Land of the Free?

The American rock group, The Killers, has published a new clip of its song “Land of The Free,” a protest against President Donald Trump’s controversial, extreme right plan to build a wall on the border with Mexico. The video shows tiny segments from the life of people struggling to enter the U.S., and was directed by renowned filmmaker Spike Lee.

The band members perceive the undertaking as a “a heartfelt lament inspired by current events and recent national tragedies.” The lyrics speak of a “wall … high enough to keep all those filthy hands off of our hopes and our dreams,” and that’s why Lee precisely emphasizes the theme of immigration in the clip. He follows life in improvised camps, for instance, and juxtaposes shots of migrants and soldiers or riot police.

The 61-year-old director, actor, documentary maker, screenwriter and production manager is often described as the best chronicler of the African-American experience and a provocative critic of conditions in America.

The Killers aren’t the only ones that have decided to say a resounding “no” to the counterproductive $6 billion wall (which, it turns out, one can still crawl under, as recent days – and previous times – have shown). In addition to the highest Democratic Party functionaries, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been at the forefront of the Democratic opposition to the wall since last week. He accused Trump of creating an artificial crisis on the Mexican-U.S. border, something which allowed a genuine humanitarian crisis in New York and other large cities to develop, because as a result of Trump’s disagreement with Democrats over financing the project, federal government operations have now been at a standstill for practically a month, the longest such stoppage in U.S. history. It has resulted in the insolvency of nearly 1 million government workers and their families.

The obdurate Trump naturally blames the Democrats, but they are protecting the idea of unity in a legitimate political duel, an idea on which the U.S. has been officially based in recent decades following an apparently hard-won contest with white racism in the country. After all, following the example of Barack Obama (the first black man in the White House), many Democrats will strive to nominate the first Latino presidential candidate, who would be Julian Castro.

So will The Killers advance their idea of a land of the free, or will the victory go to a Trump-driven return to the days of ethnic and racial hatred along the lines of “Made in the USA?”

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About Mark Nuckols 154 Articles
I am a translator, writer, singer and teacher from the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Languages, travel and music are integral parts of my life. Please read - and hear! - more about what I do at

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