Time To Party Like It’s 1985

Once upon a time popular music artists were able to change the world and become a powerful voice for justice. That was 25 years ago, and while many of you whippersnappers are too young to remember the Artists United Against Apartheid campaign, let me say, it was a big, big deal.

So fast forward 25 years and here we are. How ironic that there is, in fact, a Sun City in Arizona. Might be time for some of the big names in music to rethink their summer tour stops.

Frankly, I was surprised that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed that horrid immigration law yesterday, but I don’t live in Arizona and I don’t know Brewer. Yes, immigration reform is needed and there are some issues at play which make this situation different from the apartheid law musicians protested 25 years ago.

But come on, folks. It all comes from the same place. And if we’re not vigilant and nip this crap in the bud, we just need to look back to 1985 to see exactly where it leads.


Filed under immigration, music and politics, racism

25 responses to “Time To Party Like It’s 1985

  1. >Good girl!Thanks for stepping up.Now, if we could form a line . . .Love ya,S

  2. >The AZ governor's stated reason for signing the bill into law was "public safety". She cited narcotics traffickers as the group that would be most affected by this law. Sounds like somebody's re-election campaign just started.

  3. >Thanks for your post. As of yesterday, no money of mine goes to Arizona.

  4. >Lets all get together and sing it loud…"Immigration reform is needed…"One more time!"Immigration reform is needed…"Yeah! Now sing it loud and sing it proud for another goddamn THIRTY years until you can all get together and sing it loud and sing it proud in fuckin' Spanish. I'm sorry but I am sick and tired of this coalition of people wringing their hands and yapping about how bad we need "immigration reform" but sit down and do NOTHING about the flood of illegal immigrants. Folks blather on and another million cross the border. Blather on another year and now the next two million come over. And what action does our Federal government take? They freakin' grant them AMNESTY! Is this insanity or what? Blame Arizona, blame the governor, blame whoever you want but they are trying to do something about it. Reformers have accomplished exactly nothing. 37North

  5. >37 N you ever stop to wonder why immigration reform has been talked about for 30 years but nothing at all has been done about it?Think about it.Because this country's foundation is cheap labor! Without it, we sink. We started with the cheap labor of indentured servitude and slavery, and moved on to the cheap labor of immigrants willing to work for peanuts and economic oppression of entire races of people. In 200+ years nothing has changed.There is no border fence, no oppressive laws, no racist campaign that will stem the tide. We are a nation of immigrants, "No Irish Need Apply" didn't stop it, the Chinese Exclusion Act didn't stop it, nor did Japanese and Italian internment during WWII.This law will do nothing but breed intolerance and suffering. As long as Americans are addicted to cheap labor immigrants seeking a better life will flock to our shores to fill the need.There is only one thing that will change this. And that is nothing short of a revolution in our economy, a shift to valuing people as the "resource" they are. When people are paid what they are worth, and Americans are able to compete for jobs alongside immigrants, then we'll see change. Right now crap like this AZ law is just repeating the same mistake we've been making since forever.

  6. >This is just another "What's the Matter with Kansas" scenario. White people of not much means are bitching about the immigration, don't realize how much that's doing to keep down many prices (really, in 30 years the price of chicken has gone up about 0%, right?), and behind everything is a corporation who has gone from "helpless, discardable, OSHA-less workers are a happy accident" to "we've factored this in to our quarterly projections", and gladly tilt poor whites angry at poor others. Suckaz!"My family's been havin' trouble with immigrants ever since we came to this country!" (Finian's Rainbow)ThresherKPS Sun City, AZ is discussed at length in "Leisureville". I recommend this book highly for those who think they'll someday retire away from all their problems.

