Rage Against the Machine
Rage's Recipe for Affecting Change
BY ZENA BURNS
Rage Against the Machine is the most high-profile of a rare breed of
bands that use their music to affect social and political change. And
it's not just their lyrics; the band very vocally supports
organizations such as Refuse and Resist and Rock for Choice offstage,
as well. On their current tour, Rage Against the Machine is donating a
portion of the proceeds from each date to help feed the hungry.
Whether or not you agree with their politics, few can argue that their
energetic efforts to correct situations they find unjust offer a bad
example. But you don't have to have a couple of multi-platinum albums
under your belt to fight for the things you believe in. When
TEEN PEOPLE Online talked with Rage guitarist Tom Morello recently, he
offered tips on practical ways for teens to make a change in the world
they live in.
- Just do it: "It sounds almost clichéd, but the way to do it is to
just do it. The way that you learn to be a rebel is to rebel. They way
that you learn to be an activist is to act."
- Don't be afraid to speak your mind: "The first way I got involved
was by participating in an underground paper at my high school because
the regular school paper wouldn't let us do articles about the dean or
the U.S. foreign policy in Central America [or things like that]."
- Know that you have power: "Whether it's standing up against
illegitimate authority in your classroom or in your home or in your
relationship or in your community in general, young people have a
great deal of power that they just don't realize."
- Question the answers: "The way that history was taught at my
school was that it was a set of facts and dates, normally about a
bunch of men who went to war long ago. But history is really made up
of people whose names you don't necessarily read in the textbooks.
It's what you and I do or don't do today or tomorrow to change the
world for the better or the worse. In that regard, everyone is a
- Think globally, act locally: "Whether it's organizing a boycott of
a local store that won't sell stickered albums or working to start a
chapter in your local school to support someone like Leonard Peltier
or Mumia Abu-Jamal or being conscious about not buying clothing that's
made in sweatshops -- the more of that you do, the more change will
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