Fucked UP PR Photo

Earlier this week Montreal’s Stars responded to the passing of Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law by declaring via Twitter that they wouldn’t tour in the state until it was repealed. We haven’t heard of other bands joining Stars yet (though Shakira traveled to Phoenix to speak with the mayor and the police chief), but Fucked Up’s Pink Eyes did engage Stars (via his own Twitter account) to debate a band boycott’s effectiveness. We invited him to expand his views below.

I’m sure most of you know by now that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer recently signed SB 1070 into law. This law is purported to be a way of addressing what is a perceived to be a lacking in enforcement of immigration laws but it is felt by many — myself included — to be a massively flawed piece of legislation that is, at its core, out and out racism. In a very small nutshell: It requires all “immigrants” to carry their proof of citizenship with them at all times and police officers are required to demand that anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant to produce said proof, among other things (Example: Punishing anyone that helps out an “illegal.” A more complete picture can be found here.)

This thing you are reading, however, is not specifically about the law in question. I have made a major assumption when writing this: That you, the reader, already know about what is going on and think this is a travesty, that you do not buy the insane correlations being made between illegal immigration and drug violence, you think that this is one of the darkest moments in recent history, etc. If I have, however, assumed wrong then please stop reading now — and I am sorry you feel that way. I think that the problems with a law like this should be clear to everyone and thankfully I’m not alone in thinking this, as many people have stood up in solidarity with Arizonans that are opposed to this bill. Many are suggesting different strategies of addressing what is going on. One suggested strategy is boycotting Arizona. Some bands have also gotten on board and stated that they will not play the state until the law is repealed.

Before I go any further, I want to say that this is in no way meant as an attack on the bands that have chosen to boycott Arizona as a reaction to this bill. I think they have their reasons for choosing this tactic to try a force the repealing of this law. That said, I think this strategy is severely flawed. First, I think it makes assumptions about the people that like your band. It presupposes not only that the people like your band are incapable of coming to the reasonable idea about this bill, but that they are in favor of this bill. The fact is, this was a ugly divisive issue across the state and that there are a huge number of people in Arizona that were bitterly opposed to the legislation and are now disgusted that it has been made law.

I think instead of boycotting Arizona, bands should make a point of going there now more then ever. They should use whatever profile they have to address the issues around this law by talking about it in the local press. Bands should also engage the people at the show to get involved. This doesn’t necessarily require lecturing the people at the shows (They are, after all, living in the eye of the storm and are no doubt inundated with it all the time. The last thing they need is an outsider coming in and telling them about it). There are organizations throughout Arizona that have been working for years on the behalf of immigrants both “legal” and “illegal.” I’m sure any number of these organization would love the chance to set up a table, hand out literature and encouraging and empowering people to get involved. I think that by supporting and encouraging these people, the opportunity for producing change is far greater than with any sort of music embargo.

Boycotts certainly have a place in activism, but I feel they are only effective in certain situations. I just don’t think that this is one of those situations. There is such a huge number of people that are opposed to this law within Arizona that by trying to force a change through a boycott, the side effect is punishing these people. These people need support now more then ever. They probably feel marginalized enough as is. One of the worst possible outcomes of a boycott is inadvertently disenfranchising the people that you are siding with. I am not saying that this will happen, but at the same time I think it is important to show these people that they are in no way alone. Once again, I want to reiterate, in no way am I attacking those that have chosen to boycott. I think it is more important that groups of people have been moved to action by what they have see as an injustice. Hopefully one of these strategies will prove effective and this law will be overturned.

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Comments (50)
  1. I’m glad this issue is relevant to people other than us in Arizona. I agree that right now we need support. Boycotting AZ is like turning away from the problem. Help us face it head on.

  2. The factsheet linked to above is for an old version of the bill. The version signed into law was the House Engrossed Version. One significant change is that it now states what is sufficient for proving legal status (an Arizona driver license is one option.)

    Factsheet: http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/49leg/2r/summary/s.1070pshs_housechanges.doc.htm

    Chaptered Bill 0113: http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/49leg/2R/laws/0113.htm

    Additionally I believe that it is already Federal law that aliens register and carry ID; the AZ law does not create that need though it will add additional enforcement personnel checking that ID.

