Earlier this week, Bad Wolves frontman Tommy Vext caused quite a stir when he said earlier this week "I have not experienced actual racism" and said that it was all manufactured. You can watch the entire video here, which ran the gamut from talking about The Clinton Foundation and billionaire George Soros funding the protests (this has been debunked), to saying he personally never experienced racism. Here is a transcript of that part:
“There’s a huge fucking problem going on where we have turned into citizens policing other citizens over a veil of racism that doesn’t exist. I’m African American, I’m 38-years-old. I’ve grown up in this country and I have not experienced actual racism. I’ve spent twenty years traveling through 48 states and, how many countries? I don’t know, lets say 50 countries all over the world. We don’t have a problem with race here. It’s all manufactured…”
It took many fans aback, and some reached out to Vext's bandmate, Doc Coyle, who is also black. Doc made it clear to the fan that he did not agree with Vext saying "Let's just say we don't see eye to eye on this one."
Iet's just say we don't see eye to eye on this one.
— Doc Coyle (@DocCoyle) June 9, 2020
Vext has since posted a new statement, saying the video was "a diagram of a theoretical scenario that was explained to me which has been widely misunderstood as my beliefs and opinion."
Here is his full statement:
“Conspiracy Theory by definition is “an idea that some covert but influential organization is responsible for a circumstance or event” on Monday I shared a diagram of a theoretical scenario that was explained to me which has been widely misunderstood as my beliefs and opinion.
As per usual people failed to read the disclaimer that “I am in no way a political scientist or sociologist and have no authority on the subject. And that I am not claiming anything I expressed as truth.”
Predictably certain media outlets misquoted and misrepresented my inquiries as opinions and lambasted me to serve their own purposes making the video go viral.
Much like Drew Breeze I never imagined offending anyone one as I stated the disclaimer “I’m not a professional I just found this on the internet isn’t it interesting”
After several conversations with fellow artist/ thought leaders in the African American community I can see the insensitive timing of sharing such theories.
And As I DID STATE in the video systemic racism IS indeed a very real pandemic that effects the judicial, economic, healthcare, housing & education systems in underserved black communities. However my personal experience of White Americans and “white culture” over the past 20 years has not been one of hateful bigotry but unilateral acceptance. Maybe thats just “Heavy Metal Privilege” as our music community has a long history of condemning racism & fascism.
I know It has been very hard time for everyone in this country. I spent my own time with thousands of volunteers cleaning up after the riots. We all can see across the globe that things are wrong but we are all struggling to make sense of it. It’s probably time to turn our attention to our families, our friends and communities so we can rebuild ourselves and get back on with our normal lives again.
Love you all and can’t wait to see you when concerts start up again and may God Bless you and keep you till then ~ T”
ThePRP dug up an interview that Vext did on Coyle's podcast, The Ex-Man Podcast, where Vext directly addressed how the racism of his past led to a confrontation with his former Divine Heresy bandmate, Dino Cazares.
“…Me being somebody who grew up with a father not present, and grew up selling drugs to get by, and grew up fist fighting in the street. My childhood was brutalized because of a lot of racism that I had to deal with, and so I have an idea mentally to resist authoritative figures and so we had a personality clash.”
A 2018 interview discussing the band's debut album with Kerrang! also had Vext touching on how racism was a theme of the lyrics on the album:
Is it a personal record for you, lyrically speaking?
It is, there are some really personal things on there, but there’s also social and political commentary throughout. We talk about a lot of issues: from police brutality to the kind of subversive underlying veneer of racism that we’re seeing a resurgence of, from the opiate crisis and drug addiction to some more personal stuff. There’s a song on the record about my twin brother who’s currently serving 17 years for attempted murder, who tried to kill me during a home invasion when he was high in 2010. We really opened ourselves up not just from a creative standpoint but also a subject matter standpoint, to talk about topics that are really important to us.