man he knows (whose boxing gym he purportedly rescued) and a Jewish foundation he donated to on Scott Ian’s urging (the reason no one reported on it is because this is the first time it’s been made public, by the way) is just too much to handle. It’s not even worth responding to.
This is the bottom line: Anselmo is never going to say “I’m a racist.” Very few people on earth, except for card-carrying KKK members, would. It’s possible that Anselmo himself believes he is a not a racist, despite the aforementioned subscription to a white supremacist YouTube channel that would seem to indicate he’s actually a proud racist behind closed doors. But, even if we take Anselmo’s comments at face value, belief and intent are irrelevant; it’s his actions, which come from deep-seeded and perhaps even subconscious beliefs, that show a disrespect for people of other backgrounds. Clearly Anselmo has not grasped that concept yet, and it doesn’t seem like he’s going to any time soon.