    It is also worth noting that HB 2162 (not (yet) signed into law by Governor Brewer) would make significant changes to some of the language added by SB 1070 including changing the phrase “lawful conduct” to “lawful stop, detention or arrest… in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state.”

    HB 2162: http://www.azleg.gov/DocumentsForBill.asp?Bill_Number=HB2162

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    • two responses.

      first to the original post,

      thank you for a level-headed approach to dealing with our problems here in arizona. these bands that are boycotting arizona are only hurting your fans. I dont think our economy relies on touring indie bands packing our venues (or lack there of). if they really wanted to help they could do something like invite volunteers from cop-watch or something like that to take donations at their shows (something this gentlemen suggested).

      second to rob,

      i will assume you are not from arizona or any state bordering mexico. i say that because not only are you grossly misinformed about the law, but also about how the hispanic population in arizona is already treated. the fact is that cops are already randomly stopping our hispanic brothers and sisters for offenses such as jay walking and loitering. something us white folks would rarely, if ever be stopped by a cop for. furthermore, i am of the understanding that a drivers license is not neccesarily proof of citizenship (http://www.azfamily.com/news/local/Man-says-he-was-racially-targeted-forced-to-provide-birth-certificate-91769419.html). And there were some reasonable way to suspect that someone was an illegal immigrant other than the facts that they are brown or speak spanish, you might not be quite so wrong in your assesment of this law. However, its not like illegal immigrants are wearing sombreros and panchos walking around with a bottle of tequilla in their hands while their legal counterparts walk around with dale enhardt shirts and budweisers. There really isnt anyway to distinquish someones citizenship without looking at someones birth certificate or social security card or immigration papers. So this in essense requires anyone who might look like an immigrant (brown) to carry around proof of citizenship and show the police those documents upon request and without reason. They do not have to be pulled over for traffic violations or thought to be participating in criminal activity any longer (such was the case under previous law). I could go on and on, but you are simply wrong my friend.

      • oh, plus there is the whole its fucking unconstitutional thing. come on people. this is obvious racism or at the very least xenophobia. people are just tired of their cereal boxes having that spanish gibberish on there too

        • I’m almost positive a driver’s license is proof of citizenship because you must be a citizen to legally obtain one — at least in AZ.

    • I’m almost positive a driver’s license is proof of citizenship because you must be a citizen to legally obtain one — at least in AZ.

      rob1965 – the previous law said cops could ask for proof of citizenship if someone is suspected of an offense. The new law however, SB 1070, provides that a person may be required to provide proof of citizenship simply to satisfy the law enforcer’s curiosity.
      The main question and worry this raises is whether or not the police are able to draw the line between probable cause and paranoia. It’s a lot of power to give police. It opens the door to racial profiling. And it feels like a violation to many people for what seems like good reason.

      That being said, anyone from AZ can tell you, the situation is nowhere near as simple as national-hot-topic-conversationalists present it. Like most drawn out and difficult situations, the best practice is not black and white, good bad, yes no. I don’t support SB 1070 in the least, but I understand that the people of AZ are looking for an answer to what has become a legitimate problem.
      Until you live in a southern border state, you don’t really get it.

      And to any band, tourist, company, or whoever else that wants to boycott AZ, you’re generalizing an entire population for the sake of making a statement. Meanwhile you’re losing fans(customers). So, good luck with that.

  4. Damian says that a boycott:
    “presupposes not only that the people like your band are incapable of coming to the reasonable idea about this bill, but that they are in favor of this bill”
    No Damian, it doesn’t. It presupposes that a boycott is capable of inflicting economic/ cultural damage on a state or entity, to the point where those hurt by the boycott will respond/ change their ways/ pressure their elected representatives to do so/ vote them out of office. Either you believe in boycotts or you don’t. Damian says he believe boycotts “are only effective in certain situations” but does not say what those situations are. Iran? North Korea? Cuba? I’d boycott Arizona in a heartbeat before any of those. And no one is saying don’t go there and hand out fliers, speak, march, whatever (though spend as little money in the state as possible while doing it) just don’t play there. Meantime, the Phoenix Suns just advanced in the playoffs. Their opponents, the San Antonio Spurs, would do right by their massive Hispanic fan base if they refused to travel to Arizona over this fascist law. That would put the NBA in a pickle.

    • I think the crucial difference between your San Antonio Spurs example and what Damian is suggesting is the audience.

