Music is for the sentimental, and we on the left are supposed to be the opposite of conservative. But we keep the faith that the founding fathers wrote as a lie, that we are all created equal. We keep the faith of Jesus, who said raise up the last over the first, and the meek above the rich. The oldest faith I know never grows old because the rulers and masters keep on pushing at us, from European Kings, to Aztec Empires, and Barack Obama employee of the banks. The old message stays the same: Resist, Rebel, Equality and Justice for All! Serfs treated like dirt, stuck doing all the work. Again, it is time to stop, drop, and roll with the revolution.
RATM is still talking to us. As a teenager, I got their second album and used to just stare at the reading list. I was white, part Latino on my mother's side and raised by a step mother who fled Vietnam around the time I was born. We were poor. My dad listened to Rush Limbaugh and other reactionaries on the radio. I knew socialists were bad, communists were evil. But I couldn't help but stare and stare at the CD insert. It made me see things. Images of people, just common people, marching in huge numbers. Uncountable masses of people, black, brown, whatever. Just strong because they were people. Nothing special, no genius claims to fame. God I wanted to throw away everything I knew just to be taken up by those crowds of imaginary masses. I sensed them almost like a dream I knew myself to be part of.
|The Reading List From Evil Empire RATM's second Album|
I was in High School, and I had no place or voice or people to reflect what I heard from their music, and no other point to reflect what I felt boiling in my bloodstream. The rage, the anger of the people, of the oppressed.
You can study history and read WEB Dubois, Marx, Che, the Panthers, Joe Hill, and its the same damn thing today.
So here it goes:
1."Some of those that work forces are the same who burn crosses." -Killing In The Name OfNews stories about black boys getting killed, and everyone starts talking about racism likes it an old debate that just resurfaced. Like its not just the same damn thing that people have been fighting since the first slave ship set shore on the land my forefathers stole. So then thirty years after the sixties and people getting tore up and killed for saying black people have any kind of right to equal treatment, it turns out the Klan and the cops are still down for each other down south. These are the Florida law enforcement officers who are also in the KKK.
2. "They rally round the family with a pocket full of shells." - Bulls On Parade
Protect marriage! Like straight people aren't the biggest threat to their own marriages. Protect the children from liberal propaganda! And the war machine is bombing babies internationally. Cops shooting kids, the GOP shutting down schools for poor people, and the Corporations buying off the state to feed us poison. And the ones making it all possible say they want to save our families. Like safe housing, affordable living, and fair wages aren't what families need. Now we got Hillary acting like the nice mother, paid off by banks, Ted Cruz like the new Mccarthy, crusading for Christian families against perverts and leftists, and Rand Paul, like Goldwater, realizing that right wing middle class kids wanna get high and screw around too, but aren't about to take up the causes of blacks, browns, or women.
3. "You justify those who died by wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites." - Killing In The Name Of
Young blacks killed. Iraqis, Yemenis, Afghans, Somalians, and Mexicans killed. Little kids killed all the damn time. That's all it is. The way you make it into something else is by glorifying white people with guns, uniforms, badges, and decades of mythological movies showing their virtue. They pump us full of white supremacist propaganda so we see anything but the simple murder of children happening all the time and justified by our rulers. So go ahead and tell me all the new shit I need to learn to explain how this happens, even though its the same old shit and we know the reason why.
4. "They don't gotta burn the books they just remove 'em, while arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells."
-Bulls On Parade
The billionaires and their banks screwed over everyone under Bush II's reign, and they're taking it out on public education, funding has been cut and cut for poor people schools. The rich are still cool and getting good education. You got money for tutors, you're cool. And for public schools in poor communities, they just take that money away and spend it on some rich people shit. They disempower people of color, women, LGBTQ, and the poor. Taking out leftists from textbooks, white washing the slave masters who founded the country, and making sure Chicanos in Arizona can't read about their history. You take out the empowerment of education, and you automatically got more soldiers and more prisoners.
If your mommy and daddy are poor and marginalized, how you gonna know what the high class kids learn as babies? How you gonna get the hook ups that they got? Money out the schools, and into prisons and military recruitment.
5. "Now the city of angels does the ethnic cleanse" -People Of The Sun.
In the 1800's whites came west to lynch Mexicans and take their land, now its just a matter of tackling the problem of gangs and hip new places to spend your money. Los Feliz, Boyle Heights, Silver Lake, Echo Park. Taking out Chicano Studies in Arizona, taking out Chicanos in Echo Park
And now I'm way past high school, and way past getting active in the movement, but I need that fuel everyday, Bambu, Brother Ali, Dead Prez, The Coup, Killer Mike, RATM, Rebel Diaz, and, of course, Morrissey!
Thank you for your music comrades, and may the generations past hear you and say "No shit!"