“Freedom? Yeah right” , the guitar starts to play, the drums start to bang, the crowd is fired up . Many bands like Rage Against the Machine revolted against the corrupt ways of the government. Telling the truth to the American people instead of the story being covered up by the media. Rage Against the Machine is one of the most important modern bands whose music raises awareness about government corruption and unjustified wars.
Since the beginning of Watergate there have been scandals throughout American politics. Everything from bribery, war, and gas. Watergate was one of the most popular investigations, with President Nixon being the first president to resign office. After the investigation concluded that Nixon knew that his staff broke into DNC headquarters stealing information on how to win reelection. Another corrupt scandal was the Iraq War. When Bush wanted to take over Iraq for weapons of mass destruction. Using the excuse of Saddam Hussein’s rule and the affiliation of selling weapons of mass destruction to the terrorists. When Bush sent troops to raid Hussein’s mansion they found no weapons and took down a leader who made Iraq stable. When Hussein was taken away Iran became unstable and soon Isis rose to power which continues the long ongoing War on Terror. Just so that Bush could collect more oil and send it back to the United States to make a profit.
During Bush’s presidency he made the mistake of wanting to go to war in Iraq. Wasting military power for the sake of more oil rather than keeping our troops safe. In the song “Testify” Zach de la Rocha sings, “Mass graves for the pump and the price is set.” In this song Rocha says that the government should stop wasting innocent lives over oil in useless wars. Showing how Americans leaders are willing to waste innocent lives in order to make themselves and others wealthy by sacrificing others. The band sends this angry message that the government is greedy and willing to do anything to achieve wealth even if it means war.
Rage Against the Machine songs have been very political talking about government corruption. Everything from social class, race, and political views. One of the more powerful songs on this subject is “Killing in The Name.” A song about how the police are part of the Klu Klux Klan. Explaining why they use violence and unjust ways against people of color. As the lyrics sing, “Those who died are justified for wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites you justify those that died by wearing the badge.” Zach de la Rocha says, that murder for a police officer is no different than someone else killing someone. He accuses the police force for hiring the wrong people for the job, racist white cops. To raise awareness on the subject the band has supported the Black Panthers, a group founded in the 60’s that fights back against police brutality on African Americans. The band has raised funds and spread awareness of Mumia Abu-Jamal a member who was convicted of life in prison for the murder of a cop. Rage Against the Machine has not only supported the Black Panthers for their government activism but also boycotting a clothing store and the state of Arizona for implementing a immigration law. Telling artists to not perform in Arizona.
In conclusion, Rage Against the Machine uses the power of Rock and Roll to revolt against the government’s corrupt ways. Demonstrating to the public that the government can not be trusted. Especially after scandals like Watergate, unjust wars from Iran, and unfair social class. This is why it is important for the public to speak out against the government to make a change. So support the Black Lives Matter Movement, boycott sweatshop companies, and speak out about unjust wars.
Article by Vincent Sinclair & Video by Grant Friesen
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Hernandez, Josef. “Rage Against The Machine’s 5 Best Lyrics.” AXS, 26 Apr. 2015, www.axs.com/rage-against-the-machine-s-5-best-lyrics-50800.
“When Power Corrupts: 16 of the Biggest Political Scandals of the Last 50 Years.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 9 June 2016, www.pbs.org/weta/washingtonweek/blog-post/when-power-corrupts-16-biggest-political-scandals-last-50-years.