      Fucked Up is popular with people who are willing to sing along with lines like “I fucking hate the police” and so forth. In fact, I imagine it would be hard to find someone at their shows (in AZ or outside) who didn’t agree, at least to some degree, with that sentiment.

      At a Phoenix Suns game, I believe you’ve find a much less homogeneous audience. As such, a boycott that engaged that audience would have the possibility of reaching both people who are and aren’t in support of the bill.

      I think the best approach would be to look the civil rights movement that made some historic advances in the south a few decades ago. (I live in Georgia). The Montgomery Bus Boycott, to name a boycott we should all be familiar with, engaged a widely non-homogeneous audience (i.e. anyone who used public transportation and the govn’t that needed revenue for that portion of their infrastucture). It was, by all accounts, an effective tactic in that civil rights movement.

      On the other hand, you have the example of Freedom Summer in which young, concerned, privileged people flooded the southern states with their presence and engaged discourse. Of course, they participated in the localized, tactical boycotts, but they also spent plenty of time and money in the state – buying gasoline, food, hotel rooms, and so forth – so that the issue could be brought the forefront of people’s lives. They sang a lot of songs, too.

      It seems that today’s bands and “young, concerned, privileged” people could do much more by emulating the success of that Freedom Summer than simply trying to figure out which salsa to avoid buying at the grocery store or which gig not to play.

    • “those hurt by the boycott will respond/ change their ways/ pressure their elected representatives to do so/ vote them out of office” …

      johnjohn: Are you aware that AZ’s governor was *not* elected into office? When the Democratic governor left to become (ahem) director of homeland security (cough) Arizona’s insane rules of succession provided that the nutcase Secretary of State automatically assume the post.

      Much of AZ’s population is non-white, and will suffer from a boycott. The state is already a mess from the real estate meltdown.Also, remember that many immigrants tend to vote for conservative politicians because they *hate* the countries they left and drink the jingoistic right-wing koolaid. That’s the essence of the right wing’s nightmarish stranglehold — they convince the people they will harm the most to vote for them.

      this is not an easy issue. Thanks to Damian for the good article

    • johnjohn I really disagree.

      I think it’s very telling weakness in your argument that you point out that boycotting the Phoenix Suns would put the NBA in a pickle. That’s exactly Damian’s point.

      You’d be putting the NBA in a pickle, NOT the politicians who voted for this abusive bill!

      Economic boycott might effect the politicians nominally — but it more acutely and immediately effects the very people who you want on your side.

  5. Bands have a higher profile than most individuals, who have to participate in boycotts and marches to have any say. That’s why bands do benefits instead of simply donating cash — they’ve got a platform. Using it to raise money / awareness for their side seems like it’d be more effective than taking it away.

    Also, they’d be taking away money from barely-profitable live venues, nonprofit arts spaces staffed by volunteers. Their boycott would have minimal impact on the state, but (if they got more bands to do this) it would be felt by the people who had booked them in the past. This is the kind of place that books Stars in Arizona: http://www.solarculture.org/solarculture/schedule/index.php Not exactly a stadium, convention center, or major tourist destination.

    I’d guess 99% of the indie rock audience in Arizona shares their opinion of the law. They are the ones who have, for years, staged marches, registered voters, driven to the border to confront the Minutemen. It’s patronizing to think you’re making them wake up to an issue that’s been boiling down in Arizona for years and years before this law passed.

  6. I live in Tucson, and its not like any of these bands are coming here anyway

  7. Damian, similar to your band’s name, immigration law 1070 is Fucked Up. I’m with the bands that strongly support the boycott at this time.

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    • moomoobear ………… why the shit are you even posting?
      you haven’t read the law…. you haven’t heard this band, yet somehow you have very strong opinions about both of them. I didn’t even finish reading the rest of you post because anything you have to say will obviously be invalid after stating you don’t know anything about the subject.

