SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan has publicly expressed his gratitude to President Joe Biden for officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
On Saturday (April 24),the Armenian-American musician thanked the president on social media for officially recognizing the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Empire forces in the early 20th century as a genocide, something past U.S. administrations were unwilling to do due to concerns over alienating Turkey, an important NATO ally and influential power in the Middle East. The Turkish government continues to deny that a genocide occurred.
"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," John wrote on Instagram. "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."
A few hours before Dolmayan's post, SYSTEM singer Serj Tankian, whose grandparents all fled the Armenian Genocide, also thanked Biden for his declaration, writing on social media: "Thank you to President Joe Biden for properly recognizing the #ArmenianGenocide 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."
In 2019, both the U.S. House and Senate passed a bill declaring that the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks was, in fact, a genocide.
Last year, Dolmayan praised former U.S. president Donald Trump and accused Democrats of "demonizing" the real estate mogul and "blaming him for everything under the sun." The drummer also called Democrats "the true bigots" who "fought to maintain slavery" and were "directly responsible for 70 plus million abortions, a large majority of whom were black." Additionally, Dolmayan supported Trump's claim that his administration had done more for the African-American community "than any president since Abraham Lincoln."
Tankian discussed his relationship with Dolmayan, who is also his brother-in-law, during a recent interview with Consequence Of Sound. He said: "We're very good friends, we're family, and he's my drummer in my band, so, of course, we've talked about many, many different things, including political views. When you don't agree with someone after a while about a certain topic … look, it doesn't mean that we don't agree about other stuff. We agree a lot about Armenian stuff, for example, a lot about family stuff, a lot of other things, a lot of personal stuff. But when it comes to American politics, we happen to be on the polar opposite ends of it, and we're both very passionate and vehement about our views, which is fine."
Serj continued: "I love and respect John very much, but I don't love and respect his American political views. And that's fine. And I can live with that and he can live with that because we respect and care for each other. And it's really just that. Have we talked about it? Yeah. But do we talk about it often? No, because there comes a point where when you don't see eye to eye on something, you just rather talk about something else."