20 Years Ago, Zack de la Rocha Raged Against White Santa!
With Christmas Eve a week away, is Santa Claus whiter than a snowstorm at the North Pole? The controversy over the tubby toy giver has been the latest salvo in the manufactured "War on Christmas" with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly recently declaring, "For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white." The comments were in response to Aisha Harris, who wrote the article for Slate titled "Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore." Kelly has since claimed her comments were "tongue-in-cheek."
Photo by the late Andrew Youssef "Fuck you, I won't tell you what I want for Christmas!"
But long before this most recent flare up, Rage Against the Machine front man Zack de la Rocha raged against white Santa.
Back in December 1993, de la Rocha's band performed as part of the lineup for KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas concert. Rage Against the Machine took the occasion to deliver a half-hour set of acoustic versions of their blistering anti-establishment anthems and included rarities like an early, different version of "Testify" and "The House of Rage" featuring Maynard James Keenan.
It was during the band's rendition of "Take the Power Back" 20 years ago that its incendiary lead singer sounded off on Santa Claus. As guitarist Tom Morello provided a melodic bridge, de la Rocha preached:
"When I say 'no more lies' I'm telling you that we're not here to celebrate this lie that is Christmas with images of Santa, this prosperous white man bringing presents and good hope to the communities of our country is a fat lie," he ranted, "and is one installed only to legitimize the falsehood which is white supremacy!"
Listen to de la Rocha spread the good holiday cheer at the 6:14 mark: