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Descendents slap down former Oath Keeper sporting band T-shirt at Congress hearing on 2021 Washington DC riots

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(Image credit: SAUL LOEB/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Punk veterans Descendents have issued a statement distancing themselves from far right ideologies after a former spokesman for the Oath Keepers militia group attended a committee hearing about the January 6 insurrection against the United States government wearing one of their T-shirts. 

Jason Van Tatenhove, who served as national spokesman for the far right group, and was a close aide to Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, appeared before the committee hearing on 'The January 6th Investigation' on Capitol Hill in Washington DC yesterday, July 12, and online observers were quick to spot his Descendents T-shirt, plus the Deftones White Pony pin badge on his denim jacket.

In response, the band tweeted: “We completely disavow groups like the Oath Keepers and in no way condone their hateful ideology.”

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Although Descendents are best known for their irreverent, light-hearted pop-punk songs, tracks such as 'Merican, which features lyrics such as:

"I come from the land of Ben Franklin
Twain and Poe and Walt Whitman
Otis Redding, Ellington,
The country that I love
But it's a land of the slaves and the Ku Klux Klan
Haymarket riot and the Great Depression
Joe McCarthy, Vietnam
The sickest joke I know"

In his testimony, Jason Van Tatenhove described the Oath Keepers as a "dangerous" group, and and stated that he quit his role in the organisation when he learned that some of the far right militia members were Holocaust deniers.

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes is set to go on trial for seditious conspiracy for his alleged role in the January 6, 2021 riots in the US capital. 

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.