The Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has many artists addressing the country’s racial and economic divide, but revolutionary rockers Rage Against The Machine have always been on the frontlines in their music and personal lives. Picking right back up where the left off, Rage Against The Machine has teamed with The Ummah Chroma, an international artists’ collective, to produce the new documentary Killing In Thy Name.
The 15-minute documentary uses the band’s signature song “Killing In Thy Name” as the basis to explore some of America’s injustices since the nation’s inception. In the short film, a schoolteacher in the United States educates his kids on the origins of race and how inequality has been force-fed to the people.
The project also uses archival videos with the band, frontman Zack de la Rocha explains. “Living in the [United] States, you’re living in one of the most brutal societies in the history of the world. The country who inherited the genocide of the Native American people. A country which participated in slavery. Any society or any government or any system that is set up solely to profit a wealthy class while the majority of the people toil and suffer and sell their labor power, so long as that system’s only true motive is profit interest and not the maintenance and the betterment of the population, to meeting human needs, then that society should not stand. It should be challenged and questioned and overthrown.”
The group’s guitarist Tom Morello also explains in the film that poverty isn’t based on color and all people have to fight for change. “My mom [Mary Morello] is a White woman with a radical voice,” he said. “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.”
Check out the documentary Killing In Thy Name on the next page.