      I live in phoenix and I am 100% against this law. It is obviously just a way to allow racial profiling, which is very illegal in this country. Yesterday in phoenix there was stationed traffic stops in the more hispanic neighborhoods, They arrested 100 people in the first 3 hours. Something like 60 of them where illegal. Now I’m fine with arresting illegal immigrants but what about the other 40 that where arrested? They where arrested because they couldn’t prove there citizenship but they where LEGAL. WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS? 1941? Arizona is doing very close to the same thing we did with all asian people after pearl harbor was bombed. You’re brown? show me your papers! you dont have em? you go to jail.

      very fucked up situation but bands please do not boycott us. The only thing indie bands are going to hurt in arizona by boycotting are the very minimal amount of small music venues that cater to indie bands. These places are already almost out of buisness anyways. they dont make much money. 3 of my favorite venues have already closed down this year. We only have like 2 left here in phoenix. If you boycott phoenix, i will boycott your band. Don’t make everyone that lives here pay for an ignorant governor who WASN’T EVEN ELECTED INTO OFFICE! We have enough problems in this state. The last thing we need is a dead music scene.

    • moomoobear ………… why the shit are you even posting?
      you haven’t read the law…. you haven’t heard this band, yet somehow you have very strong opinions about both of them. I didn’t even finish reading the rest of you post because anything you have to say will obviously be invalid after stating you don’t know anything about the subject. I also find it funny that you first state that your post is nothing about the issue because you don’t know anything about it. Then proceed to discuss said issue. fucking idiot

      I live in phoenix and I am 100% against this law. It is obviously just a way to allow racial profiling, which is very illegal in this country. Yesterday in phoenix there was stationed traffic stops in the more hispanic neighborhoods, They arrested 100 people in the first 3 hours. Something like 60 of them where illegal. Now I’m fine with arresting illegal immigrants but what about the other 40 that where arrested? They where arrested because they couldn’t prove there citizenship but they where LEGAL. WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS? 1941? Arizona is doing very close to the same thing we did with all asian people after pearl harbor was bombed. You’re brown? show me your papers! you dont have em? you go to jail.

      very fucked up situation but bands please do not boycott us. The only thing indie bands are going to hurt in arizona by boycotting are the very minimal amount of small music venues that cater to indie bands. These places are already almost out of buisness anyways. they dont make much money. 3 of my favorite venues have already closed down this year. We only have like 2 left here in phoenix. If you boycott phoenix, i will boycott your band. Don’t make everyone that lives here pay for an ignorant governor who WASN’T EVEN ELECTED INTO OFFICE! We have enough problems in this state. The last thing we need is a dead music scene.

      • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • So no one’s allowed to have an opinion on politics unless they’re an evil, evil politician? Way to encourage an informed electorate there, chief.

      I mean, I just like your overall tone of ignorance. You admit you didn’t read the legislation. You insult a guy that did read it and is writing a commentary on it. Your basis for this isn’t even his opinion but rather the fact that he even has one because god forbid people inform themselves on issues and then discuss those issues. And you end it by making a blanket generalization on the politics of a music website. I don’t think you’re dumb because you’re a “Libertarian-type” or lean right. I think you’re dumb because you promote ignorance under the guise of your own shallow intelligence.

      • rskva, my comments about the band and the “evil, evil politicians” were meant to be taken somewhat humorously, but still – am i myself not allowed to have the opinion that a man named Pink Eyes whose band is named Fucked Up is not to be taken very seriously?

        i do not “lean right”, but notice how you infer that.

        and i’m glad you like my tone. or…wait, i see. you’re one of those people who says like when you mean dislike. i’m surprised, because you also call people “chief”. i thought those were mutually exclusive groups of irritating people.

        • A thought: am I myself not allowed to have the opinion that your opinion is ignorant because you choose to insult someone’s opinion based on their name and appearance without actually judging them on the merits of their argument? That’s a tactic to deflect attention away from an argument when you have nothing better to offer.

          It’s nice (or should I say not nice?) to see you hate inferences since you yourself inferred there would be “knee-jerk liberal hate.” Generally, I have a problem with the smug sense of superiority you display when looking down on liberals, Democrats, and Republicans. Because in the same breath you claim independence then attach a structured set of beliefs in Libertarianism on yourself. Those two ideas are mutually exclusive.

