Johnny Cash's family condemned a white supremacist who wore a T-shirt bearing the late singer's face while protesting the removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend, according to the Telegraph.
The family posted a statement on Rosanne Cash, his eldest daughter's Facebook page. It read, in part, “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.”
The statement continued to say that Cash was a man whose “heart beat with the rhythm of love and social justice.”
Rosanne Cash added that her father “championed the rights of Native Americans, protested the war in Vietnam, was a voice for the poor, the struggling and the disenfranchised, and an advocate for the rights of prisoners.”
She added that he would have been horrified had he witnessed “the casual use of his name or image” associated with an idea or cause founded in persecution and hatred.”
The Cash family reiterated that anyone who claims “supremacy over other human beings ... any who believes in racial or religious hierarchy: we are not you. Our father, as a person, icon, or symbol, is not you.”
They asked that their father's image and name “be kept far away from destructive and hateful ideology."
Johnny Cash, a popular musician who performed in notorious prisons such as San Quentin and Folsom, and registered over 100,000 miles of road travel in his first two years of touring, passed away at the age of 71 in 2003.