  7. >SB… As a native of Calif, raised her, still a resident, I've heard the 'reasons' for and against immigration from the South. Who cares? Tell ya the truth, I sure don't care *what* caused it, the problem is bigger than the cause at this point. Or haven't you been to southern california lately? Or anyplace in the Central Valley? Wring our hands some more, talk about all the 'root' causes, spread around some asinine accusations of racism, blame those dumb-as-donkeys folks who like their chickens cheap, their lawns mown and their houses painted cheap, bring up the Irish and the Chinese again ad nauseum, don't forget the Japanese internment, blame history, blame what the law that AZ has implemented might or might not do, worry about intolerance, say we have to change our whole economy before addressing the MILLIONS of people entering and living in the US…. blame anybody ya want but jeez louise whatever you do don't ignore the obvious MILLIONS of people streaming north. Who cares what the root problem is? If your house is on fire, are ya gonna have a little coffee klatsch across the street and argue about whether its a gas fire, an electrical fire, a historical anomaly or just the result of cheap labor? Get the freakin' garden hose out, put out the fire and argue about it later. This is the perfect example of the frog boiling to death in the pot. All the people dithering away, fluttering their hands, tut-tut tutting, dreaming up an excuse a minute and in that time a hundred more have crossed the border. Act. There isn't much about AZ politics I agree with but they've acted when other have just sat on their thumbs. Maybe the law isn't perfect, maybe its gonna be unconstitutional, maybe it'll work and the problem will start to be solved. At least they're acting. The same with FDR in the depression — not everything his admin did was perfect or legal or easy to swallow. Some of it worked, some didn't. But he realized that sitting around arguing about how to be fair and perfect would result in more chaos. He acted. AZ acted. If folks don't like it, fine. Argue some more. That'll fix things right up, huh?

  8. >I too am a native of California, and I spent a lot of time knocking around Central Valley towns like Wasco and Buttonwillow, I've seen first hand the fruits of cheap labor. Towns that once numbered in the thousands population wise are like ghost towns. I wonder why.Metaphors about houses being on fire may make the people of Arizona feel good but they are not useful when crafting public policy. Public policy crafted out of fear is never productive or useful. Or don't you remember the Iraq War?

  9. >I simply cannot understand why ordinary humans able to read and write get so fixated on tangential stuff like 'cheap labor' when looking at the simple fact of millions of foreigners sneaking into this country illegally. Who cares how it started, who started it or why they started it. I'm sure there's a whole bunch o' money at the bottom of it. WHO CARES! This is way beyond labor competition, its way beyond yakking about 'ghost towns' in the Central Valley — by the way, take a look at Fresno or Bakersfield sometime this decade SB.. they aren't ghost towns. Hell, even *Lancaster and Palmdale*, two places that WERE ghost towns and general-purpose shitholes are bulging at the seams. Clearly you have not traveled this area, bottom to top of Calif lately. I didn't expect to change anyones mind here, but somebody has to say the obvious… its the sheer numbers of foreigners — yes, foreigners who are changing our society, our culture. And blithely disregarding the reality of the actual numbers by narrowly looking at causes like who did what when and how much were they paid and ain't that just a darn shame, gee what can we do about it I don't know what do YOU think we should do about it Oh well, lets think about it again next year because now I live in Tennessee and this year we have to worry about Iraq I mean Afghanistan I mean Pakistan. Hey, lets go out for Mexican tonight, Chevys OK? I'm sure this thing is being sold in AZ by appealing to voters baser elements. So what? Think thats the first time necessary laws have been passed using subterfuge to sneak 'em in? And yes, public policy crafted out of fear would be a mistake. Public policy crafted out of simple arithmetic is a damn sight better. But taking DECADES to do *nothing* and then at the end of it tossing up our hands and saying something like 'who knew it would ever get this bad… oh well.' is the worst thing to do. 37North

  10. >Well, 37 N, your "who cares" spiel puzzles me … WHO CARES about the sheer number of foreigners in our borders, participating in our economy, buying stuff and paying sales taxes, etc.? I sure don't. My concern is jobs, and as long as employers are hungry for a workforce paid poverty wages, then that's an issue that not only affects all of us but is something we can easily solve.I really don't give a shit about the "sheer number of foreigners" inside our precious border. I do care about people saying that Americans won't do this or that job, while unemployment here is officially at 10% and more likely 20%. That is bullshit. You have to go to the root of the problem, attack the systemic issues, or you will never solve it. Your myopia is very puzzling to me considering your other comments over here. Who cares? I CARE. Why don't you?

