Recently we caught word of proposed legislation in Arizona that would prohibit “subversive Latino music” from radio play — meaning any tracks with five or more non-English words. It was to ban songs that:
1. Promotes the overthrow of the United States government.
2. Promotes resentment toward a race or class of people.
3. Is designed primarily for listeners of a particular ethnic group.
4. Advocates ethnic solidarity instead of treating listeners as individuals.
The legislation called for a state-run panel of experts to review music before it aired for “seditious overtones.”
Folks all over Twitter — including some of our favorite musicians and promoters — got bent out of shape about it. And rightfully so! Hasn't anyone heard of the First Amendment in Arizona?
After checking around a little bit, however, we realized something was amiss. The blog that originally reported it, the “Free Wood Post,” claims to provide “News that's almost reliable.”
That should have been our first clue.
Turns out the whole thing was a hoax, and we were totally duped.
How could we have been so dumb, you ask? Well…
We started imagining local L.A. artists who could've faced serious heat in Arizona, since their songs have more than five words in Spanish — Ceci Bastida, La Santa Cecilia and Los Abandoned, to name a few. Local jazz singer Gaby Moreno is featured on pop sensation Ricardo Arjona's “Fuiste Tú,” which is all over pop radio right now. And what about Emanuela Bellezza's just-released duet with the uber-famous Juanes, “Fotografía”? Our first thought wasn't disbelief, it was indignance.
Oh, and then there's the fact that it's Arizona. After all, in 2011, the Arizona Legislature outlawed ethnic studies programs in the public schools. (Seriously.) And then, of course, there's the state law cracking down on illegal immigrants through routine traffic stops, which was blocked by both a district court judge and the appellate court — but is likely to be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. [Editor's note: A correction was made to this paragraph at 10:30 a.m. to better clarify the status of both legislative efforts.]
But, turns out this is all a joke. So there you have it Twitter, Facebook and bloggers-at-large. You can simmer down now. And turn the radio back up.