All That Remains’ Phil Labonte Debates Usage of Offensive Terms on MSNBC’s ‘The Docket’
All That Remains frontman Phil Labonte certainly stirred the pot by recently dredging up a past incident of using a homophobic slur and then comparing the plight of gays to the black community. As expected, the discussion brought a certain amount of press attention, and Labonte went on to explain his reasoning Tuesday (Feb. 3) during an edition of MSNBC's 'The Docket.'
During his discussion with host Seema Iyer, Labonte clarified that he felt that people in the black community were the only ones who had a legit grievance to be offended by racial slurs given all that they had gone through as a people. "First there was slavery, then it's Jim Crow, and still today, prisons are full of black and brown people, so there's significant social problems for the black community," says Labonte.
When asked about his usage of the term "f--got" in commentary which started the backlash when he used it in 2005, Labonte admitted that he used the word to "stir the pot, to piss a lot of people off." He added, "People are gonna be offended, but you can't control what offends someone, because one thing will offend one person and it won't offend another, so there's no litmus test."
He went on to add that the political correctness when it comes to what's offensive has led to a more intense reaction to things. He explained, "I think that if you're gonna ban things, or if, socially, things are unacceptable because they're too offensive, then you end up with things like the Charlie Hebdo attack. You end up with people saying, 'You said this, so now I'm empowered to enact a violent response because of a word.' And saying a word is not wrong."
He went on to add, "Just because I'm not gay or black doesn't mean that I should be excluded from having any kind of comment on society or social [issues]."
When Iyer offered the quote, "It's better to be kind than be right" and stated that she felt the words Labonte used skewed his message, the rocker responded, "I'm the kind of person… I don't look like the rock star, I'm not the guy with all the jewelry and the long hair. I'm who I am and there's times when I'm gonna say things that are offensive, and that's just the way it is. But I don't believe… Or at least for me personally, I don't wanna try to be something I'm not. And if I'm offensive, well, you know what?! I'm offensive. But I'm me."
You can watch the interesting discussion in full in the MSNBC player provided above.
All That Remains are ramping up to the Feb. 24 release of their 'The Order of Things' album. The disc is currently available for pre-order via Amazon and iTunes and they're booked with plenty of tour dates throughout the spring. See where they're playing at this location.