"It may well be that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition is not the glaring noisiness of the so-called bad people, but the appalling silence of the so-called good people."
- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
There's something so powerful about music. It gets us through life's bullshit. We need it more for our downs than our ups, if you ask us. If you follow this Latino hip-hop dimension of Rocks Off then you know we're fucking crazy liberal and we live and breathe the modern day civil rights movement, but it doesn't feel so modern in Arizona, because the shit we're seeing there is reminiscent of Jim Crow.
As we speak, there's a national firestorm of controversy around an Arizona bill, SB1070, before their governor, Jan Brewer, that if signed would give police the power to arrest and charge people for being in the country illegally, mainly undocumented Latino immigrants. Essentially, it's a racial profiling program targeting brown folk. Let us tell you the problem with that.
In a country where many Americans are also Latino, and those Latinos have ancestral roots that trace back to some form of immigration, legal and illegal, the political and legal lines that have been drawn by a largely conservative base separating Americans from illegal aliens aren't so defining for many Latinos in this country. In fact, they're actually pretty blurry. For many Latinos, it's not an "us against them" scenario.
So, the bill on the desk of the Arizona governor isn't what it's intended to be: An attack on illegal immigration. It's actually everything it's not intended to be: An attack on Americans, their values and their belief systems. In this case, there are millions of Americans who are sympathetic to the thousands who cross the border every day for the same reasons their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents did.
It's not a black and white scenario because there's brown etched throughout it. A bill like this means looking Latino and sounding Latino can't be American, (and apparently can get you arrested) but the truth is, the inverse is already true.
It's going to be a fight. So we're going to play VJ and give this fight some theme music and humanize it a bit. This is for all our Wetbacks in Arizona (yes, we're taking back the name). H-Town has your back, baby.