Influential alternative metal group Rage Against The Machine are causing quite a stir with the confirmation last night that they’re returning tour will stop at Coachella 2020 in April as a part of their reunion tour. However, those that will remember (or are old enough to remember) will recall the group making headlinings following their previous reunion appearance at the festival 13 years ago during Coachella 2007.
During a breakdown of their songs “Wake Up,” singer Zack De La Rocha took a moment to address the crowd on one of his favorite topics: American Imperialism and the role rich white men have played in it throughout history. While he talks about United States presidents in general, he does take a moment to address President George W. Bush’s administration specifically, and that’s what made headlines across the country.
“A good friend of our’s said, if the same laws that were applied to U.S. presidents were applied to the Nazis after World War II, that every single one of them, every last rich white one of them, from Truman on would have been hung to death and shot,” said De La Rocha as his bandmates vamped in the background. “And this current administration is no exception. They should be hung, and tried and shot. As any war criminal should be. The challenges that we face, they go way beyond administrations, way beyond elections, way beyond every four years of pulling levers. Way beyond that. Because this whole rotten system has become so vicious and cruel, that in order to sustain itself, it needs to destroy entire countries and profit from their reconstruction in order to survive. And that’s not a system that changes every four years, it’s a system that we have to break down, generation after generation, after generation, after generation, after generation…”
What followed was a firestorm led by – no surprise – Fox News and particularly its talking head Sean Hannity on his old program Hannity & Colmes. He hosted a panel full of “experts” including Anne Coulter, Ted Nugent and political strategist Jane Fleming, the token Democrat. The band was lambasted by most of the panel and their statements considered terroristic by Nugent.
“We’ve disagreed with a lot of administrations in the past, but none of our rhetoric included threatening lives,” he said. “These guys are over the top, but they’re the lunatic fringe that even your average democrat and liberal doesn’t agree with. But unfortunately, nobody is silencing these guys — or not necessarily silencing, but condemning this outrageous violence that they’re recommending.”
Photo Credit. Marv Watson