    • what the hell kind of libertarian is supportive of laws that give police officers MORE power over individuals? you’re clearly just a garden-variety conservative douchebag. own up to it, or at least wikipedia that shit before stamping yourself with a tag you don’t understand.

      also, you actually are a racist if you’re in favor of racist legislation. this legislation is targeting brown people for an extra level of police scrutiny and harassment that white people won’t have to face. that’s racist, you’re a racist for thinking it’s okay, or at least trying to justify it as a reasonable response to whatever problem you seem to think undocumented workers are causing for Arizona.

      finally, you don’t really explain why this unconstitutional law is so necessary. instead, you just list a large number, and use the word “illegal” to describe human beings. again, i’m confused about why a libertarian would hold so much value for our government’s presumed power to decide who is “legally” allowed to live and work here and who is not. no one is illegal. Elie Wiesel, author and holocaust survivor, said that.

      amnesty for all undocumented residents in the USA. fuck the border. it’s inconsistent with the values of our Constitution that multi-national corporations should have the power to go wherever they please, but that human beings should locked out, enslaved, and treated as criminals for being forced by circumstance to come here to pick our strawberries for pennies an hour to support their families back home.

      you’re the sheep for buying into the corporate media’s racist framing of the immigration debate. get a clue.

      • Wow, man, you’re full of hate, no? “Garden-variety conservative douchebag”? Really? I specifically abstained from supporting or not supporting it.

        Your entire post is nullified by the fact that I didn’t say anything you seem to think I said…I’m not “supportive” of it, I’m not “in favor of” it, I don’t “think it’s okay”, I didn’t say it was “so necessary”. Please read more carefully.

      • Not sure why I was logged in under that name, but –

        All I said originally was it is inevitable that a border state is going to make a law when the federal government doesn’t act. I made no statement of support.

        • please Michael DeGregorio/moomoobear. it’s laughable that you feel like you can “nullify” my entire post and not address valid points simply because you want to pretend that your original post had no opinions expressed. here are the facts: you use the word “illegal” to describe human beings who have as much of a right to work for decent wages and live in peace as you or i do, without threat of state-mandated harassment by police. your attempt to act like you don’t have an opinion either way is weak. you clearly have an opinion, but want to act like not having an opinion is somehow more informed or even-handed. this is also despite the fact that the language you use and the way you frame the argument is clearly heavily influenced by conservative arguments which dehumanize undocumented workers so the more difficult questions of why these people are willing to leave their families, risk abuse at the hands of ICE and the police and be exploited by their criminal employers yet continue to come to our country remain unasked.

          you also fail to address my questions regarding your supposed “libertarian-type” leanings, despite apparently being okay with government oppression of certain people.

          finally, the implication that federal government isn’t acting? what, were Obama and congress going to sign a similarly racist federal bill into law? the issue of just and humane immigration reform will be a long and complicated process, and in case you and Arizona haven’t noticed, dude’s had his hands full with other serious issues. you basically are validating Arizona’s racist legislation by saying that it was “inevitable”. really? it was? i guess maybe that’s true if enough people around the country feel the same way about inevitability. immigration is not some ticking time-bomb that was going to blow-up in Arizona’s face, despite the conservative bullshit you’ve bought into.

          commit to your opinions, stop hiding behind half-constructed arguments borrowed from the mainstream, and don’t just bait people into responding to you so you can act like you possess some moral high ground of “just stating the facts”. you’re not just stating the facts, you’re stating the facts constructed by either some corporate, anti-immigrant agenda, or by yourself. even the way you end the original post implies that you were expecting, and even welcoming, people calling you out on your bullshit, so fucking deal with it.

          do i really sound “full of hate”? i don’t think i could be more matter of fact about this. sack up and stop trying to be switzerland on an issue that affects so many people’s lives. try addressing the actual substance of my arguments, don’t just gloss over it because you don’t want to have to respond. you spoke up in the first place, right?

          • Rodeo slang, if you really need to, consider this a surrender. I can’t argue with assumptions. You’re basically making the discussion impossible for me by claiming to know what I meant, though never said.

          • fine, surrender, but understand that the bottom line is you’re kidding yourself if you believe that you wrote your original post with no opinion about the AZ legislation. you use a number of terms that are loaded with real anti-immigrant sentiment. these terms push your apparent “questions” to side with the racists. i’m not really sure why you act like this is so hard to grasp.

  9. Here’s an idea: BANDS! DON’T PLAY SHOWS IN ARIZONA – PLAY IN MEXICO. SHOW YOUR TRUE CHICANO PRIDE, HERMANOS.

    Drug laws need to be changed in America. Then, at least, Calderon and Obama could smoke a joint together, shoot up some H, and chill out. The whole conflict has been solely about the drug money the police and drug runners are fighting over. Change drug laws, peace rises between US and Afghanistan, no more threat from biological weapons entering US through Mexico. You know over the summer a Yemeni cleric talked about getting anthrax through the border, unleashing it on Los Angeles? Al Qaeda is already in Mexico. Plans are underway. US needs to respect Mexican culture, but Mexico’s also gotta respect us. Things can get better, or they might have to get worse before they can get better.

