Chuck D Condemns Arizona Immigration Law in New Song
On Friday, April 23, Arizona’s governor Jan Brewer signed a controversial new law, which will require immigrant residents to carry documents verifying their immigration status. The law gives police officers the right to question any person about his or her status if any “reasonable suspicion” arises that they may be illegally residing in America.
Arizona Democrats have joined local groups and businesses to protest the prejudice law and now, the hip-hop community is weighing in on the issue. Public Enemy rapper, Chuck D, has released a new song, ‘Tear Down That Wall,’ along with a joint statement from his wife — a professor of Black and Chicano studies at UC Santa Barbara — expressing their outrage at the law.
“Jan Brewer’s decision to sign the Arizona immigration bill into law is racist, deceitful and reflects some of the most mean-spirited politics against immigrants that the country has ever seen,” Chuck D and wife Dr. Theresa Johnson said in a statement. “The power that this law gives to police, to detain people that they suspect to be undocumented, brings racial profiling to a new low.”
Chuck D’s new song and statement marks the second time that the emcee has attacked Arizona’s local government for their controversial legislation. In 1991, Chuck D penned the song ‘By The Time I Get to Arizona,’ condemning the state for their refusal to acknowledge Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a federal holiday. Now, D, is urging all businesses, including the NBA, to boycott Arizona in an effort to put an end to what he calls overt racism.
“These actions must stop. I am issuing a call to action, urging my fellow musicians, artists, athletes, perfumers and production companies to refuse to work in Arizona until officials not only overturn this bill, but recognize the human rights of immigrants,” he said. “This should include the NBA playoffs, revisiting the actions of the NFL in 1993, when they moved the Super Bowl to Pasadena in protest against Arizona’s refusal to recognize Dr. King. We all need to speak up in defense of our brothers and sisters being victimized in Arizona because things are only getting worse. What they’re doing to immigrants is appalling, but it will be even more damning if we remain silent.”
Activists and sports fanatics are currently urging the Major League Baseball association to pull the 2011 All-Star Game from Phoenix, in addition to relocating spring training from Arizona’s Cactus League, which currently hosts fifteen MLB teams.