Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong penned a response to the horrific events that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, during which a rally held by racists and neo-Nazis turned fatal after one of the marchers allegedly rammed a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 19 more.
Following a show in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday (August 13th), Armstrong wrote, "So many thoughts today . . . my heart feels heavy. I feel like what happened in Charlottesville goes beyond the point of anger. It makes me sad and desperate. Shocked. I f**king hate racism more than anything."
Armstrong continued, "Music and social justice have always gone hand and hand with me . . . some people don't agree. The spirit of Green Day has always been about rising above oppression. And sticking up for what you believe in and singing it at the top of your lungs. We grew up fearing nuclear holocaust because of the Cold War. Those days are feeling way too relevant these days. These issues are our ugly past . . . and now it's coming to haunt us. Always resist these doomsday politicians. And in the words of our punk forefathers . . . Nazi punks f**k off."
- Armstrong has joined other artists, such as Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, Blink-182's Mark Hoppus and Paramore's Hayley Williams in speaking out against the white supremacists who organized the rally.
- Armstrong has spoken out strongly in the past on other social and political issues, telling us a while back how he approaches those topics in his music: "I'm not trying to tell people how to live their lives. I just reflect on what I see through all the chaos of social media and cable television and cable news and the chaos that goes on with anything from mass shootings to pseudo-fascist dictators. I just put it out there. It's not really an opinion, it's just more about how you feel lost in all of that." turned violent.
- The woman killed by the car was 32-year-old Heather Heyer, while the alleged driver was identified as 20-year-old James Alex Fields. Two local police officers were also killed when their helicopter crashed as they were assisting with the situation.