Logic Made a Powerful Statement About Immigration at the VMAs
“We Are All Human Beings.”
The hip-hop artist Logic and One Republic frontman Ryan Tedder brought their powerfully anti-racist song “One Day” to the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards in New York on Monday.
As Logic came on stage, he was joined by hundreds of people, all wearing the same shirt that read “We Are All Human Beings,” according to Yahoo News.
MTV simultaneously tweeted out that “All of the people on the stage with @Logic301 were impacted by immigration issues."
Logic, for his part, wore a shirt that put everything into blunt context. It read “F*CK THE WALL,” referring to the wall that US President Donald Trump wants to erect along the US-Mexico border.
He was also joined on stage by immigrant rights advocates from groups such as United We Dream.
“What the deportation force is doing to our families is horrific and Logic’s new video doesn’t sugar coat,” said Cristina Jimenez, executive director and co-founder of United We Dream, referring to Logic’s “One Day” video, which is what the VMA performance was based on.
“On behalf of United We Dream members across the country, we thank Logic for using his platform to tell the truth and we call upon everyone with institutional power – artists, teachers, local elected officials and everyday people – to use your own creativity and power to stop the deportation force,” she added.
While performing the song live at the VMAs, children and their parents were separated on stage, a metaphor of the separation of families that occurred under President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, through which more than 500 families remain separated, a practice that the United Nations calls an ongoing human rights violation.
At the song’s climax, a wall came down between the families, but at the end they were all reunited, symbolizing the hope that more humane border policies will be enacted someday.
One of the advocates on stage, 15-year-old Jefferson Arpi, was painfully aware of the trauma of family separation. His father has been held in a detention camp for nine months, according to Yahoo.
“Logic’s music video showed that even though our families face a lot of pain, we are strong, we are fighters, and we are human,” Arpi said in a press statement. “I’m so excited to have performed with Logic tonight. It meant a lot to me to be able to represent my family because my dad, Manuel Arpi, is in a detention camp.”
Here’s Ally Sanchez, 13, whose father was once in a detention camp. Ally joined @Logic301 performance tonight at #VMAs to send a clear message: Immigrants are #HereToStay#FamiliesBelongTogether#AbolishICEpic.twitter.com/meL0GpKtkF— Cristina Jimenez (@CrisAlexJimenez) August 21, 2018
Logic’s “One Day” video, which was released on Aug. 17, takes these ideas much further. It shows a teenager and his baby brother being separated at the US-Mexico border by immigration agents and then put into foster homes. Another storyline shows a young white boy growing up surrounding by white supremacist ideas. Eventually the two plots collide in an electrifying crescendo that repudiates racism.
On Monday night, Logic continued to condemn racism, and his message resonated across social media.
Logic always coming through with a socially conscious performance that I don't fully comprehend until I read articles after the show. A man. #VMAs— Kingsley (@kingsleyyy) August 21, 2018