The Descendents are learning the harrowing consequences of having some of the most iconic and beloved merch and branding in the game.
Testifying at today’s January 6 hearing, the former spokesperson for the white nationalist militia The Oath Keepers wore a Descendents shirt to show off some punk rock bonafides. Here’s the thing, the Descendents may want to be a clone. They may want a suburban home. They may like food because food tastes good. Heck, they always go for ALL. But they don’t want to be associated with the Oath Keepers, even former ones wearing their shirts on C-SPAN.
Jason Van Tatenhove, the former spokesperson for the group, testified before the January 6 committee, arguing that he “fears for the next election cycle.” Thankfully, Van Tatenhove is no longer a member of the group. Per Variety, he exited the group after “he discovered some of the members were Holocaust deniers.” It really seems like if that were the bar, he would have left before becoming the spokesman, but whatever.
Well, the Descendents aren’t thinking good, good things about the Oath Keepers. The band posted on Twitter a more direct disavowal of white supremacist groups than most politicians are willing to make. “We completely disavow groups like the Oath Keepers and in no way condone their hateful ideology.” Was that so hard?
Of course, the Descendents have never been the most sensitive bands, particularly in their early years when their immature and irreverent love songs often dipped into misogyny. However, after going to college, Milo returned with a better head on his shoulders. In 2004, the band added “‘Merican” to their repertoire. The song criticized Americans who refused to acknowledge national blights like slavery and hate groups like the KKK as integral to American history. Unfortunately, that song came out during the Bush administration and is still very relevant.