Public Enemy's Chuck D has released another song condemning Arizona nearly 20 years after the incendiary "By the Time I Get to Arizona," in which he blasted Gov. Evan Mecham as a racist "cracker" over his refusal to recognize Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a holiday.
The track, which starts off sampling "By the Time," as you may have guessed, is more concerned with the relative merits of SB 1070.
The track is called "Tear Down That Wall," and the rapper told Billboard he wrote it because "the governor is a Hitler," adding that "Tear Down That Wall" is "something that has its own life. It's not that you're doing anything to be opportunistic. I talked about the wall not only just dividing the U.S. and Mexico but the states of California, New Mexico and Texas. But Arizona, it's like, come on. Now they're going to enforce a law that talks about basically racial profiling."
SB 1070 makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally. It states that an officer engaged in a lawful stop, detention or arrest shall, when practicable, ask about a person's legal status when reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally.
Chuck D has also issued a statement that reads, in part, "Jan Brewer's decision to sign the Arizona immigration bill into law is racist, deceitful, and reflects some of the most mean-spirited politics against immigrants that the country has ever seen. The power that this law gives to police, to detain people that they suspect to be undocumented, brings racial profiling to a new low. Brewer's actions and those of Joe Arpaio, Russell Pearce, the Arizona State Senate are despicable, inexcusable, and endorse the all-out hate campaign that Joe Arpaio, Russell Pearce, and others have perpetrated upon immigrants for years. The people of Arizona who voted for this bill, as well as those who crafted it, demonstrate no regard for the humanity or contributions of Latino people. And for all of those who have chosen not to speak up, shame on you for silently endorsing this legislated hate."
The track is currently available at slamjamz.com and will appear on his Chuck D solo effort at a later date.
Los Lobos, Hall and Oates, Conjunto Primavera, Cypress Hill and Pitbull are among the artists that have canceled Arizona shows in protest. Artists speaking out against the law include Shakira, Willie Nelson, Carlos Santana and members of Rage Against the Machine, who formed the Sound Strike, a coalition of musical artists opposed to the bill, including Kanye West, Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, Sonic Youth, Tenacious D., Joe Satriani, Cypress Hill, the Coup and Rise Against.