On Saturday, President Joe Biden became the first US president since Ronald Reagan to call the mass killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire a genocide, commemorating the 106th anniversary of the beginning of the massacre. "Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring," he said in a statement. "Today, as we mourn what was lost, let us also turn our eyes to the future -- toward the world that we wish to build for our children. A world unstained by the daily evils of bigotry and intolerance, where human rights are respected, and where all people are able to pursue their lives in dignity and security," Biden said. "Let us renew our shared resolve to prevent future atrocities from occurring anywhere in the world. And let us pursue healing and reconciliation for all the people of the world."
System of a Down, who were inspired by the humanitarian crisis currently threatening Artsakh and Armenia to release their first new music in 15 years last year, released a statement of their own thanking Biden for his recognition of the genocide. "Thank you to President Joe Biden for properly recognizing the #ArmenianGenocide today," they write. "This extremely important milestone is a large step on the long road towards justice. As System Of A Down, we want to acknowledge and thank all of you who have stood with us over the years marching in the streets, signing petitions, and voicing your support to hold Turkey accountable to make amends towards the descendants of 1.5 Million Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians systematically slaughtered by its Ottoman Turkish ancestors."
Ultra conservative SOAD drummer John Dolmayan has often been at odds with frontman (and his brother-in-law) Serj Tankian on issues of American politics, an ideological gap that Tankian has called "frustrating," but he's also acknowledged that the two are united over Armenian politics, saying in a 2020 interview, "When it comes to Armenian issues we’re on the same exact page. We know what injustice is happening, we work together. We’re doing different auction activities and working together on many fronts. The Armenian nation is united, whether you voted for Republican, Democrat or neither."
Dolmayan did, in fact, issue his own statement thanking Biden, writing, "I would like to thank President Joe Biden for recognizing officially that the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) happened and that this crime against humanity emboldened Hitler and many other genocidal dictators throughout the last century. I will forever be grateful to this administration as an Armenian and as a proud American. I would further like to comment on the genocide of native Americans throughout North, Central, and South America and how the indigenous people who lived here before us deserve not only our empathy but also our support. Ultimately we are all one people regardless of our beliefs or other differences , hopefully one day we as humans will accept that fact and live in peace. "