The socio-political events of the past five years have been a too-fitting backdrop for Rage Against The Machine’s music. The legendary rock group weren’t able to tour the country last year as planned, but today they’re giving their artistic response to the reignited racial justice movement with a new documentary called Killing in Thy Name.
The project is a collaboration with a collective of international artists called The Ummah Chroma (which translates to “communities of color”), and it seeks to be “a fire escape from the fiction known as whiteness and a spring for discovery.” The bulk of the 15-minute endeavor features footage of a teacher and some schoolchildren learning about the west’s dark history of slavery, manifest destiny, and the very concept of “whiteness” within the context of America.
Rage’s anti-colonialist anthem, “Killing In The Name”, is sampled frequently throughout the piece, and the whole thing ends classic footage of the band performing it live. The film is also spliced with quotes from members of the band, who share their thoughts on racism and how integral it is to the ethos of their art.
“Writing songs that have something to say about what’s going on socially and politically isn’t a choice for us,” says bassist Tim Commerford (via Loudwire). “It’s an obligation. I want to use music as a weapon and start spraying fools.”
“My mom [Mary Morello] is a white woman with a radical voice,” adds guitarist Tom Morello. “For three decades she was a progressive teacher in a conservative high school inspiring students to challenge the system — in her actions and words she has always taught that racism must never be ignored and must always be confronted.”
Drummer Brad Wilk remarks, “The music wouldn’t exist without the politics. When we’re playing a show, if something clicks for any one kid in the audience — starting that change, that process of thinking for themselves — that’s the most potent time Rage Against the Machine can have as a band.”
Check out the whole documentary below and learn more about The Ummah Chroma on their Facebook page. Maybe these dumbass MAGA fools who danced to “Killing In The Name” to protest the election results will learn a thing or two from this.