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The children of country music titan Johnny Cash issued a strong and unequivocal statement about their father's legacy Wednesday after a video captured a protester wearing a T-shirt with Cash’s name on it at the violent racial clash in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.
The rally resulted in the death of one counter-protester and injured numerous others.
“We were sickened by the association,” said the note signed by Rosanne, Kathy, Cindy, Tara and John Carter Cash.
“Johnny Cash was a man whose heart beat with the rhythm of love and social justice,” read the note, which Rosanne Cash posted on her Facebook page and distributed to more than 99,000 Twitter followers.
“He received humanitarian awards from, among others, the Jewish National Fund, B’nai Brith, and the United Nations. He 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.
“He was on the advisory board of an organization solely devoted to preventing gun violence among children,” it continued. “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,” their note added. “Several men in the extended Cash family were among those who served with honor.
"Our dad told each of us, over and over throughout our lives, ‘Children, you can choose love or hate. I choose love,' " they wrote.
Here's the full post from his family: