LOS ANGELES—System of a Down lead singer Serj Tankian challenged a capacity crowd at their July 29th Hollywood Bowl show to imagine a world in which those who claim to speak for the international community remained silent on the Holocaust – as they do on the Turkish Government’s genocide perpetrated against its Armenian, Greek and Assyrian populations from 1915-1923.
With Daron Malakian’s soulful riffs of the Armenian ballad “Zepiuri Nman” (Like a Breeze) in the background, Tankian stated:
“Imagine if this is the 1940s, and World War II had just started, and America decided not to enter the war on the side of Britain.”
“Imagine if, Americans became allies with Nazi Germany and decided that we’re going to push away the Holocaust, never use the word Holocaust in Government policy.”
“Imagine what a life that would be.”
“Imagine being Jewish and living in L.A. and not hearing your President or your Congress use the word Holocaust.”
“That’s exactly what Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians feel when our government doesn’t use the word genocide.”
The four members of System of a Down have been at the forefront of calling on the U.S., and international community as a whole, to work toward a truthful and just resolution of the Armenian Genocide, and all genocides, since the very inception of their Grammy award-winning band. Their efforts are spotlighted in the documentary “SCREAMERS” – which highlights international inaction in the face of the Armenian and Darfur genocides. Tankian and System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan travelled to Washington, DC in April, 2006, for a three-day advocacy campaign urging Congress to speak truthfully about this crime.
Tankian made a short video in April, 2009, viewed more than 330,00 times, urging President Obama to honor his campaign pledge to properly commemorate the Armenian Genocide. Successive annual April 24th statements by the President have stopped short of referencing the crime as ‘genocide.’
Watch a segment of the film SCREAMERS, including a performance of System’s powerful anti-denial anthem P.L.U.C.K.