If Governor Jan Brewer gets her way, Arizona radio stations will soon be prohibited from playing Latino music over the airwaves. On May 3, the Arizona House will vote on a bill that would ban any music that:
1. Promotes the overthrow of the United States government.
2. Promotes resentment toward a race or class of people.
3. Is designed primarily for listeners of a particular ethnic group.
4. Advocates ethnic solidarity instead of treating listeners as individuals.
According to the bill, “Any music that includes more than five words in a language other than English will be reviewed by an independent commission for seditious overtones.” By these standards, many popular artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Shakira, Pitbull and Selena Gomez will likely find their songs banned from Arizona radio stations. According to Brewer, this legislation is necessary to “curb the growing use of subversive music to manipulate young Latinos into hating the United States.” Since entering office, Brewer has made a concerted effort to attack Hispanic culture. HB 2281, with surprisingly similar language, outlawed the teaching of Ethic Studies in Arizona schools. According to Tucson Unified School District board member Michael Hicks, “If there is no more white people in the world then okay, you can do what you want.” Until then, Brewer is doing everything she can to curb the flow of Latino music, books and history over Arizona borders.
Brewer’s supporters believe that the Governor is only doing what is necessary to protect the “American way of life”. Evelyn Rothchild, President of Ban Items Toxic to Christian Homes states, “Music these days is sinful. It’s all sex, drugs and violence. Ever since that “La Bamba” song came out we have been fighting against this evil Mexican music. What does ‘La Bamba’ even mean? Do you know? It probably means America is Satan? Why would we want to put that on the airwaves?”
Governor Brewer is quick to point out that she is not banning Latino music, merely asking that it be translated into English and examined for “inappropriate” lyrics before airing it on the radio. “If a song has good wholesome lyrics, it can be played in our official state language. Artists can no longer hide subversive and incendiary material behind the Spanish language.” The Bill is expected to pass the House and be signed by Brewer on Thursday, or as Arizonians will now call it, “the day the music died”.
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Non-edited artwork: Donkey Hotey
Shakira photo by oouinouin