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System of a Down Drummer Thanks Joe Biden for Recognizing Armenian Genocide

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First, a bit of news that’s not surprising at all: System a Down frontman Serj Tankian, who generally aligns himself with progressive causes, has thanked President Joe Biden for officially recognizing the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire 106 years ago as a genocide, a politically risky declaration given the United States’ diplomatic relationship with Turkey. All four of System of a Down’s members are, of course, of Armenian descent.

Posting on Instagram on Saturday, Serj said:

“Thank you to President Joe Biden for properly recognizing the #ArmenianGenocide today. This extremely important milestone is a large step on the long road towards justice. As System Of A Down, we want to acknowledge and thank all of you who have stood with us over the years marching in the streets, signing petitions, and voicing your support to hold Turkey accountable to make amends towards the descendants of 1.5 Million Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians systematically slaughtered by its Ottoman Turkish ancestors. Read the full statement using link in our stories. #armeniangenocide#1915neveragain

Now for the surprising part: System drummer John Dolmayan has also specifically thanked Biden by name for the same reason.

Dolmayan, you surely remember, has called Donald Trump “the greatest friend to minorities,” disseminated coronavirus conspiracy theories, argued that there is no systemic racism in the United States, asserted that “the Black Lives Matter movement could care less about black people” and is “a Democratic fundraising tool of a communist organization,” decried the defund the police movement as “the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” questioned the legitimacy of Biden’s presidency, and compared liberals to Joseph McCarthy

But it’s System of a Down’s shared heritage that has again united its members. Last September, the band released two new songs — their first in 15 years — to bring awareness to the war in Artsakh. The effort raised over $600k for Armenians affected and displayed by the conflict.

Dolmayan, also posting on Instagram, said:

“I would like to thank President @joebiden for recognizing officially that the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) happened and that this crime against humanity emboldened Hitler and many other genocidal dictators throughout the last century. I will forever be grateful to this administration as an Armenian and as a proud American. I would further like to comment on the genocide of native Americans throughout North, Central, and South America and how the indigenous people who lived here before us deserve not only our empathy but also our support. Ultimately we are all one people regardless of our beliefs or other differences , hopefully one day we as humans will accept that fact and live in peace.”

I would hereby like to thank John Dolmayan for thanking Joe Biden. Good sense has prevailed, and for once he hasn’t let partisanship get in the way. It likely won’t be long until he’s back to his old tricks, but we’ll take it.

Tankian released his first solo EP, Elasticity, in March; check out the title track here, and order the EP here.

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