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Video Premiere: Toki Wright- By The Time I Get To Arizona

15 May

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Gimme Noise posted this yesterday, but it is worth sending out as many times as possible to as many people as possible. Shot over the Minneapolis May Day parade, here is the video for local musician and activist Toki Wright‘s cover of Public Enemy‘s “By The Time I Get To Arizona”, the group’s 1991 protest song over Arizona’s reluctance to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday. Several other groups have recorded 2010 updates, in response to Arizona’s recent draconian and authoritarian anti-immigration legislation, including Flobots and Queen YoNasDa. The Arizona legislation, SB 1070, which authorizes local law enforcement to demand identification proving immigration status based on “reasonable suspicion”, has been criticized from all corners, with President Obama calling the law “misguided” and prompting many cities, including St. Paul, to boycott travel and business with the state.

The law has been criticized for it’s potential for ethnic targeting and racial profiling- as an unaccented Caucasian male, the thought of being asked to prove that I am in the country legally is absurd to me, but it is very real to many. Regardless of what Arizona’s other issues with border crossings and immigration may be, SB 1070 fundamentally undercuts a tenet of the American judicial system- the presumption of innocence- by placing the burden of proof and presumption of guilt upon those stopped and questioned. For as much as Glenn Beck and the Fox News cohort like to bandy about loose charges of Nazism, Seth Meyers of Saturday Night Live put it the most directly- “…there’s nothing more Nazi than saying ‘Show me your papers’…It’s their catchphrase.” And nothing says “America” like kicking fascism’s ass, even and especially when it appears in front of us.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Video Premiere: Toki Wright- By The Time I Get To Arizona | Cake In 15 -- Topsy.com - May 16, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by CakeIn15. CakeIn15 said: @mrwrighttc drops a video for "By The Time I Get To Arizona" with members of @DOOMTREE & @trikno in it, + others: http://tinyurl.com/2bem4or […]

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