Machine Head’s Robb Flynn has written a post on his The General Journals blog addressing the violence in Charlottesville of August 12, and reflecting the mistakes of his own youth.
Flynn was photographed beside other musicians giving a sieg heil gesture when on tour with Slayer in 1995. When he spoke out against the Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo making the very same gesture in 2016, he was accused of being a hypocrite, and worse.
But, as Flynn writes in his post, published yesterday, “people can change”, adding: “I look back on the person I was in my mid-20s and think, ‘Who the fuck is that guy?’”
Elsewhere in his post – which ends on the vital need to drive white supremacy out of society, noting that “there is only one side” when it comes to this stuff – Flynn calls President Trump’s response to Charlottesville “pathetic”, and talks a little about the shit he and his wife have received in the past for calling out racial hatred when he’s seen it. Hell, when we’ve all seen it.
Read Flynn’s full post, titled simply “Charlottesville”, below.
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I’ve debated even writing this.
You all know how I feel.
I’ve said probably all I’ll ever need to say on the subject a year and half ago.
I’m going to tell you the conversation my wife and I had Sunday morning.
As she drank tea (me; Blue Bottle coffee) I told her about the white supremacist rally(s) held in Charlottesville, Virginia on Friday and Saturday, she had only heard bits…
She was appalled.
We discussed how people could feel that way, read our president’s pathetic “many sides” response to a domestic terrorist attack by white supremist’s, watched the horrifying videos of a white supremacist’s car barreling though counter-protesters killing one woman and injuring 34, and looked at the barreling car photo in the NY Times showing a pair of shoes on the ground (where a person used to be) while men hung upside-down in the air.
It was seriously disturbing.
She looked at me and said “ I hope you’re not planning on writing a General Journal about this…? I don’t want to have my life threatened again, I don’t want to have out kids lives threatened again… this kind of stuff scares me”.
I sat in silence. I let her know I had begun dabbling with one a little before she woke up.
She continued, “Berto, I was scared to go to your birthday bash, worried that some whack-o was going to bomb the place or do something crazy to you, or me, or someone else."
"People know how you feel, do you need to add fuel to the fire?”
And she’s right.
I don’t need to add fuel to the fire.
What happened to my family as a result of the “Racism In Metal” video was fucking scary.
She’s not over it.
I’m not over it.
Hence, why I debated this.
Even a year and half later, when I go out to most big metal shows, at least one group screams “white power” at me.
I keep my head up, do my best to ignore them.
And while a healthy fear of whack-o’s comes with the territory of being married to someone famous, no one “wants that”.
Out of respect to her, I told her if I finished writing something, I would show it to her before posting asking for her blessing.
She read this and said "go for it”.
So I’m not gonna offer my opinions on the events in Charlottesville.
Instead, I’m gonna tell you a story about a journalist I used to know.
His name was Onno Cro-Mag.
He was a Dutch hardcore journalist / hardcore scene supporter /and co-owned a record company with Agnostic Front’s Roger Miret.
He passed away a few years ago, but the mark he left on me was deep.
And while the story is a little hazy to me 20 years later, I’ll do my best to honor the dead.
I first met him on our 1994 tour across the Europe. He interviewed me a few times, we shared a mutual love of the hardcore band Cro-Mags, (that’s Onno who comes up and sings back ups on our Cro-Mags cover of “Hard Times” in the Dynamo ’95 YouTube clip). (below)