System Of A Down's John DolmayanGreg Watermann

System Of A Down’s John Dolmayan Talks Cancel Culture, Says Black Lives Matter ‘Don’t Give Two Sh*ts About Black Lives’


System Of A Down drummer John Dolmayan‘s right-leaning political views and his outspoken expression of them on social media found him drawing considerable controversy throughout the last year. Amid swift backlash from the left and growing support from the right, Dolmayan backed then sitting U.S. President Donald Trump, disputed the existence of systematic racism in the United States, branded Black Lives Matter and Antifa as Marxists and more.

With his views seemingly being almost diametrically opposed with that of the band’s outspokenly leftist frontman (and his own brother-in-law) Serj Tankian, the difference in political opinions caused somewhat of a rift between fans that for a time seemingly spilled over to members of the band.

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In a new appearance on ‘Cancelled with Rob Rosen and Desma Simon‘, Dolmayan, who described himself as a centrist on the program, spoke of how that backlash cost him personally.

While a campaign to seemingly smear Dolmayan‘s Torpedo Comics store in Las Vegas, NV followed in the wake of his comments, his political and ideological beliefs also had another cost—one related to his ‘Ascencia‘ comic book series, which he was hoping to adapt into other forms of media.

Speaking of how cancel culture impacted his plans, he told the aforementioned podcast:

“I’ve been a victim of it. I assure you, there’s… Let’s just say that ‘Ascencia‘ could easily be made into a TV show or movie and I had an agency working on that with me. And that agency how to take a step back.

So, I’ve already been a victim of this, and it’s no different and no better than what happened in the 50s with McCarthyism. I don’t believe in communism. I don’t believe in socialism—I believe in social programs. But I also wouldn’t condemn somebody, I wouldn’t put somebody in jail for their beliefs. It could be wrong, and still teach something to somebody, right?

Like the communist ideal doesn’t work. It’s been proven more times than I care to count that it cannot work, but you can still learn something from it. You know there are positives and we can take those positives incorporated into our capitalist system here. So that they can benefit everybody.

I think that the, again, the pendulum will swing hard the other way too. It’s not gonna be like this forever heads will prevail. But you have to understand, the way people are treated today, is going to be forgotten. Right, like all these people on social media. That’s forever.

And the mindset could get more conservative and then people could be looking at your social media, 15 years from now, when you’re applying for a job somewhere and cancel you back. It could happen. So you got to be careful. You know, you got to be careful what you wish for.

Now, the agency I’m working with, they’re really good people, and they have a bigger… they have a big company to think about. I probably shouldn’t be talking about this, but I always do this to myself. At the end of the day, we may end up working together, and if we don’t we don’t. But I understand where they’re coming from. They have to protect their interests, right?

But this is the problem, you got Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook—every mainstream news organization, all thinking and working in one direction. That’s very bad. Corporations should not be dictating ideology. That’s not what they’re for. but they’re probably a little too powerful at this point. You can’t even get a web server.

Look what they did to Parler. I got on Parler, there’s no network. They don’t have a network, because they have a different ideology. To me, that’s fascist. Isn’t that the definition of fascism? To eradicate any thought outside of your own.

It’s like these young people, they’re going through this indoctrination. They don’t even know history. Like history is being eradicated.”

When asked how he responds to being a called a racist for his views on system racism and his opinions on the Black Lives Matter organization, he replied:

“Well I ignore anybody that calls me a racist, which is what I should do. There should be there should be no apology, there should be no trying to prove anything to them. You prove I’m a racist. I don’t have to prove anything to you. That’s my philosophy on that.

As far as Black Lives Matter is concerned, I don’t like the Black Lives Matter organization. Many of their founders are flat out communists. And I don’t think the Black Lives Matter movement—or organization, not the movement—because I think a lot of people think differently than what the actual movement is about. I don’t think they give two shits about black lives.

I think they’re a democratic fundraising tool of a communist agenda. And if they really cared about black lives they would care about black on black violence in our inner cities. …No person should be killed by police officers, unless there’s reasonable threat to either a police officer or someone else’s life. You have to have all that stuff in courts. That’s why we have courts.

So I am 100% a supporter of keeping our police in check, and also making sure that they are protecting the citizens that they are sworn to protect, and they are following due process of law. No matter what your crime, it has to go through the process. Otherwise the system doesn’t work. I’m all for that.

But I am not for an organization that does almost nothing to help black people in inner cities, and especially people that are victims of black on black violence, they never talk about, and they never do anything about it. And you have a lot of support that went to the Black Lives Matter movement. And then I and then I saw a list of where the money went, like the contributions. And it all went to democrat election campaigns.

Is it democratic organization? Or is it a movement to end racism or bring a better life to black people in inner cities or black people in general? It should really be—because when you initially think about it—it almost should have been called Black Lives Matter Too. Because if you’re saying that we’re we’re at we’re rallying against the fact that black lives don’t matter to people. Right? If that’s what you’re saying. Then you have to include every human being into that, but you also have to point out that maybe black lives don’t matter as much to you as they should. Right. So that’s something that you can get behind a little bit more, but to say Black Lives Matter, that’s like segregation to me.

You’re segregating black people instead of saying, we’re all in this together. You’re saying no, black people are here, and you’re here and you’re a racist. That’s gonna turn off a lot of people.”

As for whether or not he regrets speaking his mind in hindsight, he responded:

“No. And the reason why is I’ve gotten messages from a lot of people that said they were contemplating suicide because they felt alone in the world. But because I was vocal, and I had the, what do you call it, stupidity or bravery, to voice my opinions whether people agree with them or not, that they felt like they weren’t alone anymore. And that helped them.

So, I may never get my comic book made into a TV show or movie. I may have millions of fans disown me, but those people are alive. So, you just have to make personal choices in life and you have to decide whether whether it’s more important for you to have more money and things, or if it’s important for you to live by a certain code.

And at the end of the day I like to think that I’m a good person and that I would help anybody equally, and that’s the truth. And if you look at the history of my life, that’s exactly what I’ve done.”

Regarding whether he holds a ‘don’t give a fuck attitude’ when it comes to expressing himself online, he offered:

“It’s not that I don’t give a fuck. And let me clarify something, if the if the Antifa movement and the Black Lives Matter movement were non-violent. And they weren’t setting up autonomous zones, and all that stuff. Not only would they have my support. They would have my absolute financial support, blessing… I think that there are positives in those movements that you can support. My issue with them, just like my issue with what happened in Washington, D.C. a couple of weeks back, is If you’re going to if you’re going to resort to violence, people are going to get killed. You’re gonna hurt or maim cops and you’re going to destroy small businesses, how can I support you?

I will fight to the death for a communist’s right to say what they want to say here in the United States. And I couldn’t be more opposed to the ideology. But I would say this, anybody that is thinking about being vocal, be weary. We are in a society that is hypersensitive right now. And cancel culture is a real thing. And it can really hurt you. Part of the reason why I have been vocal about it, we’ve already discussed, you know, is because somebody has to be, you know, and the first person through the gates is always gonna take the most hits.

But there are other people, other other outspoken people as well. Elon Musk is very outspoken. He’s much smarter than I am so he says he says it more eloquently, but he says a lot of the same things. And, you know, that guy’s gonna be a trillionaire… For anybody out there. You got to make your personal decisions. Do it, do it in an intelligent manner, work from a point of love and understanding and compassion, and the chips are gonna fall where they may.”

You can listen to the entire episode here.

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