In a powerful indictment of cruelty across the United States, The Killers' new song "Land of the Free"—released Monday with a devastating music video directed by Spike Lee—decries President Donald Trump's proposed border wall, the dehumanization and abuse of asylum-seekers, mass incarceration, institutional racism, and the nation's refusal to address the epidemic of mass shootings and gun violence.
Taking on Trump's widely denounced immigration policies, frontman Brandon Flowers sings:
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The media landscape is changing fast
Our news team is changing too as we work hard to bring you the news that matters most.
Change is coming. And we've got it covered.
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 (I'm standing, crying)
People who just want the same things we do
In the land of the free
"Incarceration's become big business," he notes, "And we got more people locked up than the rest of the world." Written partly in response to mass shootings that have become all too common in this country, he asks, "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?"
In a message posted to Facebook, Flowers recalls how his grandmother and her family fled to U.S. "from Lithuania to escape the USSR's oppression," opting to work "in dangerous coal mines, rather than endure tyranny at home." Condemning "too many examples of racial injustice to ignore," including the tear-gassing of migrants at the border, he concludes: "I see my family in the faces of these vulnerable people... you've gotta believe that we can do better."