One thing Kerry King certainly doesn't do is hold back, this much is very clear. So it was interesting to hear his take on the Phil Anselmo "white power" situation. I'm assuming you haven't been living under a rock these last two months and know that at the end of January, at the Dimebash, Anselmo, while drunk, shouted "white power" at the top of his lungs while giving the nazi salute. At the time, Anselmo said he was joking and refused to apologize, but after a torrent of backlash, including being called out by Machine Head's Robb Flynn, Anselmo apologized twice, and has stepped away from the spotlight temporarily to figure himself out.
Look, we have as much fatigue from covering this story as you do. And, while we are not trying to add fuel to any fire, we think what Kerry King said about the incident in a recent interview with Vanyaland is worth reporting about. Here's what King said about the situation, seeing as King has been accused of being an antisemite in the past for the track "Angel of Death"
"[Slayer being accused of anti-Semitism] is all unwarranted; I've said since 1986, if 'Angel Of Death' [about Nazi physician Josef Mengele] was a documentary on History Channel, it would probably win awards, but Slayer said it — so they're racist. That's just people not knowing what things are about. Now, what Phillip did — I wasn't there, but, of course, I've seen some of it [on video]… [laughs] There's a line I think he crossed a little bit; yeah, he may not come back from that. It was massive."
Crossed a little bit? I mean, I guess he wasn't on stage killing people sure, but he definitely had two feet across the line. Now, I'm sure this is where some commenters (and potential racists) will point to the photo of Kerry, the late Jeff Hanneman, Gary Holt and Robb Flynn where Hanneman and Holt are clearly also giving the white power gesture:
But, as somebody who found the original video of Anselmo offensive, I in no way find this offensive. First off, people using this as a smoking gun to accuse Flynn of being a hypocrite must be blind, because at no point do I see Flynn doing the gesture. He's not even looking in their direction! Secondly, this is much less offensive to me because it does seem like a joke and this is a private photo and not something that happened in front of a crowd of 200 people. We've all joking seig heil'd at one point or another, but last time I checked, I never did it in front of hundreds of people while shouting white power and then tried to go around saying it was a joke.