System Of A Down drummer John Dolmayan has hit back at fans who have criticised his controversial political opinions.
The musician sparked outrage back in June when he spoke out in praise of Donald Trump, describing him as “the greatest friend to minorities” in the US. He later targeted Black Lives Matter, saying that the movement “never had legitimacy” and calling it a “propaganda tool” for the Democrat Party.
Taking to Instagram yesterday (September 8), Dolmayan shared a negative online review of his Las Vegas comic book store, Torpedo Comics, in which a man named Jeff Jones called the drummer “a fascist sympathiser who pedals [sic] in racist conspiracy theories”.
“If you care about Black lives, women’s choice, and actually fighting racism and fascism please do not by from this store,” Jones added. You can see the screenshot below.
“This is ‘Jeff Jones’, he doesn’t like my comic book company torpedo comics because I have views that differ from his (if he exists at all),” Dolmayan wrote in the caption, suggesting the review had come from a fake account.
“This is of course his right, what ‘Jeff’ fails to understand is that the tactics he’s employing including cancel culture and shaming based on a false moral high ground are simply fascist tactics being employed by someone who doesn’t understand or care that I have over 20 employees of all genders, political affiliations, sexual orientations, races etc.”
He went on to say that these workers “choose to work for [him] because they are free to be whoever they want to be so long as they do their jobs and are happy.”
Dolmayan continued: “Of course I do myself no favours expressing my opinions on social media but it is my opinion that it’s important to have differing views especially when you consider the band I’m in and how polarizing some of our messages were though they didn’t necessarily represent the opinions of all of us all the time.
“If I simply kept my mouth shut as some of you would prefer there would be one less voice speaking against the willful destruction and hate that is consuming so many people, hate and anger that will only bring a stronger and more violent reaction from opposing ideals. This helps no one.”
He concluded: “Some of you would like my voice silenced and for me to lose everything I have and shutter my business up forever but I will defy you and continue to exercise my first amendment rights peacefully and support you or any opposing mindsets rights to freely voice those ideas I would spend a lifetime arguing against as long as you do so peacefully and without destruction.”
Following his initial comments on Trump, Dolmayan claimed that he was in “no danger whatsoever” of being fired from SOAD for expressing his controversial views publicly – despite his bandmates holding opposing opinions.
“My drummer and brother in law John Dolmayan whom I love and respect irrespective of our extremely polarised political commentary and differences has always been my stalwart ally in efforts for recognition of the Armenian genocide within SOAD,” he wrote.