If you've seen a photo of Reece Eber lately, there's a reason why he looks like a scared little bunny.
And if you've never heard of Reece Eber until just now, there's a reason why you're not alone. Then again, there's also a reason why you might only be hearing of him just now.
There can be no doubt that for the last several days Eber has been living in fear for his life, as news exploded that Eber desecrated the grave of "Dimebag" Darryl Abbot.
Eber is formerly the lead singer of a band named "Nuclear Hellfrost." (If you've never heard of them before now there's a reason for that as well.) Nuclear Hellfrost is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. But a recent post on the band's Tumblr blog -- now deleted -- revealed that during a December tour through Texas, the band paid a visit to Abbott's grave.
There, they spat on his grave. That's the least of what they did as a group. According to Eber's account, he lingered behind after his bandmates departed and attached a note to the plaque covering Abbott's grave simply reading "fag." According to his initial account he also stole a pair of cowboy boots left by the grave.
He even took pictures of his work, and posted it to his Instagram account, with the following explanation:
"I HATE pantera…with a passion. and so does the rest of my band. so on tour going through texas we paid douchebag darrell a visit, we spit on his grave, stole a pair of cowboy boots, and i wrote fag on his grave… in not a homophobe but i hope the panturrrra fans see this… buncha racist hillbillies."
Well, Pantera fans saw it. And now Eber is at least pretending to see the error of his ways. But does he really?
Despite having used a homophobic slur, Eber insists that he is "not a homophobe." But even more disturbing is the final slur uttered on his Instagram posting, which seems to stand apart almost as if offered as justification for his actions:
"Buncha racist hillbillies."
I've listened to the entire catalogue of Pantera's work countless times over. Never have I heard a single lyric that would suggest the band is racist. I'm aware of no racist remarks ever uttered by a member of the band.
But even if it were true that Pantera, or Abbott himself, were racist, does that justify desecrating a gravesite?
Only under philosophical conditions that treat only people who hold requisite political or social beliefs as being worthy of even the most basic moral consideration.
It's become no secret that Nuclear Hellfrost considers themselves an "anti-racist" band. Even if they don't adhere to the other requirements necessary in order to be included under the banner of identity politics-based social justice ideologies -- and spewing homophobia is certainly a failure to adhere -- they clearly consider themselves to be adherents of social justice ideologies. As with all such ideologues, they seem to grant themselves infinite "free passes" for violations of that same ideology.
Moreover, their asserted adherence to that ideology -- even if they don't actually adhere to it -- grants them a free hand to heap all manners of abuses on those who don't adhere to it. Alleged racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other violation can be invoked by such individuals as justification for any kind of moral act they may wish to commit.
In the final analysis, they treat themselves as uniquely privileged to decide, on such basis, who is or is not worthy of moral consideration.
There's a phrase that describes this attitude: moral authoritarianism.
Moral authoritarianism has become as much a landmark on the landscape of left-wing politics as social justice ideology; such metaphorical monoliths grow evermore in size, import and prestige the further one moves toward the far-left.
This is why social justice ideologies are uniquely toxic. The ideologies, their teachings and their methodologies should be rejected anywhere and everywhere they appear in favour of means that actually pursue actual social justice.
Here's a general rule of thumb: people who actually pursue actual social justice will not do so by doing things that are unjust, as Reece Eber and Nuclear Hellfrost have done.
Not that Nuclear Hellfrost matters much. Their hatred has not only extinguished any meaningful humanity in themselves, but now also their musical careers.
Simply put, they're not a big enough band to afford the amount of security they'd need to keep themselves safe at a metal concert.