Punk rock band Descendents take issue with former Oath Keeper t-shirt

Californian punk rockers The Descendents are known for their fast and furious riffing – but they don’t want to be part of angry militant bands like the Oath Keepers.

The group tweeted its disapproval of these organizations after an ex-Oath Keeper wore a Descendents t-shirt to testify before the bipartisan congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by right-wing extremists .

“We completely disavow groups like the Oath Keepers and in no way condone their hateful ideology,” the group wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

The ‘Clean Sheets’ performers were addressing former oath keeper Jason Van Tatenhove, who told members of Congress he was no longer associated with the right-wing militant organization whose leaders are accused of conspiracy seditious.

Van Tatenhove joined the Oath Keepers around 2014 and became involved in its media relations efforts. The Colorado man said he left the organization in 2016. He told the Denver Post that he now regrets his association with this “very dangerous” group and wants to make amends.

According to Van Tatenhove, he severed ties with the Oathkeepers because he took issue with the denial of the Holocaust by some of its members.

He testified on Tuesday that he was grateful ‘things didn’t get worse’ on Jan. 6, when oath keepers descended on Washington, DC, to support former President Donald Trump’s efforts to disrupt certification of his successor, President Biden.

The Descendents formed in Manhattan Beach, California in 1977 and continue to record, including a 2021 album called “9th & Walnut”. They’ve gone on hiatus over the years, including a break in the 1980s while the band’s lead singer was pursuing his doctorate in biology. The band took aim at Trump in their 2021 song “That’s the Breaks.” Lyrics for the songs include “Crawl back into your hole of hate”.

Fans have weighed in on the Descendents’ Twitter feed wondering how anyone who loves the band’s freewheeling music could be associated with right-wing extremism. Others credited Van Tatenhove with being punk-rock enough to admit he got caught up in something shameful and testified against the potentially dangerous organization.

Diana J. Carleton