  11. >So much WTF here.A friend of mine referred to the passing of the bill as "Christmas in April for civil rights and plaintiffs' attorneys." And yes, the law is unquestionably unconstitutional. And no, "illegals are ruining our culture!" is not a 'compelling government interest,' especially in a country whose 'culture' is not homogenous and is unequivocally defined by the contributions of myriad cultures.

  12. >people saying that Americans won't do this or that jobIn good times and bad, when you read any story quoting someone in a suit about "Americans won't do that job", you can add "at the wages we wish to pay them". Presto! Nobody, except maybe DFHs like Paul Krugman, Dean Baker or William Greider, knows what the meaning of the term "labor shortage" is anymore.Can you remember how many times during the last "expansion" that you were told "you're lucky to have a job"? Well, that's not just scuttlebutt. It's official corporate and (thanx to the deficit hawks (or is that hacks?)) government policy.Or, that's how corporations depend on meatcutters who get new nicknames like "Lefty", "Three-finger", and "Stumpy".Don't care how the car got in the ditch? Why should I let you try to get it out?ThresherK

  13. >(For those of you wondering, the ditch analogy is not aimed at our host.–ThresherK)

  14. >SB, you misread — repeatedly — or misinterpreted my use of the phrase 'who cares'.I'll make it easier to understand. My bad at first I guess. "Who cares" — *what the root causes of the problem are*.Nice and simple. The situation — the sheer numbers of illegal foreigners — entering and staying in the US is the issue. What caused the issue? Well, in the '20s, '30s, '40's, '50s, '60s thats a fair question and worthy of a lot of deep thinking. We thought about the 'problem' of cheap labor, unfair labor practices, education/welfare of illegal hispanic immigrants, we thought about fair housing.. we thought about a lot of stuff. And the real problem of how to turn off the freakin' spigot never entered our little brains. Why? Because in all likelihood a few people were making tons of money off them. And still are. And those rich bastards bought the local legislatures to look the other way. Your agitation about wages would be funny if it wasn't so short-sighted. The existence of huge numbers of illegal and coercible Hispanic immigrants in huge numbers IS used to draw down fair wages in this country. And controlling wages is the governments way of controlling inflation while letting the prices of select (and protected) goods rise. In other words, the rich get richer and you go into credit-card debt to maintain your lifestyle because your real-world wages haven't gone up since the 1970's. And I'm thrilled y'all in Tennessee don't see the 'sheer numbers' as a problem to YOU. Hell, they're NOT a problem to you. I wonder why? Where ya gonna move to next? Maine? You moved out of California — makes it a lot easier to say "I don't give a shit about the sheer numbers of foreigners inside our precious borders" because you aren't ON the precious border any longer — are you? But you care about jobs. You care so *much* about jobs and their rotten pay scales these days you ignore the very reason *why* those jobs *have* rotten pay scales. A cheap illegal labor pool. Again, find a problem, focus on it, concentrate like crazy, get agitated about it and its so much easier to ignore the 900lb gorilla in the room. If all you problem-analyzer folks had to analyze the simple need to take a piss, you'd never wind up going to the can. And as for myopia and my puzzling inconsistency in my comments — its not a puzzle. We don't agree on some things. Life goes on. But I live here and you don't. And if any of you have ever actually driven a car into a ditch, getting it out IS the most important part. Ya can't fix it until its out bubba.

  15. >Actually, one of the highest per capita migrant worker populations is right here in good ol' Tennessee. No really – it is. There is even a movie about it. Corporate greed exists without migrant labor. Criminalizing undocumented work will do NOTHING to raise "our" standard of living. NOTHING. In fact, it is estimated that we will lose billions in revenue and taxes without migrant and/or undocumented workers – both from their taxed income (really – by and large undocumented workers are actually paying taxes because most of them are falsely documented rather than undocumented), the profit loss, and the property taxes, etc., when corporate dickwads pull their facilities in the US. BILLIONS.

  16. Jim

    >SFL – you have to match that revenue against government spending on programs utilized by the illegal immigrants. Public education, healthcare, housing, etc. all add up to billions of federal and state dollars consumed by the illegal immigrants.

