Almost 1,000 students have signed an online petition that is calling upon rap star Kanye West to speak out against Alabama’s new immigration law. Kanye is currently in Birmingham, Alabama, where he is spending the month preparing for his “Watch the Throne” tour with Jay-Z. The students are signing the petition on Change.org, in hopes of getting the superstar rap artist to meet with Civil Rights leaders, politicians and other influential individuals in Alabama, about HB 56. The controversial bill has been labeled as supporting some of the most extreme anti-immigration legislation in the country.
The petition, which currently has 797 signatures, was organized by William Anderson, a student at University of Alabama Birmingham, as well as a longtime fan Kanye West.
“Like thousands of Kanye fans, I grew up listening to Hip-Hop, and it was one of the things that shaped my consciousness about race and justice,” said William Anderson, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “Alabama’s new immigration law is an attack on the state’s citizens, documented and undocumented. In the spirit of the social justice and hip hop, I hope that Kanye listens to his fans and takes a few minutes to learn and educate others about the crisis that is happening in Alabama.”
Kanye West has yet to respond and he will only be in Alabama until October 28.
VamosTogether, would like to thank William Anderson, who is a key volunteer and consultant for the VamosTogether Movement and an inspirational organizer of his fellow classmates at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Kanye has spoken out against Arizona’s law and has expressed support for the Occupy Wall Street movement. He leaves Birmingham tomorrow, but many performers (including Biz Markie & Steve Harvey) are filling the vacuum he will leave behind, as Birmingham hosts its annual Magic City Classic, the largest historically black college football game in the country, and has recruited many events and performances to take place in conjunction with the game. Hopefully, some of them will take the opportunity to speak out against hate.
I get down for my grandfather who took my momma
Made her sit in that seat where white folks ain’t wanna us to eat
At the tender age of 6 she was arrested for the sit in
With that in my blood I was born to be different [...]
Racism still alive they just be concealing it
–Kanye West, “Never Let Me Down”