CUÉNTAME Presents New York City’s Outernational video for “Todos Somos Ilegales/We Are All Illegals.”
Featuring: Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine, Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Residente of Calle 13 and Pop/Latin Rock Producer Thom Russo - As Well As Video + Photo Submissions From Over 100 Fans Worldwide!
The video follows the album’s bilingual cinema-in-sound concept about the border, the USA and the system that criminalizes those who create the wealth it rests upon.
While bringing to the fore the lived experience and stories of immigrant people, with this release the band ridicules the absurdity and obsolescence of the very notion of human beings deemed "illegal" in the year 2012: "See that border ain't sacred or chosen, the land we stand on, every inch of it stolen, how obscene that there's people 'illegal', vilified survival, the journey is lethal," declares lead singer Miles Solay.
The message of Outernational comes behind the backdrop of President Obama’s “administrative relief” for young undocumented Americans as well as the Supreme Court’s upholding of “Papers Please” racial profiling in Arizona.
It is against the backdrop of heightened drama around issues of immigration, race, and class that Cuéntame would like to make it clear that we stand alongside and in solidarity with undocumented peoples inter Outerationally and say, “Todos Somos Ilegales/We Are All Illegals.”
Statement from lead singer Miles Solay:
Many people are once again talking about the anti-immigrant laws in Arizona and other states and the dehumanization of immigrants. As we see it, there is no so-called 'immigration problem' but there is a capitalism problem. Together with Rene Perez Joglar, Tom Morello, Chad Smith, Thom Russo, and many others, we hope to spread the 'We Are All Illegals' music video to all corners of the US, as well as throughout Latin America with the purpose of sending a clear message that the very notion of any human being deemed illegal is obscene, absurd, and obsolete. We are also making it abundantly clear that there is a growing force of people who refuse to sit idly in the face of ominous laws. One day it will seem as ridiculous for a human being to be deemed "illegal" by a government as it now seems for one person to own another person. Just as many different kinds of people need to fight back and get justice for Trayvon Martin, many different kinds of people need to stand together with our immigrant brothers and sisters. Until that day in a future society, we hereby declare, "WE ARE ALL ILLEGALS."
I am out that I am an illegal. I have to admit that in my special situation Iâm even illegal with a real social security card. You see they decided that my âgenesâ were themselves somehow illegal so I have been held against my will in human bondage devices for profit at taxpayer expense in the nation of my birth and violated with no hope of exercising the Bill of Rights. If this sounds strange it is still fact. And you will understand me only if you listen to me and our kind.
As I have no criminal record to speak of the crime is not one of doing any illegal act but for the crime of being. There is a fear that my genes are dangerous and inferior and doom me to a future life of crime Iâve yet to realize or even dream about. It was simply criminal of me to be born alive with problems they now call âfragile xâ disorders and my parents could sue their obstetricians in court for they are liable for me and my brother being born in our live condition in this capitalist court system which places value on the moral of superiority over the disabled and strange. For our birth it seems the only way society can dream of us compensating is to let our bodies be held against our wills and altered by force if necessary while we are studied as inferiors. I live the struggle for the American dream of democracy whenever I simply speak my thoughts openly as I do here and now to you. I can do time for the crime of speech and even unspoken thought.
I have been my entire life still a fair skinned USA citizen by birth and English is even my native tongue. But I live under the mentality of apartheid of law for the segregating of personâs futures by the belief in the genetic inferiority of their brains, hearts, and souls. We alone have spirits of mind which must be subdued, bodies which must be held in custody for existing, brains which must be forbidden to think as they will for the crime of incompetence. And we alone necessitate punishment outside any normal system or code of law, like you.
You see I was born a blue person even if I was white upon the surface and have never been completely free since I was found depressed as a child. I was not happy with the way things are, just like you. Today Iâm glad to be Mad. And my word counts for nothing in the nation of my birth but my word does count to me. So let me formally extend to all persons who are illegal by type, my welcome on behalf persons such as my brother and I to the troubled land of our birth. We need you as do all brothers of bondage.
My brother has an entirely different kind of difference from me. He is the happiest person I know but they tell me he is also genetically inferior to them. Heâs not down but has Downâs syndrome.
I agree that we are all illegal as long as in any way existing in space and time is itself a crime punishable by special laws for type of person. For I or my brother there is no nation to be deported to safely. For nowhere in the world do our kinds have refuge even in the lands of our birth to simply live out our lives as equals in our communities.
The answer to the modern question of citizenship is and easy and is a simple truth to understand and comprehend and I will speak for all peoples this truth: the truth is that good neighbor and citizen is always simply the one who values equality and freedomâ¦ it always was. Those who tell you those âillegal immigrantsâ are coming to steal and debase the values of right to equality of Americans who have fought for this right and won have not known their own nationâs ugly purist face as intimately as we nor ever fought for the rights of others in their country to live in equality. My worst American job as a citizen was for $1 per hour inside an art therapy program run by an institutionâs gift shop. They charged us for the quality of our labor not allowing us to purchase blank pieces and pay for paint. Not all of us could afford our own work. They also charged the taxpayer. The lie is that the struggle for equality was won or can ever be won by mere privilege of birth.
You may exonerate yourselves as innocent for you cannot take the spoils of a victory such as rights that indeed are not even enjoyed in America. The struggle continues, the victory is not won, and we who value equality in America or anywhere need all the help we can get from our neighbors from over the fence. I really appreciate your emails. They make me feel good when I feel down. So please keep up the campaign. Because we too are forced to take beds in facilities built for our types where we are treated as institutional slavesâ¦ âTodos somos Ilegalesâ.
Likewise we have a civil rights movement that few credit and believe in just because it is our own and itâs nonetheless growing daily. The only difference in our apartheid here is in theoryâ¦ that isâ¦ instead of using as an excuse the fact that they refused us papers giving us equal rights they simply force upon us papers severing us from these so called equal birthrights. Millions of USA citizens in truth are extremely challenged in American citizenship though we were natives here. Please do call our fellow citizens of privilege out for this PR hypocrisy and propaganda that the USA just has done better by its citizens and that they may have equality by mere birthright and so do not have to struggle for freedom ever. The struggle for the American dream is not realized. And weâll always require the dreamer the world around.
Sincerely April Fawn Scheller
Mad Civil Rights Activist
PS. In thanks for the music to keep my spirit up I link freedom songs from the struggle around the world facing ourselves as citizens by birth that our nations say should not have been born at all. We are human beings that are treated as if aliens unto the very earth. The act of alienation itself is the one thing that should be truly inhuman indeed.
Upside of Down-Pied Pumkin
Alchemy On the Wards âMary Colon Maddock
Define Better-Chill E.B.
What a lot of anti-immigration zealots forget is the large number of “non-immigrants” that do exactly the same thing, minus the language barrier.
My problem is not with immigrants, unless you have Native American in your DNA, you are an immigrant. My problem is with anyone who takes anything and everything that they can get without working or contributing to society in any manner. That, in my opinion, is the problem with modern society. Lazy, worthless people who think that society owes them something. A lot of people who immigrate here work their butts off to try and provide for their families. These folks should be welcomed with open arms, not vilified because they are not “real” U.S. citizens. A track record of employment should be required as part of the permanent citizenship process.
Those who come to the US and jump on our welfare system, refuse to learn English, constantly pop out more and more kids so were even more overpopulated and are just a drain on resources.
The illegals I’m against are the ones who come here to commit crime and/or do not contribute to society.
I can see the point this song is trying to make, but it only looks at a very small perspective of the issue. Every Country has immigration laws, and believe me the US treats it’s illegal immigrants far better then many other countries do.