  10. infinitely more eloquent and reasonable than what the phony from stars has been blathering on about around here. there’s an opportunity for something like a huge free festival for a group of bands to raise awareness and protest the issue, which would be a hundred times more effective.

    stars: you really think freethinking indie/punk rock fans in arizona support this law? and you want to turn away from them in the hopes they’ll get together and do something about it? you guys are just fucking lazy. boycotts in general are lazy. i can’t stress enough what something like this might do to alienate a number of your fans. don’t turn away from your supporters thinking that will mobilize them: do the heavy lifting yourselves if you care so much about it.

    • I don’t understand why you insist on turning this into an “ant-stars” issue. you don’t approve of their approach, fine. At least you could handle it with some class like Fucked Up have demonstrated.

      • if i was in a great band like fucked up that put out records people knew or cared about and wanted to be classy to win over supporters, yeah, then that would apply – for now, some dude from stars personally attacked me on a different thread on this site, so as long as they use their right to free speech, so am i

  11. I think Pink Eye’s creating a false dilemma. Boycott and raising awareness are not mutually exclusive. At the very least, the former develops into the latter, much more than continuing life as usual. If it’s a question of whether Fucked Up or Stars are having more of a positive step in repealing the statute, then Stars clearly has, as Pink Eye and us are continuing a discussion they initiated by their boycott. I don’t understand why you have to perform in Arizona to engage Arizonans in debate. How is that influencing the Arizona government? Do you think they’d be more likely to repeal the law if bands are coming to Arizona to show support for the citizens upset for the law or if they’re losing revenue with a boycott? It will suck for Arizonans but I’d hope that Fucked Up concert goers, and those who are against the law in general, would realize that fewer shows for them has larger political implications, and that their sacrifice is for a just end.

    • You know, a very relevant point in this debate is being ignored: in 1990, Arizona failed to vote forward a resolution to honor and observe Martin Luther King Day (Sen. McCain even voted against the bill to create the federal holiday in 1983, and defended Gov. Evan Mecham’s decision to rescind the state’s recognition of MLK Day). Massive boycotts followed, the biggest achievement being the state’s loss of the Super Bowl XXVII to. In 1992, the protesters won, and MLK Day was created in Arizona.

      I don’t exactly know what Pink Eyes thinks would constitute a targeted boycott, but by all reports, what happened in 1990 probably wouldn’t qualify. It was a general boycott, and it cost the state millions of dollars in revenues normally acquired through tourism and entertainment, and it succeeded. Exactly what situation in which Pink Eyes feels a boycott would be effective is unclear.

      I agree with Pink Eyes for noting the importance of building solidarity with the people of Arizona. He’s definitely correct to say that we need to support the organizations in Arizona that defend equal rights for all people and advocate for immigrants. But the implication that somehow it’s a gross punishment against Arizonans for bands to boycott their state is more than a little sanctimonious. Who the fuck cares? Anyone who recognizes the injustice of this situation should be more than okay with Stars skipping their home state. If you can’t live without a live performance by Stars, then fucking organize, and get that shit repealed stat. Arizonans are not helpless in this fight. Until then, rock out with your friends, and keep it underground. The idea that somehow it’s up to big touring bands to help empower people to take action is rather belittling to activism and music in Arizona.

      I’m also confused about “the people” he refers to several times who need our support. Who would really be suffering under a musician’s boycott…the people most impacted by this racist legislation, or Stars fans? Who actually needs our support? The people most impacted by this racist legislation, or Stars fans? Sorry Stars fans. You lose. I’m sure there’s some overlap between the people most impacted by this racist legislation and Stars fans, but to all the white kids who are Stars fans in Arizona, suck it up. You should be more concerned about our Latino brothers and sisters facing sanctioned discrimination and harassment than when your favorite indie rock band will be back in Arizona. If this minimum of discomfort is unbearable to some, then they simply don’t care about ending racism as much as they like to pretend.

