Apparently, Philip Labonte, alleged singer of the metal band All That Remains is now an expert on psychology, sexual orientation, racism and constitutional law.
Labonte was recently called out for using the word ‘faggot’ on a DVD in 2005. Instead of just saying, “sorry that was out of line” and letting it die, he decided to try and explain (pronounced: justify). In the process, he made a string of comments that were staggeringly ignorant. I’m not going to render much of an opinion on his specific statements, I’ll just share them with you and let them speak for themselves. I will, however, provide a translation into human so you can understand what he is saying. For context, here is a picture of the guy making the comments.
(Keep in mind that while he is free to speak his opinion, the rest of us are free to cut his opinion to ribbons.)
“It’s just a word… I think the only people that have a legit grievance when it comes to any racial slurs is the black community.” – Philip Labonte on the use of the word, ‘faggot’
What he actually meant: “The only exposure I have to marginalized groups is when Black History Month comes around, and whenever I see that on TV, I just change the channel.” Philip has never heard of the Trail of Tears, or the Holocaust, or Japanese internment or the gay’s and lesbians that have been persecuted and even… burned at the stake all throughout history. Next!
He then tries to explain that he does’t want to “minimize the plight of homosexuals” but that “homosexuals were never property,” and that even though they have “had a rough time,” the “black community has a whole lot more room to be upset about a word than the LGBT community.”
What he actually meant: “I don’t want to minimize the struggles of the LGBT community, but I’m going to try and power through it anyway.” Philip, give me your home address, I’ll send you a dictionary so you can look up the definition of minimize. I’ll even put a sticky note with the page number in it because based on the things that come out of your mouth, you may not know how to count past 23.
Here is his explanation of what is wrong with minorities. “I think that people get offended far too easily, and I think that they get offended because it’s almost like you’re supposed to get offended by certain things. It’s, like, there’s pressure from society. If you’re not offended, there’s something wrong with you.”
What he actually meant: “I want to be able to say whatever I want whenever I want without consequences. A history of genocide, slavery, internment camps and public lynchings don’t give people a reason to be upset and concerned when I insult their cultures.” What Philip Labonte? Really? You do realize that the whole reason metal still exists is because people back in the 70’s and 80’s got offended by “the devil’s music” and campaigned so hard against it that it became every wannabe rebel’s wet dream. You owe your career in part to people you disagree with being offended. If marginalized groups aren’t allowed to be offended when someone uses a slur that was designed solely to bring down entire communities, I don’t know who is.
Philip Labonte, books are good for more than just wiping your ass, rolling joints and eating. You can also read them. I suggest you try it sometime.
Should artists think more carefully before they speak? Do people get offended to easily? Discuss below or on The Ultimate Sound’s twitter page. Follow @TheUSound