American punk band Anti-Flag have released a new song, ‘Racists’, in response to the violence that occurred during clashes between white supremacists and neo-Nazis and those opposing them in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the weekend. Anti-Nazi protester Heather Heyer died during the violence when a car driven by a white supremacist supporter ploughed into a crowd of protesters.
Speaking of the circumstances that inspired the song, Anti-Flag said in a statement: "We stand in solidarity with those fighting racism and fascism in the streets of Charlottesville and beyond.
“We believe it is time for the removal of all monuments to the confederacy and the racism for which they stand. We must put these symbols of white supremacy into places where the proper context can be provided for what they actually are; outdated, backwards, and antithetical to what we believe the values of humanity should be.
“It is past time to have real conversations on systemic racism and America's history of it. There are museums memorializing the Holocaust all across Europe, while America continues to try to hide from its racist and murderous past and present."
Anti-Flag have a long and established tradition of political activism with a focus on anti-war activism, anti-imperialism, class struggle, human rights, and various socio-political sentiments.
‘Racists’ continues in that vein and sees the band rail against racism and bigotry with a chorus that goes straight into the heart of the matter as they sing, “Just cause you don’t know you’re racist / A bigot with a check list / Just cause you don’t know you’re racist /You don’t get a pass when you’re talking your shit… You don’t get a pass for your ignorance.” Musically, it’s everything you’d expect from these punk veterans as guitars snarl and lash out at their well chosen targets.
As reported earlier, Wilco have released a response to the weekend’s events in the form of the Southern Poverty Law Center fund-raising track ‘All Lives, You Say?’