At their first performance in 11 years, Rage Against the Machine called for the Supreme Court to be aborted.
Rage Against the Machine, a rock-rap band that hasn’t performed in over a decade, denounced the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and abolish the federal constitution’s right to an abortion in their first performance since that decision.
On the first stop of the Rage Against the Machine reunion tour, the band’s members, who have long been known for their anti-authority stance and the political undertones in their songs, didn’t offer fervent speeches; instead, singer Zack de la Rocha and his band just played while a huge screen behind them spoke.
Piet Levy, a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writer who was there to cover the performance, captured a portion of the event in which de la Rocha shouted “freedom” repeatedly while statistics regarding gun violence, Black maternal death, and abortion access flashed on the TV screen.
Levy’s camera captured the screen reading for a few seconds, “Forced birth in a country that is the only wealthy country in the world without any guaranteed paid parental leave at the national level.”
The screen then stated, “Forced birth in a nation where Black birth-givers face maternal mortality two to three times higher than that of White birth-givers,” referencing a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistic.
The following message appeared on the screen: “Forced birth in a nation where gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and teenagers,” making reference to recent research from the health nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation and a piece in the New England Journal of Medicine that indicated that firearms are currently the nation’s top killer of children and teenagers.
“ABORT THE SUPREME COURT,” was the succinct but crystal-clear last message. There was a loud cheer from the audience.
In addition, during a portion of the performance, guitarist Tom Morello wore a shirt that read “I [Heart] CRT,” making reference to the critical race theory, a teaching approach that infuses the background of racism and injustice into lectures on American history, according to Rolling Stone.
The anti-establishment music of Rage Against the Machine, which denounces wealth disparity, racism, and strong institutions, has come to be recognized as their style. “Killing in the Name,” one of the group’s most well-known songs, was influenced by the demonstrations against police brutality that took place after Rodney King was beaten by Los Angeles police.
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