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From: Matthew Richer (e-mail him)
Re: Joe Guzzardi's Column: Say It Isn't So! Bruce Springsteen Is An Open Borders Advocate
Musically, Bruce Springsteen lost his edge a long time ago.
In the 1970s, Springsteen's music was dark and despairing and that's why people identified with it. His songs were deeply personal, even existential.
Back then, Springsteen sang about his coming of age in New Jersey's dying factory towns—a treadmill he knew not how to escape from, except in song.
Today, however, Springsteen is a super-rich celebrity living comfortably in his mansion, far removed from the blue-collar backwaters of New Jersey. The decline in his music parallels his transformation from working class icon to guilty white liberal.
In 2000, Springsteen performed a song – American Skin (41 Shots)—in New York City about the fatal shooting of 23 year-old Amadou Diallo in the Bronx by four New York City policemen. (See it performed here and read the lyrics here.)
Diallo, who was unarmed, was shot 41 times, and so the song goes:
"You can get killed just for living in your American skin."However, Diallo was not American, but an immigrant from Guinea who overstayed his visa.
Diallo also filed a blatantly false asylum request where he claimed to be from Mauritania and that his family was a victim of ethnic cleansing. In truth, the Diallo family is wealthy, and Diallo’s father is a respected businessman now living in Vietnam.
While Diallo's death was clearly tragic, I've always thought he was, in part, a victim of our open-borders policy that Springsteen supports. Being an immigrant from a French-speaking country, Diallo had a poor grasp of English and of American ways, and didn't know what to do when the officers ordered him to put his hands in the air.
Instead, Diallo began acting fidgety, ducking in and out of a doorway, then fatally put his hands into his pockets and was shot dead. One of the defense lawyers for the NYPD argued that Diallo could have mistaken the police for immigration agents and panicked.
Does Springsteen not understand that by supporting open borders he encourages more tragedies like Diallo’s death?
Later, in 2004, Springsteen wrote an embarrassingly naive op-ed in the New York Times endorsing John Kerry in the 2004 Election–thereby putting to rest any doubts that his talent is tapped out. [Chords for Change, by Bruce Springsteen, New York Times, August 5, 2004]
Springsteen still has legions of fans—myself included. But most of us are still listening to his old songs, and can't even name his newer stuff. In his early music, Springsteen spoke to his fans…but now he talks at us.
Bruce is now just another millionaire public figure lecturing an audience he no longer knows.
Richer is the author of Busing's Boston Massacre. His most recent letter about another open borders advocate, ESPN's Peter Gammons is here. Other Richer letters to VDARE.COM about the Hispanization of Boston, Mitt Romney (a "phony" says Richer) and illegal aliens on Cape Cod are here, here and here.