Tom Morello On American Racism: 'Liberty & Justice For All Didn't Mean Us'

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Tom Morello reflected on current events in the United States and how Rage Against The Machine's lyrics still ring true today.

During the interview, Morello drew comparisons from the mention of the word “all” in the Declaration Of Independence and the people in modern times who shout “All Lives Matter” in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

“This 'land of the free,' the people who wrote 'liberty and justice for all' didn’t mean us! 'All' didn't mean us...when you say 'all' that's not Black people in the documents that founded the country,” he said.

He continued: “There’s nothing new about racism. There’s nothing new about imperialism... Those are two of the fundamental building blocks of the United States of America. Those are the cornerstones of what we call our democracy.”

Fans of the band also know how timeless Rage's lyrics are (whether that's a good or bad thing) and recently at protests in Portland, protesters were blasting the band's music and Morello discussed his reaction to it. 

“I mean, Zack [de la Rocha’s] brilliant lyrics in those Rage songs were written during the Clinton administration,” he said. “'F*** you I won't do what you tell me' is a universal sentiment and I think, while it's a simple lyric, I think it's one of Zack's most-brilliant. To me it relates to Frederick Douglass… it's encouraging to hear it shouted at 'fed goons' who are shooting tear gas at American citizens.”

You can listen to his full interview here.

Photo: Getty Images