If you’re reading this in the United States and you’re not a Native America, congratulations, you’re an immigrant. And whether you’re for or against President Donald Trump’s suddenly-enacted executive order suspending immigrants, even those with green cards from entering the country, it’s certain that it was enacted without all that much thought. Ten years ago, Heavy Metal in Baghdad was a documentary about Iraqi metal band Acrassicauda and their struggle to be a band in a war-torn country that essentially found in criminal to embrace a metal lifestyle. After the film was released, the band eventually made it to America, and they currently live in Brooklyn. That certainly wouldn’t have happened under Trump’s watch.
Rolling Stone caught up with Acrassicauda drummer Marwan Hussein, who’d been attempting to get his mother, who he last saw, to the U.S. so he could see her for the first time since 2011. Obviously, that’s on hold. The magazine asked Hussein what he thought:
The whole thing is surreal. I think to myself, “Are we being punked in here? Where’s the cameras?” It’s ridiculous. It’s somebody with the mentality of a 5-year-old bully and just literally doesn’t know what the fuck to do. Who would do that?
The whole interview is pretty fascinating, in that it talks about the band’s idealism when they got over here. One of the most interesting aspects of the talks is that the band says that while they toured red states in 2013, the’re skeptical about doing so in 2017. You can read that here.
Meanwhile, the ACLU is seeing an uptick in donations, having gotten $24 million in donations in just the weekend after the executive order. Bandcamp, probably one of the best way for an artist to make money from their music, has announced that this Friday, February 3rd, they’ll be donating 100% of the proceeds they earn to the ACLU. So if you’re buying anything from Bandcamp this Friday, as you should, know that at least some of your money is going to a good cause. You can read about their logic, as well as see a list of bands from some of the effected countries, on Bandcamp’s website.