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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 17 November, 2019

The family of Johnny Cash have perfectly slammed Nazis wearing t-shirts with the singer on them at Charlottesville

“We ask that the Cash name be kept far away from destructive and hateful ideology.”

Johnny Cash and June Carter - Heathrow Airport - London Source: PA Archive/PA Images

ROSANNE CASH, THE daughter of legendary American singer-songwriter Johnny Cash was disgusted when she saw a white supremacist on film wearing a t-shirt featuring her father’s image.

Last night she took to Facebook to point out that Johnny Cash opposed everything that white supremacists stand for, citing the singer’s passion for fighting in the name of ‘social justice’.

We were alerted to a video of a young man in Charlottesville, a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi, spewing hatred and bile. He was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the name of Johnny Cash, our father. We were sickened by the association.

Johnny Cash and family - London Airport - 1972 Johnny Cash with his wife June, son John and daughter Rosie. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

She went on to list Johnny’s humanitarian awards including ones from the Jewish National Fund, B’nai Brith – the oldest Jewish organisation in the world and the United Nations.

Confederate Monument Protest Source: Evan Vucci

So it’s pretty clear that Cash would be the last person to support the current activities of groups like Unite the Right who were responsible for the activities in Virginia last weekend, which resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, a woman protesting against racism.

Mourners remember Heather Heyer, who ‘loved people’ and fought injustice Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

As well as the African American community, the Jewish community of Charlottesville were aggressively intimidated and victimised during the weekend’s events.

A leader from the community wrote about having to hire armed security when police offered them little help to hold off abuse from neo-Nazis.

Chicago: Rally for victims of violence in Charlottesville Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

They had to remove their Torahs from the synagogue – including a Holocaust scroll, for fear that the building would be burned down when the 40 congregants left. Nazis passing the building chanted “Seig Heil” and other anti-semetic language.

As well as being an an advocate for Jewish people, Johnny Cash was involved in many other forms of activism, which Rosanne went on to point out.

He championed the rights of Native Americans, protested the war in Vietnam, was a voice for the poor, the struggling and the disenfranchised, and an advocate for the rights of prisoners.

[...] He was on an advisory board of an organisation solely devoted to preventing gun violence among children.

Rosanne added that Cash 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 white supremacists and neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville are poison in our society.

Throughout his life, Johnny Cash actively tried to instill his values in his children. 

Our dad told each of us, over and over throughout our lives, ‘Children, you can choose love or hate. I choose love’.

We do not judge race, colour, sexual orientation or creed. We value the capacity for love and the impulse toward kindness. We respect diversity, and cherish our shared humanity. We recognise the suffering of other human beings and remain committed to our natural instinct for compassion and service.

Bette Midler's 12th Annual Spring Picnic - New York Rosanne Cash Source: EMPICS Entertainment

Finally, Rosanne wrote:

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.

We choose love.

The open letter was signed off by Rosanne, Kathy, Cindy, Tara and John Cash, with a quote by civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis:

Not one of us can rest, be happy, be at home, be at peace with ourselves, until we end hatred and division.


Sessions Hearing Rep. John Lewis Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

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Kelly Earley

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