Stars rally for di­ver­sity in USMex­ico bor­der show

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

TOP stars in Latin mu­sic pleaded over the week­end for tol­er­ance in a con­cert from the US-Mex­ico bor­der, tak­ing a stand weeks ahead of a di­vi­sive US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Thou­sands of peo­ple turned out in the walk­way be­tween San Diego and Ti­juana for the show put to­gether by Univi­sion, the US Span­ish-lan­guage net­work with a strong fol­low­ing among His­pan­ics, and its English­language, youth-ori­ented unit Fu­sion.

Called “RiseUp As One” the con­cert was of­fi­cially non-par­ti­san but came amid the heated rhetoric of Repub­li­can nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump, who has de­scribed Mex­i­can im­mi­grants as rapists and vowed to build a wall on the bor­der.

Rene Perez of the Puerto Ri­can reg­gae­ton group Calle 13 ap­pealed for US vot­ers to pick the “least worst” can­di­date, in a clear ref­er­ence to Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton, and closed the con­cert with the song “Lati­noamer­ica” in a pow­er­ful duet with the Mex­i­can singer Lila Downs.

Downs, one of the most en­er­getic per­form­ers of the evening, ap­pealed to Lati­nos to prove that the com­mu­nity is “stronger than hate”.

Los Ti­gres del Norte, a top act from the folksy Mex­i­can-rooted genre of norteno mu­sic, opened the con­cert poignantly with the song “So­mos Mas Amer­i­canos”, or “We Are More Amer­i­can”.

“I didn’t cross the bor­der / The bor­der crossed me,” runs one of song’s lyrics in Span­ish, a ref­er­ence to the US seizure of Mex­i­can land in the 1840s.

While mostly con­sist­ing of Latin artists, the con­cert also drew An­dra Day, the ris­ing San Diego-born soul singer and pro­tegee of Ste­vie Won­der.

Out­side the mu­sic world, stars who ap­peared in­cluded the Mex­i­can ac­tor Gael Gar­cia Ber­nal, whose films in­clude Ba­bel and the TV se­ries Mozart in the Jun­gle.

“Mi­gra­tion is the rea­son that we’re here on this planet and the rea­son why hu­man­ity has sur­vived,” Gar­cia Ber­nal told in­ter­viewer Jorge Ramos, the Univi­sion an­chor who has en­tered tense ex­changes in cov­er­ing Trump.

The vet­eran Pana­ma­nian-born singer Miguel Bose en­cour­aged view­ers to vote on Novem­ber 8.

“We’re go­ing to de­cide if we want progress and dig­nity or if we want re­gres­sion and chaos,” Bose said.

“For me as a Latino, I’m very wor­ried and I’ve come to tell you that you have a weapon, and that is your vote and our voice,” he said.

Other ma­jor acts in­cluded Span­ish singer-song­writer Ale­jan­dro Sanz, Colom­bian stars Car­los Vives and Juanes, and Mex­i­can pop singer Natalia Lafour­cade, who tri­umphed at last year’s Latin Gram­mys with five awards.

And Uruguayan star Jorge Drexler sang “Al Otro Lado del Rio” (“The Other Side of the River”), his Os­car­win­ning song from The Mo­tor­cy­cle Diaries, the 2004 biopic in which Gar­cia Ber­nal stars as rev­o­lu­tion­ary Che Gue­vara.

“I don’t know where I’m from / My house is on the bor­der / And bor­ders move like flags,” the song goes in Span­ish.

Sur­veys have shown Clin­ton en­joy­ing a ma­jor edge over Trump among His­pan­ics, who make up 17 per­cent of the US pop­u­la­tion and – un­less turnout spikes this year – around 12pc of the elec­torate.

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