ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian has once again commented on last month’s incident when ex-PANTERA singer Philip Anselmo said “white power” and made the Nazi salute on stage. Anselmo later claimed he was referring to drinking white wine as part of an “inside joke” but has since released a video message, saying that he “deserves completely” the “heat” that he has been getting over his actions and claiming to be “a thousand percent apologetic to anyone that took offense to what [he] said.”
In a message posted to Ian’s personal web site in the days following the incident, the guitarist suggested Anselmo show how sincere he is by making a donation to Jewish human rights organization the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He also wrote: “Philip’s actions were vile and that should be the focus here; anything else is just noise.”
Asked by Rolling Stone what went through his mind when he saw a video tape of Anselmo’s Nazi salute, Ian responded: “There was a lot of screaming in my brain: ‘Oh no. Please don’t let this be real!’ First and foremost, we are friends. I love Phil Anselmo like a brother. He’s family to me. We’ve known each other for 30 years almost. This isn’t something like where I’m just like, ‘Fuck this guy!’ I know deep down, truly that he’s not that person. But I had to say something publicly about it, because to me, silence is being complicit.”
He continued: “Phil is taking a deep hard look at himself and his life, and he is going to do what he needs to do to fix things. Kids who listen to this type of music shouldn’t think that this is okay.
“I’ve seen so much rhetoric out there saying, ‘What’s the big deal?’ Ugh. I don’t think I need to explain history to tell you what the big deal is. I’ve even seen a comment as stupid as, ‘Well, why does Scott ask for a donation to the Simon Wiesenthal Center? That’s a Jewish thing. White Power has nothing to do with the Jews.’ So that’s the stupidity that’s out there. This is a big fucking deal and everybody needs to know that. Education needs to happen.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center operates Museums of Tolerance across the world and, according to its mission statement, “confronts anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promotes human rights and dignity, stands with Israel, defends the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaches the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations.”
Several other notable musicians have come out and criticized Anselmo for his actions, including MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn, who uploaded an eleven-minute video response to the incident in which he called Anselmo a “big bully” and described Philip’s behavior as “fucking wrong.”