Sunday, July 4, 2010

Praising Gogol Bordello's Decision to Boycott Arizona

Earlier this week, the gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello announced on their Facebook page that they would not be playing any concerts in Arizona because of their racist immigration law, S.B. 1070. I am one of the over 600 people who "liked" their status, but the comments left on their Facebook page were a mixture of praise and whining (you probably need a Facebook account to see the comments, but I assure you the following comments are accurate. I'm not going to post names). Some people felt they were being "screwed over."

You guys aren't helping. All you're doing is stiffing the local promoters and the fans, which in turn just hurts us(not to mention our screwed local economy) instead of helping the cause. Screwing us over won't overturn a law we had no say in. That's not fair.

Here's a white guy in Arizona claiming he didn't have a vote! See, because that's what a representative government is. The citizens vote for representatives and the governor and urge them to vote and sign legislation to your liking. And if you didn't do that, then sucks to be an Arizonan, huh? But you know what's really unfair? Getting locked in a detention center because you have brown skin.

Here's someone with some sense:

If you live in AZ and it makes you sad, then make some noise and get SB1070 OVERTURNED so people aren't afraid to travel to your state.

Precisely, because if there ever was a band so conspicuous in style of music and attire, it's Gogol Bordello.

Every single one of these folks would be stopped and asked for their papers because of their strange clothes and shoes (6:06), not to mention accents. But one comment got me particularly perturbed:

I though[t] Gogol would be behind this. Seeing as how you and your family did everything legally and took the time and effort to do so. if i was an immigrant i would be very angry at illegal immigration. it would feel like a slap in my face, "oh you did it legally like responsible people? well screw you i am more important than you and i don't have the time to wait to do the paperwork."

The last part I get, the part about people not having the time to do the paperwork before they get out of their home country. And one of those people is Eugene Hutz, lead singer of the band (he's the one in the front of the photo with the fire bucket), and his family. They left Ukraine after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Talk about not having time to wait to do the paperwork, when you're running away from a mushroom cloud. They spent in refugee camps in three different countries before finally settling in Vermont. Eugene and his family are among the lucky immigrants who survived a nuclear explosion and refugee life.

Many immigrants don't have those resources. They escape war, systemic rape, genocide, and more to come to the United States and other stable nations for a better life. Many of these immigrants are denied asylum and are desperate to come to the country under any means necessary. So I'm pretty sure Eugene Hutz is empathetic to the plights of immigrants who are trying to escape turmoil in pursuit of happiness. If only that were guaranteed in some long-standing American document.

Because I love Gogol Bordello's music and the fact that they are boycotting Arizona until they overturn this ridiculously racist law, I'm going to update my above playlist with some of my favorite songs of theirs. Unfortunately, doesn't have much from Trans-Continental Hustle. Enjoy anyway!


Jeff said...

OT: holy crap, there are a TON of people in that band.

BenYitzhak said...

This is what I get for not listening to the radio anymore. I didn't know they had a new album out.