You know, we progressives like to rely on rational appeals a lot. And we're often frustrated when we discover that they're not working -- while Republican crooks and liars prosper with their often irrational appeals to people's emotions.
Thus, in the immigration debate, we can recite the whole litany of facts debunking the people -- like those in Arizona who passed and are now promoting its police-state immigration law, SB1070 -- who are trying to convince Americans that Latino immigrants are bringing with them a wave of crime. And you know what? The lizard-brain appeal often wins out.
We can point out till we're blue in the face that:
-- Despite the defenders of SB1070's claims that the law will brook no racial profiling, all Latino travelers from out of state -- including American citizens -- will be at risk should they choose to travel to Arizona if the law takes effect.
-- The law gives federal enforcement powers to local authorities -- something previously unseen in law enforcement.
-- Arizonans have been inverting reality when it comes to the levels and nature of immigrant-related border crime, conflating without evidence a handful of cases involving white victims while completely ignoring even more startling incidents involving white vigilantes and Latino victims.
-- The bill and its ensuing controversy has proven a major nexus for the mainstreaming of the racist right's white-supremacist agenda.
SB1070's defenders like to point to its popularity -- and yes, we can just as easily point out that, historically speaking, depriving the rights of others in this country has always been a popular proposition. But that's the rational argument.
We need to realize that we can make appeals that are both rational and emotional. Which is where this new video by the Black Eyed Peas' Taboo comes in.
Because really, the issues around SB1070 are very simple: right and wrong, just and unjust. And sometimes there's no better way to make that point than with a simple, great, heartfelt song.
And this is exactly that. The video features some guest vocals by Dolores Huerta, Eva Longoria, Oscar De La Hoya, Shakira & Juanes. It builds off the familiar riff of "One People" and becomes its own song.
Indeed, lots of musicians are joining this cause, and it can only help. Recall that Los Lobos has already made a statement of its own.
So while we're waiting for Judge Benson to rule on the Justice Department's suit to block the enactment of SB1070, here's something to remind us that sometimes the appeals from the heart can be the most powerful.
FWIW, Taboo was interviewed on MSNBC today about the video: