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The New Testament: Anti-Flag's Justin Sane wants to change the world

It’s easy to feel pessimistic about violence, war, prejudice and the state of society, but as Anti-Flag’s Justin Sane explains, political music can be a powerful force for good...

“Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.” – Dwight D Eisenhower

After many years of being in a political punk band I’m often asked, “Why bother to write political music or take a stand on anything?”

I understand why people ask me this question. It often feels like nothing ever changes for the better. Too often, evil trumps good. The bad guys win. Backward-thinking, greed-fuelled corporate whores dominate the world’s economic and political systems. It’s easy to look around and think, “Why bother? There’s no hope!”

When we look at where we have been and where we are, it is possible to see that great change has come as a result of people being willing to stand up and be counted, especially in the face of overwhelming odds.

Does racism exist today? You bet it does, all over the world! Recent events in the US highlight the problem of systemic racism, from video after video of white cops brutalising African Americans, to the racist-fuelled murders at the Mother Emanuel AME Church. Even though America still has a long way to go on the issue of race, we are inching towards dealing with it more honestly. The backlash against the Confederate Flag, which many white Southerners have rebranded as representing their Southern heritage, is finally being called out for what it is: an instrument of racist oppression. More people are willing to call the attack on the AME Church exactly what it is: a terrorist attack.

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