Make it Stop by Rise Against Symbolism



What is the meaning of the song Make it Stop by Rise Against?Meaning of Make it Stop

Rise Against is a punk rock group that decided to tackle a much larger issue. The song, Make It Stop (September’s Children) was written by group front man Tim McIlrath who says he was inspired by the number of teens that committed suicide in September 2010 all for being homosexual. McIlarth was himself taunted as a child, not for being homosexual, but for simply being different. He has heterochromia which is characterized by his having one blue eye and one brown eye.

Make It Stop is about bullying induced suicide. It’s about how because these children and teens are being treated at school, with no protection from their teachers or administration. Children who are different are often persecuted for their differences in the hierarchy of school. Because of overcrowding, under funding, and restriction of disciplinary abilities teachers often have little recourse to stop it. It is up to us to “Make it Stop.”

“Bang, bang go the coffin nails, like a breath exhaled, then gone forever. It seems just like yesterday how did I miss the red flags raised?” The child in this instance is dead. Gone, just like that in the blink of an eye. As a friend the person is trying to figure out how he missed the signs that something was wrong. There are always signs even if they are subtle. Hind sight is always 20/20 and once the damage has been done we always look and say there was a warning, why didn’t I do anything.

“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.” He’s thinking back to what happened. He and his friend laughed and enjoyed life. He thought at the time his friend was going through they were together on it. He thought that he helped him through those times, he watched him brought down by what happened. He didn’t realize how bad things were.
The song wants bullying to stop. No teenager should think that the only way out of the problems of life should be to end it.

“From a nation under God, I feel its love like a cattle prod. Born free, but still they hate. Born me, no I can’t change.” This phrase is directed to those who bully those for being gay. Godly people are told to love one another, and this nation was built on those foundations but has been known for its intolerance of those who are unlike their belief system. Everyone is free in this nation to believe and be what they want to be but there are still people out there who are intolerant and show their intolerance by being bullies. Those who claim to love one another don’t and their so called “love” feels very painful.

Make it Stop calls us to be more tolerant and less mean. Bullying is a huge part of why so many teenagers and young adults take their own lives. Since the school system seems to have its hands tied to do be unable to do anything about the problem, it is up to everyone else to stop the madness.