  17. >Other than public education (and many of the children of illegal immigrants are legal Americans, born here and entitled to said education), no one has ever explained to me how illegals are able to access benefits like housing. Don't know how it works in other places but here in Nashville you must have documentation to receive benefits like housing, food stamps, etc.I am sure there are some illegal folks who access ER care and skip out on the bill, but plenty of poor legal folks do that too. And illegals pay plenty of taxes, from sales taxes to those who contribute into Social Security via bogus SS#'s, estimated at $7 billion a year.So from a pure dollars standpoint, it looks like a wash to me. This is about jobs, not welfare benefits. Hell, there are precious few welfare benefits left anymore, seems awfully hypocritical for conservatives to suddenly moan that illegal immigrants are getting all sorts of free shit they spent 15 years gutting from state and federal budgets as "waste."

  18. >You can't get government sponsored anything without proof of citizenship. If you have data that suggests otherwise (bearing in mind that we have birth right citizenship, so US born children receiving benefits do not count), I would like to see it.

  19. >To be clear, I am speaking about actual tangible benefits – i.e. public assistance, medicare, etc. I should also point out that while children, citizens or not, can receive k-12 education, it ends there.

  20. Jim

    >I would say you have to count services provided to the citizen children of illegal aliens as a cost incurred due to illegal immigration. These children are benifitting from the illegal activity of their parents. In most other instances, children would not be allowed to benifit financially from a crime committed by their parents. I believe it is time to remove the policy of instant citizenship for simply being born in America. There is really no point to this policy anymore. Being born to a US Citizen should be the criteria for citizenship at birth.

  21. >"I would say you have to count services provided to the citizen children of illegal aliens as a cost incurred due to illegal immigration. These children are benifitting from the illegal activity of their parents."Yeah, fuck those little criminals, jackboot their asses back to their homelan…oh–they ARE citizens? Shit. Jim:Unless you're the direct descendant of the people who crossed over from northern asia many thousands of years ago, then you've probably got some immigrant genes of your own.You do realize that for those of us who are not the offspring of "pure" stock–for instance, those upper class folk, the "pilgrims" who arrived on the Mayflower it looks more than a little bit Nimbyish to complain about those tired, poor and huddled masses.

  22. Jim

    >Demo – yes I am a descendant of immigrants – that legally came to America. I am suggesting that now America needs fewer immigrants coming in each year and America should enforce the immigration laws. In the early years of America, it made sense to invite anyone that was willing to come into the country. We needed more people here to grow the country. It is hard to find a reason that we need an unregulated number of people coming into America now. As it is, the birthright citizenship is an incentive for people to break our immigration laws. We should be removing incentives such as this, along with cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. I do not believe that all immigration is bad, just that we should not accept illegal immigration.

  23. >These children are benifitting from the illegal activity of their parents. Jim if you are suggesting that we change the Constitution so that people BORN ON U.S. SOIL are no longer considered citizens, then that's a whole 'nother ball of wax. I hope you will think very carefully about what you are suggesting here and the implications of such an idea.

  24. Jim

    >SB – that is what I am proposing and many other people think it should be changed as well. Instead of simply being born on US soil qualifying you as a citizen, the qualification should be that at least one parent is a US citizen. From reading up on it, the Supreme Court has never ruled on whether children born to illegal immigrants should be granted citizenship by birth. The 14th amendment states "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." Are illegal immigrants subject to the jurisdiction of the United States? Usually, diplomats from foreign countries that have children while here in America do not receive citizenship for their children since they are not subject to the jurisdiction of the US. Why can't illegal immigrants be classified the same way?

  25. >For real? Anyone in the US, or any of its territories, is in and under the jurisdiction of the US and therefore subject to US law. Really – think about it. Ambassadors are different because wherever a country has established an embassy in a foreign country, the physical location of that embassy is considered a part of the foreign country, and therefore subject to its own laws and not those of the host. It is in the CONSTITUTION. I believe when you are talking about 'no SCOTUS' decision, you are confusing the talking points regarding citizenship and POTUS.People who want to end birth right citizenship need to think long and hard about the reality of what they are advocating.