In an article for NME, I found out that Rage Against the Machine released a short documentary titled “Killing in Thy Name” about a teacher educating a group of children about the history of oppression. So, I of course watched it because Rage Against the Machine is already a great band that fights against injustices both in their music and as activists.
The video begins with a disclaimer stating, ““The following is a document of true events. Our aim is for this piece to be a fire escape from the fiction known as whiteness and a spring for discovery. Remember, the children are always watching.” Throughout the video the screen goes back and forth from fast images, to the teacher and students, to specific quotes about the racial injustice in the country and in our history. All the while “Killing in the Name” plays in the background on and off throughout.
A clip also plays of the original vocalist of the band Zach de la Rocha from a 90’s interview where he talks about the classism of America as a society. Which is then followed by one of the most chilling quotes the teacher said which was, “Why do we learn about the white folks who perpetuated the horrible systems, but we don’t learn about the white folks who said ‘No’,” because in U.S. history classes, we tend to gloss over the “real” history of this nation.
Our history tends to glorify capitalism and the industrial complex that has for centuries hurt the poor and Black people and has created this concept in our minds from birth that to survive in this country we must have money. If you’re poor, you have to fend for yourself and try to get out of a system that doesn’t tend to you. The end of the video it ends with an older performance of Rage Against the Machine performing “Killing in the Name.”