Johnny Cash’s Children ‘Sickened’ by T-Shirt at Charlottesville White Supremacy Rally
The children of Johnny Cash have released a statement after it came to light that one of the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville over the weekend was wearing a Johnny Cash T-shirt, saying they are "sickened by the association."
"Johnny Cash was a man whose heart beat with the rhythm of love and social justice. He received humanitarian awards from, among others, the Jewish National Fund, B’nai Brith, and the United Nations," Rosanne Cash, Kathy Cash, Cindy Cash, Tara Cash and John Carter Cash write in a statement via Facebook.
The statement details Cash's tireless work for the rights of Native Americans, protesting the Vietnam War and advocating for "the poor, the struggling and the disenfranchised," as well as for the rights of prisoners. "His pacifism and inclusive patriotism were two of his most defining characteristics. He would be horrified at even a casual use of his name or image for an idea or a cause founded in persecution and hatred," the statement reads.
32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when one of the white supremacists apparently deliberately ran his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, and two law enforcement officers died when their helicopter crashed while they were monitoring the action on the street. The incident attracted headlines worldwide and was almost universally condemned, with country singers including Blake Shelton, Kip Moore, Tim McGraw, Kacey Musgraves, Brothers Osborne and Wheeler Walker, Jr., adding their voices to those who reacted online.
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"Our dad told each of us, over and over throughout our lives, ‘Children, you can choose love or hate. I choose love,'" Cash's kids state.
"We do not judge race, color, sexual orientation or creed. We value the capacity for love and the impulse towards kindness. We respect diversity, and cherish our shared humanity. We recognize the suffering of other human beings, and remain committed to our natural instinct for compassion and service."
They conclude their powerful statement by stating explicitly that Johnny Cash's name is not to be associated with any further acts that he would have stood against in his own life.
"To any who claim supremacy over other human beings, to any who believe in racial or religious hierarchy: we are not you. Our father, as a person, icon, or symbol, is not you. We ask that the Cash name be kept far away from destructive and hateful ideology," they write.
"We Choose Love."
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