System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan has been very open about his political beliefs in the midst of protests across the country. Now, he’s blasting the “Defund the Police” movement as “probably the stupidest thing [he’s] heard.”
Last week, Dolmayan made headlines when he called President Trump the “greatest friend to minorities” around the same time his bandmate Serj Tankian called for the protesters to “force the [Trump] regime to resign.”
In a 13-minute Instagram video posted over the weekend, Dolmayan addressed the backlash he has received since that post, while also outlining his positions on a variety of socio-political issues.
As far as the differences between him and his bandmates, particularly Tankian, Dolmayan said, “We have differing opinions in System of a Down. That shouldn’t be a shock to anybody, because you have four individuals — we’re not always like-minded and don’t always agree on everything. But you’d be surprised at how civil our conversations are, especially between me and Serj, who seem to have the most diverging opinions on things.”
He added, “I have a lot of respect for Serj and his opinions, although I don’t agree with them very often these days. And that’s okay. We expand each other’s horizons — I like to think that he learns from me and I learn from him.”
Dolmayan continued by saying he supports peaceful protests but denounces the violence and looting that has broken out in several cities. He also stated that NFL star Drew Brees should not have had to apologize over his comment that he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag.” He went on to say that he didn’t agree with Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the National Anthem, but felt that the quarterback should have been allowed to do so as a form of peaceful protest.
At one point, the drummer turned his attention to the “Defund the Police” movement, saying, “I think that the movement to defund police is probably the stupidest thing that I’ve heard.” While he didn’t elaborate on that opinion in the video post, he did so in another Instagram post the next day, writing the following:
“Any celebrity or politician who is behind the defund the police movement is doing one of two things 1. Showing you, who they consider the peasant class, how woke they are and how in tune they are with social injustice. In other words look like they give a shit but continue to live lavish well protected lives while you bang your head on a wall. 2. (Mainly politicians) Say anything to maintain their positions because the stupidity of defunding the police hasn’t fully been comprehended by the people advocating for it, they will cut budgets to show how they agree with the ‘movement’ and move the money into social programs, later once people have forgotten about this injustice and are on to the next issue they will cut funds to those programs and funnel the money right back into police department budgets. In fact they will increase those budgets because at the end of the day there can be no society without them, we are not civilized enough and probably never will be. You are being agitated into a frenzy, divided, and then placated. No real changes will be instituted except that many of you will be even more dependent on the government you so adamantly oppose. They take away your freedoms give you a few scraps and you thank them for it, wake up and think for yourself.”
As CNN points out, there are varying ideas of what “Defund the Police” means. For some, it means diverting a certain amount of funds from police departments to other social services. For others, it means stripping all funding and dissolving police departments altogether.
In another new Instagram post, Dolmayan seemed to mock the people who are labeling him a “piece of shit racist Nazi sympathizer” and those who are calling for System of a Down to boot him from the band. He sarcastically wrote, “Please, please don’t kick me out of my band. I’m sorry I think differently, I’ll change, I’ll conform, I promise!”
Meanwhile, during an appearance on the Side Jams With Bryan Reesman podcast, Serj Tankian wondered why fans still get upset over his left-leaning views. “When I get people on my socials that are, ‘I love your music, but I don’t wanna hear your political ideas,’ that’s fair enough — if they’re nice enough, it’s fair enough, but sometimes they’re really mean,” said the singer.
He added, “But what I don’t understand, and a lot of other people that follow the music say the same thing. They’re, like, ‘Have you not listened to the f**king words in 20 years? He’s been saying all this stuff through his music all this time. What are you, just dancing to it because it’s groovy? You’re not really getting the message?’”
See John Dolmayan’s recent Instagram posts, and check out Serj Tankian’s aforementioned podcast interview, below.