The clip shows two people, decked out in pro-Trump merchandise including “Make America Great Again” hats, dancing and singing along to the song while protesting the ongoing counting of votes in Pennsylvania the state that provided Joe Biden with the last 20 electoral college votes needed to win the presidency. Current president Donald Trump is yet to concede defeat – insisting that there is evidence of fraud, mostly referring to the prevalence of mail-in ballots during this election. Since the election reached its final few days, protestors were heard shouting “stop the count” near counting centres in reference to this accusation of fraud.
It is important to note that the claim about voter fraud is disputed, and so far there has been no evidence presented that suggests widespread fraud. The Trump Campaign has begun filing lawsuits in various states contesting the result of the election.
Tom Morello has noted the irony in the song being used as a pro-Republican anthem by simply commenting “not exactly what we had in mind” on the video. Many comments under the video also note the presence of “Thin Blue Line” pro-police flag in the video, which they argue is an ironic combination with the song’s lyrics railing against police brutality and systemic racism.
Not exactly what we had in mind https://t.co/RydKGCk9RA
— Tom Morello (@tmorello) November 7, 2020
The band’s own account also tweeted the video, saying: “They just don’t GET IT do they?”
They just don't GET IT do they?pic.twitter.com/woJjhiunBL
— rage against the machine (@RATM) November 7, 2020
Earlier in the year, the inverse situation arose – Black Lives Matter protesters were seen chanting the song, and received Tom Morello’s approval for doing so.
The song itself was written following the Rodney King trial – an incident where an all-white jury acquitted three of the white police officers accused of kicking, clubbing and tasering black motorist Rodney King, and failed to find a verdict on the fourth. The incident itself was videotaped and widely broadcast. The 1992 Los Angeles riots began the day the verdicts were announced.
Morello commented at the time “well, that’s what it’s for!” – drawing a parallel between the song’s original context and the protests in response to the killing of George Floyd that took place over the summer.
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