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This is a picture of a Buddhist monk Quang Duc who set himself on fire June 11, 1963 in South Vietnam. During this time there was a political crisis in South Vietnam, which was under the rule of Ngo Dinh Diem, when the government was more focused on growing the catholic minority and pushing monks out of the region. Monks faced a great deal of discrimination in a place that they called their home and many did what they could to fight back. After his self-immolation this became a common way of protesting discrimination not only for Buddhist Monks, but also Czechoslovaks and Indians. In 1992 a cropped portion of this photo, that focused on the monk on fire, was used for the album cover for Rage Against the Machine to further their political agenda for the album. Each song of the album is linked to some sort of political message, which is why and extremely politically controversial picture is their cover photo. One of the most popular songs on the album is “Killing in the Name”, which is about police brutality and institutional racism (like racism in the government). I first thought about doing this photo for the essay when I heard about the riots in Baltimore where people are taking to the streets to fight against the police brutality that has been rising, but mainly the brutality and death that Freddie Gray endured. When a community sees a problem that do what they think is right, even though their idea of ‘right’ is not always the best option.

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