We already know Michael Jackson's daughter, Paris, is a metalhead, having expressed love for Motley Crue and Metallica in the past, and now it turns out he's dating another metalhead, Michael Snoddy of the band Street Drum Corps.
The duo were out getting tattoos yesterday, and the tattoo Snoody got was not sitting well with Paris' family. That's because Snoody got a Pantera "CFH" tattoo but also made sure to include a ripped confederate flag as part of the tattoo. Snoody said in an Instagram post that he "wanted this tattoo since middle school" and that it is not racist but represents southern pride. One problem… Paris' family is not buying it.
TMZ reports that the Jackson family is not pleased with the tattoo, calling it racist and saying the tattoo "was strategically placed for all to see is an omen about his feelings toward African Americans." For his part, Snoody responded he's not racist because he's dating a black girl. Technicalities of that aside, one has nothing to do with the other. The tattoo could still be perceived as racist to those who are offended by the imagery of said flag.
Of course, Pantera were long associated with the confederate flag, until the controversial racist shooting in South Carolina, after which all of their merch with the flag was pulled. At the time, Anselmo said times have changed and the flag shouldn't be paraded around anymore:
“I think, really, where the use of the rebel flag or Confederate flag with us really came from was our love of bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and whatnot and shit like that, you know. There was never a time when it was okay to promote hate without a little bit of the tongue in the cheek, you know? It was never this blatant thing, unless I was completely out of my mind, which I was at points in time. And I’ll own that for damn sure, but that was a long-ass time ago…
“These days, I wouldn’t want anything to fucking do with it, because, truthfully… I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t want much to fucking do with it at all, and personally, you know I would never… The way I feel, and the group of people I’ve had to work with my whole life, you know… You see a Confederate flag out there that says ‘Heritage, not hate.’ I’m not so sure I’m buying into that, you know?”
Coincidentally, Anselmo then went to cause a controversy of his own, shouting "White Power" and giving the nazi salute at a live show in January, and then later profusely apologizing. For his part, drummer Vinnie Paul called the controversy over the flag "a big knee-jerk reaction."
Update: Our friends at Rock Feed point out that Snoddy was even present at that controversial show where Anselmo made the "white power" gesture and even took a photo with Anselmo while wearing a custom-made shirt with a confederate flag and his name overlaid on top of it, leading me to believe the flag tattoo was more about his "southern pride" than Pantera fandom. Here are photos from Snoddy's Instagram feed from that night:
Ultimately, I do not think Snoody is racist, just completely misguided. He could've just gotten the CFH tattoo without the flag and there would be no problems. I absolutely see how the Jackson family could be offended by such a tattoo, and it'll just make family dinners a little awkward.
In case you're wondering what Snoody's band, Street Drum Corps sounds like… wonder no more!