Taking the Rage a Bit Far?

| Mon Jul. 30, 2007 10:13 PM EDT

I'm sure that all of the "aggressive, shirtless, white males" that saw Rage Against the Machine perform at the Rock the Bells hip hop concert in New York this weekend were stoked to see the Grammy-winning political metal-rap band back together after a seven-year hiatus.

But were they expecting lead singer Zack de la Rocha to say that members of the Bush Administration should be hung and tried and shot for war crimes? Yikes!

I mean, I'm all for mixing politics with music, but really? After seven years off, you'd think the band would have prepared a better statement.

This is the same band that, 10 years ago, took on social justice issues by making an album cover from a picture of a Vietnamese Buddhist monk protesting the murder of fellow monks by self-immolation in Saigon in 1963. This is also the same band that has spoken out against the death penalty in front of the United Nations, donated concert earnings to social justice organizations, and performed benefit shows for American political prisoners like Leonard Peltier.

I'm not sure what the band was hoping to accomplish, but de la Rocha's comment got author Ann Coulter and rocker Ted Nugent to agree that there's a limit to freedom of speech rights.

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