System Of A Down’s John Dolmayan and Serj Tankian clash over Trump protest stance

(Image credit: Lester Cohen - Getty)

System Of A Down’s John Dolmayan and Serj Tankian are at odds over Donald Trump’s handling of the protests sweeping across the US following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota last week.

After Dolmayan called for a peaceful protest involving "law enforcement officers, military, firefighters, students, teachers and private citizens," he then posted the recent quote from the US president saying that his administration had “done more for the black community than any president since Abraham Lincoln.”

The SOAD drummer added: “Let’s not let the narrative that’s being spun make us forget the truth of this statement. The most attacked president in history yet the greatest friend to minorities! Don’t believe it? Look at the stats. Don’t like it, doesn’t change the truth of it.”

Dolmayan’s comments are in stark contrast to those of the band’s frontman Tankian, who has lambasted Trump for the way he’s handled the protests, saying: “Run Donny run into your bunker. You may be the first US president to do so out of fear of your own citizens. 

“A real leader would address the nation properly and a real man would go face the protestors on the streets in person. But like other corrupt undemocratic leaders in the past, you’ve realised they are not your people as you are not really our president. 

“These protests are not just over race but over institutional injustices beginning with the slave-era electoral college that put you in power, K Street lobbying firms, super-delegates of a two party duopolistic neo-liberal corporatocracy whose day has come. 

“You make antifa a terrorist organisation but not the KKK? The lessons of the 2018 peaceful successful revolution in Armenia can be applied in the US and elsewhere in the world. Coordinate online and block every street everywhere and force the regime to resign. The time has come.”

Following his initial comments about Trump, Dolmayan then posted a picture of retired St Louis police captain David Dorn, who was fatally shot while responding to an alarm at a pawnshop during looting in the city.

Dolmayan said: “Injustice breeds injustice. For those of you who vilified me for calling for peaceful protests you should be ashamed of yourselves for perpetuating violence and advocating for mob justice. This man had a family too.

“I don’t care how many of you condemn me for my views and defence of the president, I will fight your attempt to silence any voice that isn’t in line with your perceived morally superior views just as I would fight for your rights to have and express those views I don’t always agree with.

“For those of you incapable of understanding that, feel free to bash me all you like as that is also your right under the constitution but know I couldn’t care less.”

Despite their difference of political views, Dolmayan and Tankian recently collaborated on a cover of David Bowie’s Starman.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.