System of a Down Thank Joe Biden for Recognizing Armenian Genocide
System of a Down have thanked President Joe Biden for recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
Two of the band's members expressed their gratitude in separate statements on April 25. System of a Down fans are likely aware of how important political and social causes are to the group. SOAD's Armenian-American heritage has informed much of their work, including last year's first new songs from the band in 15 years, issued to underscore the consequences of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war. But this week's response from the band looks back a century to World War I.
Frontman Serj Tankian writes, "Thank you to President Joe Biden for properly recognizing the [Armenian Genocide] today. This is extremely important but only a milestone towards the long road of justice ahead with Turkey and its imminent need to do the same and make amends towards the descendants of 1.5 Million Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians systematically slaughtered by its Ottoman Turkish ancestors. Today, I will say thank you to the US and all those who have fought hard for this statement over the years."
Drummer John Dolmayan also shared a statement online, writing, "I would like to thank President [Joe Biden] 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."
As reported by The New York Times, the president's acknowledgment of the mass murder and ethnic cleansing of over a million Armenians as a genocide, a 2020 campaign promise Biden has now made good on, is a break from past U.S. presidents.
"Each year on this day," the White House's April 24 statement begins, "we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring."
It continues, "Beginning on April 24, 1915, with the arrest of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople by Ottoman authorities, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in a campaign of extermination. We honor the victims of the Meds Yeghern so that the horrors of what happened are never lost to history. And we remember so that we remain ever-vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms."
The statement concludes by urging Americans to "honor all those Armenians who perished in the genocide that began 106 years ago."
Dolmayan has made headlines in music news over the past year for his support of former President Donald Trump. Tankian has admitted that it's "frustrating" being at political odds with his bandmate. Although, the singer noted that their differences are only "having to do with American politics. When it comes to Armenian issues we're on the same exact page."