Lady Gaga protests Arizona’s anti-immigration law

Lady Gaga performed in Phoenix, AZ Saturday night where she spoke out publicly against SB1070, the state’s new anti-immigrant law. Lady Gaga had been encouraged to participate in the boycott of Arizona, which has led other prominent pop stars to cancel shows in the state. Instead, Gaga decided to use her show as an opportunity to speak out against the racist law.

Gaga performed with “Stop SB1070″ written on her arm and had this to say about the law:

I got a phone call from a couple really big rock and rollers, big pop stars, big rappers, and they said, we’d like you to boycott Arizona, we’d like you to boycott playing Arizona because of SB1070. And I said, you really think that us dumb [yes, ableist language] fucking pop stars are gonna collapse the economy of Arizona?

I’ll tell you what we have to do about SB1070. We have to be active, we have to actively protest, and the nature of the monster ball is to actively protest prejudice and injustice and the bullshit that is put on our society because you’re a superstar no matter who you are or where you come from, and you were born that way.

I will not cancel my show. I will yell and I will scream louder and I will hold you and we will hold each other and we will peaceably protest this state.

But do not be afraid, because if it wasn’t for all you immigrants this country wouldn’t have shit.

I do believe in standing in solidarity when organizers I agree with call for a boycott. I think we need broader understanding of the fact that we vote with our wallets. But I also think Lady Gaga was able to bring a lot more attention to this issue by performing and speaking out than she would have by staying out of Arizona. And it makes sense to me to bring her show, which is all about creating a space for social outsiders, to Arizona as a place for protest and celebration.

Here’s a video of Lady Gaga’s full remarks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1-1Nt5qgqk&feature=player_embedded

Partial transcript after the jump.

What do you think of Lady Gaga’s decision to perform and speak out in Arizona? Should she have participated in the boycott, or was this a good use of her fame?
Lady Gaga: My name is Lady Gaga!

Thank you so much for buying a ticket to see my show Arizona. I didn’t used to be brave, I wasn’t a brave person at all, but you have made me brave. And now I’m gonna be brave for you.

Tonight I want you to free yourself, I want you to let go of all of your insecurities, I want you to reject any person or any thing or any law that have ever made you feel like you don’t belong.

I got a phone call from a couple really big rock and rollers, big pop stars, big rappers, and they said, we’d like you to boycott Arizona, we’d like you to boycott playing Arizona because of SB1070. And I said, you really think that us dumb fucking pop stars are gonna collapse the economy of Arizona?

I’ll tell you what we have to do about SB1070. We have to be active, we have to actively protest, and the nature of the monster ball is to actively protest prejudice and injustice and the bullshit that is put on our society because you’re a superstar no matter who you are or where you come from, and you were born that way.

I will not cancel my show. I will yell and I will scream louder and I will hold you and we will hold each other and we will peaceably protest this state.

But do not be afraid, because if it wasn’t for all you immigrants this country wouldn’t have shit. And I mean it so deeply in my soul. Let me get a good look at all of you.

and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

12 Comments

  1. Posted August 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad that she went ahead with her show. These days I don’t think boycotting it would have been as effective. I’m also happy that she can confidentally stand up for the right thing without needing to water it down to suit mainstream audiences. Yay Lady Gaga!

  2. Posted August 3, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad she went and did the show. I heard there were calls for her to cancel previous to the show and I had hoped she wouldn’t. She’s the type of person who can make so much more out of something using her voice rather than avoiding it.

  3. Posted August 3, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    How is this not a great use of her fame? Boycotts can work sometimes, in some contexts, but draining a state’s economy isn’t necessarily an effective way to get its consituents on your side. If she had gone through with the boycott, then her fans would feel alienated from her – particularly those who had already dished out money on tickets and, in the case of the out-of-town attendees, bus/train/plane tickets, hotel rooms, etc etc. And alienating your fans is not exactly an effective way to get your point across about a cause. Not to mention that many of her fans (as was clearly evidenced by the roar of the crowd) already dislike the bill, so by not showing up and playing a show for them, she’s removing the opportunity for rousing the activist spirt – an opportunity she evidently chose to take advantage of in a really inspiring way.

    Lady Gaga, you fucking rule.

  4. Posted August 3, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    You know what, I know you’re never going to publish this because of your stupid comment policy, but fuck Lady Gaga. What the hell does that dumb, bleached blond, Madonna wannabe know about immigration reform? I support this law because I’m sick of my fellow Americans getting invaded by illegals and our spineless government doing nothing about it. Shut up and sing, you airhead.

    • Posted August 4, 2010 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Vanessa, why can’t she have political views and still be a pop singer? I don’t see why they have to be separate. Personally, I prefer my singers to have some sort of opinion on women’s issues and politics.