      Pink Eyes is calling out the boycott strategy, but he has no real strategy of his own. The bottom line is that Stars are making a committed, ethical decision: they don’t want their talents used to raise revenues for a state that is trying to legalize discrimination. I don’t even like Stars, but I love them for doing this. I know Pink Eyes wants to present a nuanced, well-considered, academic response, but he describes no viable alternative beyond being supportive, and gives no reason to think that a boycott strategy might not be successful. Instead, he tries to act like he’s the one really looking out for the people of Arizona. A little Canadian Grandstand, I suppose. Thank God music fans in Arizona have as committed a champion as Pink Eyes, trying to make sure that no one has to suffer through a devastating lack of national indie rock tours. Seriously though, anyone who’s crying “But think of the fans!” needs a priority check.

      What’s disappointing to hear from a band that presents itself as radical is that Pink Eyes gives a standard liberal response: he has great intentions, but can’t be bothered to engage in direct action to fight against injustice because he thinks there should be a better way to do this where everyone wins, and we all end up friends. I almost want to believe that he simply hasn’t stated his position clearly. If he wants to elaborate on his feelings of why a boycott would be unsuccessful, I’d be willing to reconsider that evaluation. Until then, Stars, keep fighting the power. Fucked Up, keep selling those records.

      • i’m with you on this but only up to a point….pink eyes does actually make a call for action – asking touring bands to play shows specifically designed to raise awareness and promote action against this law….but where he falls short is announcing where the free Fucked Up show against Fucked Up laws will be held. solar culture is definitely big enough for it, i can’t off-hand think of an independently owned venue in PHX that could handle their draw….trunkspace and modified seem too small, but maybe rodeo slang can help out? i’m an ex-zonie so I can’t do much unless pink eyes wants to try and cram some tablers, humane immigration reform advocates, and all of AZ’s Fucked Up fans into a small illegal venue (people may not be illegal but some venues definitely are).

      • Hotel owners are already reporting losses and if smaller bands boycott, maybe larger bands, like U2 will feel the pressure to boycott (they do not have an upcoming show – this is just an example). I’m sure that some people think that Bono waving a white flag and getting emotional onstage would have an impact, but I saw R.E.M. during the Bush/Gore election and the audience had no problem booing the political speech and then playing air guitar to the hits. It was money and corporate pressure that brought the MLK holiday to AZ. “Boycott Sun City” was a slogan to encourage artists to boycott performances in South Africa, and it did bring attention and economic pressure. Fucked Up should play there for free, achieves his goals of evangelizing to the population but it remains lost economic opportunity in the local marketplace.

  12. Ummmmm. Sooooooo….. I guess no one told you guys but it’s kinda not cool to call people of Latino descent “brown” and kinda odd if you are also voicing your dissent about a bill that you find rascist. Also, Asian people don’t like to be called “yellow”.

  13. dude, white people are here. black people are here. brown people are here. no disrespect, no racism.
    the term “brown people” was originally used by chicano pride groups in the ’60s. many people i know from central and south america still use the term. chill out.

    • No, actually suck my dick. It is offensive and just because all the major Latino media outlets referred to Chicano people as brown doesn’t make it cool. Oh wait, there were no major Latino media outlets in America in the ’60s just white media outlets. Also, Latino people calling other Latino people ” brown” is shitty enough already but more acceptable than a white guy saying it. Do you drop the “N” bomb around your black friends? Didn’t think so.

      • If they’re your friends, why would it matter if you dropped the “n-bomb” or not? I guess calling brown people “brown” can be offensive based on the context its used. I know a lot of hispanic people who are pretty pale, so it wouldn’t really make sense to use that as a categorization.

        The bill is racist, I can see that. I’ve actually heard that cops are kinda pissed, because its just an added responsibility on their plate. I think people get the impression that cops are these hungry, white racists who can’t wait to fuck over people, but most cops I’ve seen are from hispanic orgins and have real problems to address instead of hunting immigrants. The state of Arizona doesn’t even have the authority to deport anyone, its handled by the federal government.

