Saturday, May 14, 2011

Nashville Scene to Bomba Estereo: we say welcome, even if Legislature sends other message

Clay Bennett

There were three paragraphs in the Nashville Scene's recent review of Bomba Estereo that are just priceless - if you didn't catch them, the Scene has graciously given me permission to reproduce them here:
But how is this playing out across America circa 2011 — an era when, if you spend much time keeping track of politics, you'll notice that folks seem to be enthralled with extreme nativist posturing? If our, um, esteemed state legislature is any indication — and dear God, let's hope it's not — Americans at the moment are far more interested in stocking their bunkers with assault weapons and Andy Griffith DVDs, making bogeymen out of major religions and polishing their tinfoil hats, than engaging in dialogues with different cultures. ... How is a fiercely political, fiercely progressive Latin band going over in a country that's, well, a little on edge about all things foreign and different?

"We didn't know what to expect," says Salazar. "For instance, we are going to Louisiana for the very first time, and we're going to North Carolina too. But in Texas, it was really well-received from the very beginning, as well as in New York and San Francisco. ... I don't know about Nashville — maybe all your friends are as excited as you are?"

Yes, Mr. Salazar. Yes they are. While the elected officials on Capitol Hill are working hard to codify discrimination and legalize the marginalization of people who fall outside of their warped Andy Griffith image of the state, those of us who actually live here — the folks who make up this diverse and increasingly cosmopolitan community — welcome you with open arms. It doesn't matter if isolationism and fear are the order of the day on the statehouse floor: On the streets and in the clubs of Music City, the vibe is all about inclusion and the interchange of ideas. There's a cultural cross-pollination that's fueling the creative explosion here. There's a thirst for art that acknowledges all of our differences and uses them as a stepping-stone to achieve greater things. Something tells us Bomba Estéreo will feel right at home.

Worth pointing out: the comic above is about immigration, which has more to do with the legislature than with Bomba Estereo.

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