  5. Posted August 4, 2010 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    While I hesitate to prescribe what other folks should do, I think that Lady Gaga did well in deciding to give the concert and turn it into a platform from which to do activism. I think she made a more powerful statement by performing, and I think other artists would have done the same. I think her decision acknowledged the efforts of other activists, and I hope that all concerned will have impact against this superbly racist law.

  6. Posted August 4, 2010 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    This was a good use of her fame. And there you go. Her fame. Like okay great that she has a concert were people who are fans can pay anywhere from $80-$400 for a ticket. Could any of the people she is talking about who like her music go see her in concert with prices like these? I find it a tad hypocritical and laughable…Yes it is great that she is vehemently speaking out against the bill and it is needed by someone with such pull. But, we should be questioning the pull that she has. She is lauded for being groundbreaking when she appropiates greatly from certain parts of the queer community. Thanks for the credit GaGa but…how grateful can we be? You love us because we buy your albums and we can give you clues on how to be marketable. Now you are talking about immigration. This is great. But, lets talk about your record on racial representation in your videos. Or her blind support for marriage equality as opposed to using her visiblity…for what have you. I am done ranting. It’s great but it’s not that great…If the concert was free wouldn’t it have been better or more transgressive? What about the people who have been speaking out against these laws from the start? What about the organizing that has already been protesting…and not on the dance floor of the $400+ monster ball…these laws and the evil racism that has been unleashed in Arizona. That’s just my ten cents though…

    • Posted August 4, 2010 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      I completely agree with you. If the concert was free or a hell of a lot cheaper, I think that would have made a better point.

    • Posted August 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      I agree. I think this would’ve been a much better form of “protest” against Arizona’s anti-immigration policies if the concert had been free. Or if she was giving a big bunch of the money she made to some organization to help fight the BS law. Something like that. But just going there, having people pay those ridiculous ticket prices…eh, I’m not too wowed by this (not that the point was to wow me specifically I know, just adding my two cents).

    • Posted October 15, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Excuse me, but you are confused about Lady Gaga’s prices for the MonsterBall. Tickets are much cheaper than you are falsely claiming: They are about $60-80 depending on seating, and the only tickets more than $100 are special Meet-and-Greet packages that are approx. $180. So please get your facts straight before criticizing a person so verbosely.

      Lady Gaga is no Madonna — she doesn’t gouge her fans for ticket money.

  7. Posted August 4, 2010 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    There are farts in hurricanes that think this was insignificant.

  8. Posted August 8, 2010 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    I got to see her when the Monster’s Ball tour stopped in Indianapolis recently. What I thought was awesome about the way she set up the show was that she took time out to basically give a monologue about how the Monster’s Ball was a place where her “little monsters” could go when they had nowhere else to be; a place of acceptance for everyone where they could be true to their selves. It’s maybe a bit corny, but it was kind of powerful when you were there in an arena full of screaming fans who understood exactly what she was talking about. It was even more powerful when she took time in between songs, later in the concert, to give another speech that was basically about how putrid homophobia is (it was her lead-in to “Alejandro”). She devoted a good amount of her “talking to the crowd” time to say these things.

    My point here is that I think the theme of her tour – that of acceptance, and feeling okay that you’re “different” or an outsider – was totally apropos there in Arizona. I think that if she provided just one night of acceptance for even one person at that concert – whether they’re a citizen or not, whether they’re gay or straight or black or white or what have you – then it was worth it. For other artists to boycott the state and to avoid boosting Arizona’s economy is a perfectly wonderful statement for them to make, but because the whole idea behind Gaga’s tour and her “little monsters” was so fitting in this situation, I think what she did was just as powerful. I feel like she’s the kind of person who would feel upset if she didn’t get the opportunity to give that one night to the little monsters in Arizona. Besides, if she’d just boycotted, she’s mostly just be adding her name to a list of other artists who’ve (admirably) done the same. Now she’s gotten some more visibility for her personal protest.

    Although it certainly would be nice to see her take some more concrete actions now, perhaps by way of a monetary donation to a local charity or group that supports/aids the immigration cause and the fight against the anti-immigration law.

2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] (via Feministing) [...]

  2. By Lady Gaga Take II « Like a Whisper on August 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    [...] Gaga’s own actions and the desire to excuse her are only one reflection of this larger trend. Both feminist and mainstream liberal blogs, some written by Latin@s (see comment section for real issues), have [...]

Feministing In Your Inbox

Sign up for our Newsletter to stay in touch with Feministing
and receive regular updates and exclusive content.

200 queries. 0.608 seconds