Aloe Blacc’s Beautiful New Video Tackles Immigration Reform

Aloe Blacc is an artist with something to say.

His latest video features an acoustic version of the song “Wake Me”.  His vocals are at the heart of Avicii’s electronic version which has been wildly and internationally successful this year.

While the original video features a pair of outcast sisters living in a rural town who ultimately relocate to New York City where they find like-minded companions at a concert– Blacc’s version has a more political bent.

In the build up for the video Blacc tweeted:

Sure enough- the video depicts an immigrant family’s failed attempt to cross the border complete with a police officer confiscating a baby only to find himself face to face with the Dream Activist she grew up to be years later.  The song is hauntingly beautiful. The video’s focused on revealing the humanity behind the “immigration debate” as well as the crass terms that often get tossed around as a substitute for political discourse.  There are no “illegals” or stereotypes in this video.  Just people.

As they go through their struggles the 34 year old artists croons “All this time I was finding myself and I didn’t know that I was lost” and it just make sense. I’m not sure what I even mean by that but it does.  We’re all just people getting lost and found and lost again in a search for some sense of belonging. If you can relate to the words of this wildly successful song that’s on the radio all the time- then it’s not that much of a stretch to imagine relating to that family trying to cross the border.

The video, directed by Alex Rivera, ends by noting that several of the actors in the video are themselves actually causalities of our broken immigration policy.

Head over to Wendy Carillo’s- the host of KPRW Los Angeles, Power 106 – blog for more background on their stories.

Blacc’s seen previous success with songs like “I Need a Dollar” which was featured in the opening credits of the HBO show How to Make it in America. Prior to that he was a member of hip hop group Emanon in the late 90s.

He’s super talented and well worth watching for what he says next.

3 Responses to "Aloe Blacc’s Beautiful New Video Tackles Immigration Reform"
anotherquestion | Saturday October 26, 2013 08:15 am 1

Thanks for the thoughtful information. It is unfair to put hardworking poor workers and college age youth in such vulnerable situations.

Please recognize that the Immigration Reform Bill of the US Senate addresses these issues, possibly in a clumsy way, but also adds the Trojan horse that no one discusses. Provisions for guestworkers with H-1B visas (and similar farmworkers) are deliberately targeted to break farm worker unions and to promote tremendous harm to the job market for those who studied science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). There’s lots of corporate money sloshing around to facilitate age discrimination through these H-1B visas. The major networks including NPR and PBS censor any discussion of the H-1B visas.

No, I’m not promoting a wall on the Texas border. I’m just asking that legal immigration more reasonably reflect actual needs rather than fantasies of rich corporations. There is no skills gap!

Yes, let’s talk about the vulnerable immigrants, but also raise the issue of the H-1B visas and those of us who have been left unemployed because Microsoft, Facebook, Oracle, Infosys, etc. want cheap, exploitable labor.


kafka | Saturday October 26, 2013 08:37 am 2
In response to anotherquestion @ 1

The corporate drive for cheap labor doesn’t stop with the H-1B visas. The “Gang of 8″ immigration bill was practically written by corporate CEOs, which explains why its supporters include the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, GW Bush, Sheldon Adelson, Grover Norquist, the Wall Street Journal, the US Chamber of Commerce, etc.

There are no noble motives behind this. Wall Street wants cheap labor and their neoliberal whores in Congress want more poor and poorly educated voters. Absent those interests, nobody in DC would have the slightest interest in “reform”.

johnnyred | Saturday October 26, 2013 09:19 am 3

Efforts to frame this issue as haters vs. the good guys are disingenuous at best. There is a strong case to be made that those who wait patiently for a visa in their own country are punished, while those that broke the law are rewarded with citizenship. There’s no question that something must be done to fix the system, but it’s true that the likely fix is one that is heavily weighted in favor of business interests.

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