Anti Flag

Justin Sane (Anti Flag) Reacts To Stupid Comments


Anti Flag’s 10th album AMERICAN FALL comes out next Friday!

When Anti- Flag released their studio debut DIE FOR THE GOVERNMENT in 1996, I was only four years old and ten years later I probably wouldn’t have thought that this band would play such a big role in my life / playlist. As the release of their TENTH album AMERICAN FALL looms (coming 3rd November), we had the chance to talk with frontman Justin Sane – Confronting him with comments taken from the band’s Facebook posts & Youtube videos, here’s how he responded…

 

1. “The far left is just as dangerous as the far right” 

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“Well, I think the reality of fascism is that it is an ideology that’s stated mission it is to eradicate certain groups of people. I think that’s why so many people reacted so negatively whenever Donald Trump said that there were “good people on both sides of the issue” in Charlottesville, Virginia. And now that said the danger in any kind of ideology is that it becomes radicalized and goes too far. I think that it’s important that people are open to listening to both sides as long as people aren’t coming from a place of violence. And of course from a place of bigotry. I think every time you get really “black and white” with a statement like that it starts to be something that you have to question.”

 

 

2. “Tearing down statues… next you will be burning paintings and books lol… you idiots are the rise of the Nazi America congratulations on becoming what you hate” 

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“I mean what people are talking about is taking down monuments to people who were fighting to preserve white supremacy. And you know a big part of the civil war was the issue of emancipation for African Americans. So people who are outright defending that in a war – I don’t think there should be tributes to them. And what is really interesting: They LOST the war (laughs). I mean: There are no tributes for Adolf Hitler around in Germany and there is a reason for that. He was representing an ideology of hatred. There’s been many opinion pieces written by African Americans who say that any time they have to walk past a monument to the confederacy they feel like that is something that is really offensive to them, a form of terror saying that their people are not as worthy as white people.”

 

 

“Keep giving them attention that’s what they’re looking for”

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“First of all: Trump is the president of the United States. So everything that he says has to be taken seriously. So far he has made EVERY kind of bigoted statement that a person can make: Islamophobic, racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist – and when somebody who is in a position like Donald Trump says things like that then the people who he is making those statements towards feel in danger. And the reason it’s important for us to respond to those statements is that first of all this kind of hate speech does not become normalized. And secondly it’s to let his victims know that they have allies who will be there to defend them. We’re not going to let Donald Trump come after and victimize these people. I wish we could just ignore him but that won’t work. We also have to let people who agree with him know that what they believe in will not be tolerated.”

 

 

“I wish punk rockers still had their old beliefs…”

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“I think that this is an important time to NOT be silent, especially when it comes to fascists and neo fascists. As soon as those people have a platform there is always a possibility that their movement could grow very quickly and so we have to stop any possibility of that happening. I think that the fascist movements of the 1930s are an important history lesson that we have to pay attention to. Because early on the nazis in Germany or fascists in Italy were laughed at – and all of a sudden that changed. This isn’t something to just ignore, this is something that we have to take seriously.”

 

 

“If these fucking dummies hate America maybe they should move to Russia and complain about it there…”

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“(Laughs). Can my respond to that just with me laughing? You know we have a song called ‘Right on’ and one of the lines is a redneck saying: “You know, if you guys think America’s so bad. Why don’t you move to Russia?” For Anti Flag, our belief has always been that America is a very great place – But it could be much better. And if we’re not fighting to make it a better place then as citizens of the United States we’re not doing our jobs.”

 

“…Why is the American flag upside down?”

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“There is a number of reasons. Most importantly: As people who were born in America and grew up in America there is a long tradition where people would show the flag upside down in times of distress, as a signal of protest. And secondly we are a band that believes that the use of nationalism and flags is very dangerous because it makes people do things that are not in their best interest. A good example of that are wars – When there is not a lot of support for the war in the population the administration writes a lot of propaganda and that normally includes a lot of flags everywhere. And that is really where the main inspiration for the band came from originally, to see how the use of the flag and nationalism was used to convince people to support the war. And finally of course we are people that don’t believe in borders and don’t believe in nations, they are artificial constructs. These are all things that we want people to think about when they see the flag upside down.”

 

 

“Anti Flag should worry losing its country to sharia law…”

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“I mean that’s the kind of xenophobia that Trump is giving license. It shouldn’t matter what your race or religion or sex or color of your skin are – Those things shouldn’t matter as long as you’re respectful towards other people. And I think it’s very important to put people first, no matter where they’re from. That’s a core value of the band Anti Flag and probably part of the reason why we named the band “Anti Flag”. As long as someone is respectful towards me I am willing to have empathy for that person – regardless what their religion or nationality is.”

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