I am still metaphorically hung over from the incredible time last night on the Metal Injection Livecast that we had with Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe sitting in on the last 90 minutes of the show. Randy was very conversational, talking a lot about his new book, Dark Days, his time in a Czech prison, his very interesting views on internet media and the upcoming elections.
One thing we wanted to note was Randy's take on the Confederate flag. Randy grew up in Richmond, VA, the capital of the Confederacy, so if anybody had a good viewpoint of the discussion it's him. We asked Randy his thoughts, and here are some quotes from what he said:
That is the flag of Northern Virginia, that is not the flag of the Confederacy, it is a military unit flag.
Number one: I am so glad it got taken down from the South Carolina capitol. And I’m probably going to get shot the next time I’m in Charleston, but I don’t give a fuck. These are taxpayers’ dollars maintaining this, paying for the people that raise that flag. This is not a Sons of the Confederacy building, this is your state capitol. Let’s be realistic. That being said, at the same time, and this is something I learned from my father, who is a liberal, highly intelligent, very moral man.
I don’t believe in censorship in America. I believe that anyone should be able to fly the swastika, right? I think it’s fucking despicable. I’m obviously anti-racist, anti-fascist, have been punk rock oi-oi, whatever… but you have that right. I don’t think half the people know what it means. It’s a military unit flag. But they have that right. Even the lowest of the low, the God Hates Fags people… they have the right to be idiots. We all have that right as Americans. I’ve been to places that are not free societies. This is a relatively free society and the minute we start clamping down just because we don’t like something like that, if it’s not directly hurting somebody else, that opens all sorts of doors.
I think it’s really good that that flag is down, and I think if some people are going to wave it, they need to realize what it symbolizes to other people. I think it’s simple-minded to equate it with a Nazi flag. Because, in fact, a lot of people in the south do look at it as a symbol of their heritage. I have relatives buried in graveyards who were Confederate flags. I live in Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy. But they don’t equate it with hate. Publicly displaying that stuff is offensive to people. Use some common sense.
Of course, this is the tip of the iceberg for the conversation and we implore you to hear the whole thing.
I think Randy's point is excellent. No government building should be displaying that flag, but at the same time, we shouldn't censor anybody choosing to display it in their personal/private spaces.
Another person who surprisingly recently came out against the flag is Phil Anselmo. We've already covered some vague comments Anselmo made a few weeks ago, but in a new interview, he left little to the imagination:
“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?”
But of course, lead it to America's two leading patriots to take the conversation in the other direction. Kid Rock and Ted Nugent have announced they'll be combing forces for a pro-Confederate flag song with Rock quoted as saying “Rock ‘n’ roll ain’t supposed to be nice — it’s supposed to hit you upside the head with a tire iron, and that is exactly what this song does.” and Nugent being extra racist in his comments:
“I believe that we always have to look at substance over symbolism, and I think we have to be honest. If we burned every Confederate flag today, would they stop shooting each other in Chicago? If we burned every Confederate flag today, would we stop sanctuary cities from accommodating murderers and rapists and savage people?”
Who is "they," Ted? Is it black people?
God bless America!