Johnny Cash’s children denounce Charlottesville protester who wore shirt with his name on it

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The five children of Country Music Hall of Famer Johnny Cash took to Facebook to release a statement involving a protester wearing a T-shirt bearing Cash’s name over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

At the white nationalist rally last Saturday in Charlottesville, a 32-year-old counterprotester named Heather Heyer died when a man drove his car into a crowd.

“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,” read the statement, posted to Rosanne Cash’s Facebook page.

They said their father was a “man whose heart beat with the rhythm of love and social justice. He received humanitarian awards from, among others, the Jewish National Fund, B’nai Brith, and the United Nations.”

“His pacifism and inclusive patriotism were two of his most defining characteristics. He 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, and an insult to every American hero who wore a uniform to fight the Nazis in WWII,” the statement continued.

Rosanne, Kathy, Cindy, Tara and John Carter included a quote they said their father often told them growing up.

“Children, you can choose love or hate. I choose love,” they said.

The family added that their father did not “judge race, color, sexual orientation or creed.”

“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,” it continued, closing with “We Choose Love.”

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