In 1991, Public Enemy released "By the Time I Get to Arizona," a raw PE track the protested Arizona's refusal to recognize Martin Luther King Day.
In 2010, Minneapolis rapper Toki Wright wrote new rhymes for the PE classic. Here is the video, directed by Chris Cloud. The PE track still resonates. This week, the United States Supreme Court will be rulling on Arizona v United States.
Here is what Wright had to say about his song two years ago, which, sadly, is still relevant:
Dear Friends, Family, and Allies,
On Friday, April 23rd 2010 at approximately 1:30 pm Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona signed into law the most aggressive bill against undocumented residents in the United States. Under Senate Bill 1070 (SB 1070) local police departments have been given the authority to identify, detain, and deport anyone they deem to be illegally in the US based solely on their suspicion. Yet we ask, "what does illegal look like?"
We the people believe that this is not only a decision deeply rooted in racism, but also a political plot to cause disruption between the State and Federal government at the expense of hard working families. The same stigma that has plagued people of color in unfair hiring and housing practices, education, police profiling and more has now been passed into so-called "law." Law is nothing but an opinion reinforced by intimidation. Also, how can you call someone else illegal when you live on stolen land?
We won't take this sitting down. Resist. Fight.