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Rise Against's 'Make It Stop' Offers Powerful Message Against Homophobia and Teen Suicide: MUSIC VIDEO



This video was originally posted with my weekly music update earlier today, but upon the suggestion of some of our readers — and because of its emotional and political resonance — we decided to give the clip its own post.

Not too long ago I mentioned the inclusion of "Make It Stop" on the new Rise Against album — a song that explicitly tackles homophobia and gay teen suicide, even going so far as to name the young people who took their lives in September of last year. Today, the band premiered the video for it, and honestly, it's a bit gut-wrenching. Its unambiguous condemnation of gay bigotry also arrives with a handful of It Gets Better videos from other teenagers, in addition to a well-placed cameo from Dan Savage.


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  1. Your my hero.

    Posted by: Joe | Jun 21, 2011 7:31:25 PM

  2. Outstanding. Kudos to Rise Against!

    Posted by: RyanInSacto | Jun 21, 2011 7:32:59 PM

  3. Powerful, wrenching, awesome. Thanks for posting this.

    Posted by: TJ | Jun 21, 2011 7:47:29 PM

  4. I wish I could go back and show this to my sixteen year-old self. Dan Savage and the "It Gets Better" campaign saves lives every day.

    Posted by: Mikey | Jun 21, 2011 7:52:12 PM

  5. So freaking powerful and RAD.

    Posted by: Zlick | Jun 21, 2011 8:06:33 PM

  6. Guh. I love Rise Against so much.

    Posted by: Sonneillon | Jun 21, 2011 8:34:34 PM

  7. Thank you so much for this. I hope this becomes a big hit, but even if it doesn't, it makes me feel so incredibly good that it exists.

    Posted by: Tommy Marx | Jun 21, 2011 8:35:42 PM

  8. A noble message, though I had to watch with the sound off. I really can't stand Rise Against.

    Posted by: Bravo | Jun 21, 2011 8:56:17 PM

  9. My thanks to all those involved in making this video and especially to the band for the message!

    Posted by: John Simpson | Jun 21, 2011 8:58:31 PM

  10. cool

    Posted by: mstrozfckslv | Jun 21, 2011 9:20:56 PM

  11. LYRICS

    "Make It Stop (September's Children)"

    Woah, woah.

    Bang bang go the coffin nails, like a breath exhaled,
    Been gone forever.
    It seems just like yesterday, how did I miss the red flags raised?
    Think back to the days we laughed.
    We braved these bitter storms together.
    Brought to his knees he cried,
    But on his feet he died.

    What God would damn a heart?
    And what God drove us apart?

    What God could make it stop?
    Let this end.
    Eighteen years pushed to the ledge.
    It's come to this,
    A weightless step.
    On the way down singing,
    Woah, woah.

    Bang bang from the closet walls,
    The schoolhouse halls,
    The shotgun's loaded.
    Push me and I'll push back.
    I'm done asking, I demand.

    From a nation under God,
    I feel it's love like a cattle prod.
    Born free, but still they hate.
    Born me, no I can't change.

    It's always darkest just before the dawn.
    So stay awake with me, let's prove them wrong.

    Make it stop.
    Let this end,
    Eighteen years pushed to the ledge.
    It's come to this,
    A weightless step.
    On the way down singing,
    Woah, woah.

    The cold river washed him away,
    But how could we forget.
    Gathering the candles, but not their tongues.

    And too much blood has flown from the wrists,
    Of the children shamed for those they chose to kiss.
    Who will rise to stop the blood?

    We're calling for,
    Insisting on, a different beat, yeah.
    A brand new song.

    Whoa, whoa [x3]
    (Tyler Clementi, age 18.
    Billy Lucas, age 15.
    Harrison Chase Brown, age 15
    Cody J. Barker, age 17
    Seth Walsh, age 13.)

    Make it stop,
    Let this end.
    This life chose me, I'm not lost in sin.
    But proud I stand of who I am,
    I plan to go on living.

    Make it stop,
    let this end,
    all these years pushed to the ledge,
    but proud I stand, of who I am,
    I plan to go on living

    Posted by: Marc C | Jun 21, 2011 9:25:10 PM

  12. I like the song though the kick drum is too loud in the mix and the video is very well done, but I'm increasingly getting the feeling that the message of this campaign is "Survive your awful childhood and teenage years, when you can escape your upbringing, then it'll be fine".

