"Unkept and Overcaffeinated"
Pretty much everyone on the Left agrees that Arizona’s tough new immigration law SB 1070 is evil, racist, and terrifying. So what should we do about it? Many musicians, including Sonic Youth, Kanye West, Nine Inch Nails, and Jenny Lewis have joined the Sound Strike, a protest that Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha helped to organize that pledges to boycott the state.
However, members of the Arizona music industry disagree with this tactic. As previously reported, Arizona promoter and activist Charlie Levy wrote an open letter to artists asking them not to boycott the state: “By not performing in Arizona, artists are harming the very people and places that foster free speech and the open exchange of ideas that serve to counter the closed-mindedness recently displayed by the new law.”
One of the boycott’s most vocal supporters so far has been Conor Oberst, who posted a video last week about the Sound Strike. Now, Billboard has posted an open letter from Oberst to Levy, explaining why he supports the boycott.
 Oberst writes, “If I return to Arizona to pay lip service to a roomful of kids at the Marquee it will do absolutely no good for anyone. What I can do is to help organize, and play my small part in, what I hope is the largest and most effective boycott this country has seen in a long time.” He adds, “I fear that if we return to business as usual (under the guise of some civic movement) that this will all devolve into the typical grandstanding that is political activism in music. It might make us feel better but won’t do a damn thing to change the minds of the radical, racist minority that seem to have controlled Arizona politics for decades. In short, it will lose its teeth.”
Of the people who backed the law, Oberst says, “The only thing, clearly, that these people care about is Money and Power, that and the creation and preservation of an Anglo-Centric Police State where every Immigrant and Non-White citizen is considered subhuman. They want them stripped of their basic human rights and reduced to slaves for Corporate America and the White Race. They are engaged in blatant class warfare. It is evil, pure and simple.”
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Pretty much everyone on the Left agrees that Arizona’s tough new immigration law SB 1070 is evil, racist, and terrifying. So what should we do about it? Many musicians, including Sonic Youth, Kanye West, Nine Inch Nails, and Jenny Lewis have joined the Sound Strike, a protest that Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha helped to organize that pledges to boycott the state.

However, members of the Arizona music industry disagree with this tactic. As previously reported, Arizona promoter and activist Charlie Levy wrote an open letter to artists asking them not to boycott the state: “By not performing in Arizona, artists are harming the very people and places that foster free speech and the open exchange of ideas that serve to counter the closed-mindedness recently displayed by the new law.”

One of the boycott’s most vocal supporters so far has been Conor Oberst, who posted a video last week about the Sound Strike. Now, Billboard has posted an open letter from Oberst to Levy, explaining why he supports the boycott.

 Oberst writes, “If I return to Arizona to pay lip service to a roomful of kids at the Marquee it will do absolutely no good for anyone. What I can do is to help organize, and play my small part in, what I hope is the largest and most effective boycott this country has seen in a long time.” He adds, “I fear that if we return to business as usual (under the guise of some civic movement) that this will all devolve into the typical grandstanding that is political activism in music. It might make us feel better but won’t do a damn thing to change the minds of the radical, racist minority that seem to have controlled Arizona politics for decades. In short, it will lose its teeth.”

Of the people who backed the law, Oberst says, “The only thing, clearly, that these people care about is Money and Power, that and the creation and preservation of an Anglo-Centric Police State where every Immigrant and Non-White citizen is considered subhuman. They want them stripped of their basic human rights and reduced to slaves for Corporate America and the White Race. They are engaged in blatant class warfare. It is evil, pure and simple.”

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