About a week ago in my journalism class we discussed blogs. My teacher inquired if any of we students had blogs to which I replied, “yes!” After scrolling through my blog he passed my entry regarding Rage against the Machine.
At this moment he said, “Rage against the Machine? I hate that band”; a response which many older folks have used upon learning about my RATM passion. When I inquired as to the reasoning behind his hatred of Rage, he said he hated them, “Because they’re a bunch of anti-American idiots.” Once again, this was another typical phrase I have heard many times.
To fully understand this logic we must first understand what anti-American actually means. Anti, to my own understanding, is when you go against something, when you have an opposite point of view or when you hate something. Therefore, someone who is anti-American has views that are opposed to the American point of view.
Well then, what is the American point of view?
The great thing about America is you have a little something called the First Amendment. This little ditty allows any person to express their beliefs as long as they do it in an appropriate way. This was not originally a freedom in time past. Many martyrs have died because they did not agree with the government ruling (or oppression) in that particular time. For this reason our founding forefathers created the First Amendment. It allows citizens to police the government. America gives this freedom to every one of its citizens and that is the American point of view: Freedom.
If Rage against the Machine is anti anything, it would be anti-oppression, tyranny and totalitarianism. In fact the song “Know your Enemy” makes a short list of Rage’s enemies, saying, “Yes, I know my enemies, they’re the teachers that taught me to fight me. Compromise. Conformity. Assimilation. Submission. Ignorance. Hypocrisy. Brutality. The elite. All of which are American dreams.”
To me, a true American is an American who is not afraid to stand up and say “hey, that’s not right” when they see the government doing something they should not be doing. Samuel Adams explained this saying, “If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."
While I do not agree with all that Rage has to say, I do agree with the fact that sometimes things need to be fixed and we, as Americans, have the civic duty to call upon our leaders and demand change. Through letter, through word, through song, we must demand change.
It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government