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Jun 21, 2011 10:13:03 PM

  13. @Henry: I'm fine with that message. This song and video brought back very clearly why I skipped grades to get out of high school and go to college early in a far-away urban area. Though I wasn't escaping my upbringing; I was escaping a lot of hate (though it was greatly mitigated when I started fighting back---but why should I have had to do that?).

    One of my biggest bullies was a closet case who killed himself. He wasn't all that bright, and these simple messages can save lives.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 21, 2011 10:23:26 PM

  14. It Gets Better, Hopefully.

    Posted by: randex | Jun 21, 2011 10:30:29 PM

  15. Really? No, not really.

    Posted by: barney | Jun 21, 2011 11:09:55 PM

  16. Am I the only one who would have shoved that tray of food right back in that first spitter's face?

    Posted by: Thomas | Jun 21, 2011 11:29:39 PM

  17. Beautiful powerful and moving.Made me tear up especially knowing that there are still so many LGBT teens who are being bullied harassed and tormented on a daily basis in this country.They need protection they deserve life they should live and the bullies should be the ones who pay not these innocent teenagers or children for that matter.The hate has to stop and schools need to do so much more.

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 22, 2011 12:02:11 AM

  18. @Barney... I agree maybe it'll get better for the next gen. But it really doesn't get much better.

    Posted by: Brian | Jun 22, 2011 12:25:55 AM

  19. I'm with Henry Holland. Better solution would have the kids unite as a front and confront the bullies. End the madness.

    Posted by: Craig in Portland | Jun 22, 2011 1:26:34 AM

  20. I'm thinking that the people who would be more likely to fight back in the first place might not need this message as much as those who have less hope, and therefore less agency. Those who have beaten down are the ones who need the message, because they have less belief that things can get better. Fighting back isn't a likely response.

    And yeah, things can still suck. But they do get better. For some of us, that difference can mean an incredible quality of life; life it would be a tragedy - warts, pain, travails, and all - to miss.

    Posted by: TJ | Jun 22, 2011 2:27:29 AM

  21. I stopped watching after 20 seconds.

    Posted by: oliver | Jun 22, 2011 3:52:40 AM

  22. i'm not a huge fan of rock but this song certainly does have a powerful message. i cried during the video. i'd be more willing to buy the song if i knew part, if not all proceeds from the song went to the "It Gets Better Project" or some other pro-gay group. anyone find any evidence of that?

    Posted by: pitluver | Jun 22, 2011 5:27:06 AM

  23. Kudos to Rise Against. If it is not your kind of music, then you might not know that Rise Against is an established and respected group with broad appeal. Not a niche group. So it is really a big thing for this group to put out this message. Whether or not you actually believe it gets better (it usually does), this group is using it's influence to do what it can and should be respected for making the effort. They are the only rock group to have done so, to my knowledge.

    Posted by: Chadd | Jun 22, 2011 7:35:21 AM

  24. I certainly hope this is helping the younger generation. However, I'm worried it's teaching them to sit back and take it while hoping for a better day. I mean, I'm no tough guy, but I always fought back (mostly with words, sometimes physically). I may not have won every battle, but by the time I was halfway through high school, most people knew not to mess with me. I think kids need to fight back once in awhile. Because, while it does get better, you have to be an active part of it.

    Posted by: Morgan | Jun 22, 2011 7:41:53 AM

  25. Where does this video say, "sit back and take it?" What part of "don't give up, it gets better," says that? People can be beaten down, literally and figuratively, making fighting back seem pointless. When one is very far down on the pecking order, it's hard to see the forest of support through the trees of oppression. But if you don't give up completely, you live, and perhaps live to fight back, another day. Believing in hope is part of the process, perhaps the turning point. Some of us didn't fight back, back then. But we survived, grew stronger, and fight back, in many ways, now.

    What really bothers me about the "I fought back, so everyone should be able to fight back" point of view is that it blames the victim. It's like telling a rape victim that she should have fought back when the perpetrator was twice her size. It's like telling her that it's her fault for wearing a short skirt, so stop wearing short skirts, when the message should be, stop raping women.

    Posted by: TJ | Jun 22, 2011 10:38:20 AM

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