U.S. indie rock band The Killers has released a new politically charged single titled “Land of the Free,” which is an unashamed attack on Donald Trump’s America.
The song touches on the issues of gun violence, racism, mass incarceration, and the border wall and is accompanied by a video directed by filmmaker Spike Lee, according to the Daily Mail.
The song was released on Monday and lead singer of The Killers, Brandon Flowers, wrote a long note on the band’s official Instagram page explaining the inspiration behind the song.
In the statement, Flowers explains that the idea for the song first came about after the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in 2012, which left 26 dead.
“The news [of that attack] was devastating. Heart wrenching. A gut punch. But, sadly not as shocking as it should have been,” Flowers explained. “If there was a single moment that I mentally began to assemble Land of the Free, that was it.”
“In the months and years that followed, America would be hit with an onslaught of more mass shootings of innocents and too many examples of racial prejudice to ignore,” he continued.
One verse of the song goes, “So how many daughters, tell me how many sons do we have to have to put in the ground before we just break down and face it, we got a problem with guns.”
Other inspirations cited by Flowers are as diverse as director Ava DuVernay’s film 13th, which is about race and mass incarceration, along with talk show host Jimmy Kimmel’s powerful opening monologues.
Flowers also raises the example of his own grandparents who emigrated to the United States from Lithuania to escape the tyranny of the Communist Soviet regime when discussing the treatment of asylum seekers attempting to enter to the U.S. at the moment.
In another verse of the song, he writes, “Down at the border, they’re gonna put up a wall. Concrete and rebar steel beams (I’m standing crying). High enough to keep all those filthy hands off of our hopes and our dreams.”
The Spike Lee-directed video which accompanies the song includes harrowing footage of immigrant children and families at the U.S.-Mexico border being fired on by border guards as they try to cross into the United States.
“I love my country,” Flowers added at the end of his statement. “I know that these are complicated issues but whether you stand to the left, right, or straddle the line, you’ve gotta believe that we can do better.”
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