Artist Boycott of Arizona Begins

Stephen Blackwell :: Thursday, May 27th, 2010 6:15 pm

Arizona is the closest thing we’ve got to the Antebellum South. Is anyone shocked Zach de la Rocha is pissed?

The Arizona government-approved SB-1070, known as the “Papers Please” law, was designed to track down illegal immigrants and send them back to Mexico, at which time they’ll immediately begin sneaking back into the United States.

Zach De LaRocha insists the highly controversial law is a new form of racial profiling granting authorities unlimited power to accost brown people and demand proof of their citizenship (those who cannot provide evidence they are naturalized citizens can be detained and imprisoned). De la Rocha is 100% correct — that was the whole point of the law. Tyrannical oppression is still a legitimate form of policy and immigration reform, whatever it means, is still a centerpiece of right-wing ideology.

So far Rage Against The Machine, Sonic Youth, Kanye West, Conor Oberst and more have all signed on with de la Rocha’s initiative. Even the litigious Joe Satriani is in on it. No sweet leads for Arizona this summer. You know who won’t sign up? Lynyrd Skynyrd. Or Kid Rock. I wouldn’t be surprised if Skynyrd or Kid Rock toured just Arizona this summer.

Some muckity-muck at AEG went on record stating that Arizona would feel the economic impact of losing tours. There’s no reason to believe him, but the cultural impact could be profound if U.S. artists knock Arizona off their routes. Especially if it turns informal.

Afterall, “You played Phoenix? What are you, racist?” could become a norm if Arizona isn’t careful.