      • easy, breezy. i think you’re making a false correlation between the “n” bomb, which has a well-documented and ugly history, and the term “brown people”, which really doesn’t. there are some pretty vile words used by bigots to dehumanize people from central and south america, but “brown people”, unless i’ve completely missed something, is not one of them. the “n” bomb, on the other hand, is the “n” bomb, and is a painful reminder of the way racism became, and remains, a political and social institution in our country. the racism faced by people of central and south american descent is very real, i know, but i’m not convinced that the term “brown people” constitutes this egregious insult on the same level as the infamous “n” bomb. feel free to convince me that my conclusions are totally off-base.

        i understand that there is a lot of division among latinos in the US about how they identify, and that terms are usually falling in and out of use or fashion: hispanic, chicano, latin american, etc. i also understand that there’s a large cultural difference between, say, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, and that the two groups don’t always see eye to eye on these kinds of questions. if you’re really so personally offended by the term, my bad. i was mostly using the word to contrast the challenges facing immigrants to the unrecognized privileges enjoyed by folks with white skin.

  14. @Mark Vandivort – If you drop the ” N” bomb in front of your African American friends and don’t expect them to take offense then you should probably try pulling your head out of your ass before you say it.
    @rodeo_slang- I’m Latino, my friends are Latino and we don’t like that shit. You don’t understand how Latino people feel. I do like the part where you say ” i also understand that there’s a large cultural difference between, say, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans”. You are a genius. ” Brown” is dehumanizing. Eat a dick.

    • I’m Chicano and I use the term “brown people” myself. Of course, context matters, but I don’t think using “brown people” is any more offensive than “black people” or “white people”. Let’s chill and not lose focus on the real enemy here, this racist bullshit law.

    • I guess its all about how you present yourself. If I’m like “what is up nigga??!”, I don’t expect anyone to get pissed because they’re my friends and they don’t give a fuck. Its a non issue for us, but I understand its not like that for everybody.

  15. Interesting discussion.

    Also check out Pink Eyes’ letter in our Mother’s Day edition of Bunchland family culture e-zine http://tinyurl.com/37a46lt

  16. I’m happy to see that others are rallying against this bill. Sometimes I wonder if the “60% of Americans” (according to NPR recently) that support this bill are aware of what it entails. And if they are, and they still support it, well… that’s just sad..

    As an Arizonan, I personally appreciate the support. You’re right, we are in the eye of the storm in a big way right now. If you could only see the effect this is having/will have on our economy and comunities.

    FIGHT HATE!

  17. What would I have to do to get Nickelback to boycott Alabama?
    Damn Canadian immigrants.

  18. Kudos guys for a serious, mostly respectful political discussion. I agree with Damian’s sentiments.

    Here’s the lowdown on the situation in AZ. Much of the rural part of the state is inhabited by ranchers and Mormon families who settled in the 1800′s – read conservative. Much of the suburban areas are rich retired white folks – also read conservative. The towns and cities on the other hand – all 4 of them – are liberal and democratic hotbeds. We can’t really “boycott AZ” from within, instead we are being active. The immigrants rights groups here are long-standing and well-organized. Protests are happening. Lawsuits are happening.

    The Rialto Theatre in Tucson is the venue Stars played last time they came through. Cypress Hill recently cancelled their show @ the Rialto in protest of the bill. Their slot was filled by a benefit for Derechos Humanos, a local organization. This is what Damian is talking about – engage in being part of the solution.

  19. Much discussion has been focused on the Arizona law. It’s a shame that Arizona feels the need to do this. I believe the root of the current controversy is due to the fact that immigration reform at the federal level has been needed for a very long time. I am a supporter of granting amnesty to the millions of undocumented immigrants who now make the United States their home. This action seems the most logical step to settle this issue, and in effect ensure that states such as Arizona will not feel the need to arrest and deport people who have made that great state their and their families’ home. Hopefully Obama can garner the support needed to get immigration reform passed in the Senate and House. As a side note, I find that quite a few people assume that all conservatives-Republicans are opposed to amnesty and immigration reform. Generally, this is a true statement. Many conservatives want to deport whom they deem “illegal aliens”, such as Mitt Romney. Bush was a pretty bad president, but one redeeming quality is that he made an attempt at granting amnesty and immigration reform. As well as McCain. Quite a few republicans and many democrats as well stood in opposition.
    http://us.mobile.reuters.com/mobile/m/AnyArticle/p.rdt?URL=http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2742643820070629

  20. It also seems that any attempt to spread knowledge about this issue is a step in the right direction. However, ultimately no progress will be made if we don’t get to the polls and vote. Research your candidates view on immigration reform and amnesty. Allow your voice to be heard. I encourage you all to get out and vote!

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