By the Time I Get to Arizona: Public Enemy and MLK Day
January 20, 2014 Leave a comment
I wrote this last year on MLK Day. It’s another angle in which we can reflect on an observe the “holiday” and Dr. King’s life. It’s a message that potentially appeals to the Hip-Hop generation.
By Nick Westbrooks
As an admirer of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a fan of Hip-Hop music, I reflect on the classic 1991 Public Enemy song “By the Time I Get to Arizona.” The song and video is a response, and to me a diss track, to former Arizona governor Evan Mecham’s opposition to observing Dr. King’s holiday.
Music website Song Facts provides the background:
“The song deals with former Arizona governor Evan Mecham, who faced harsh criticism during his time in office after he refused to recognize Martin Luther King’s birthday as a national holiday. John McCain was an Arizona senator at the time, and in 1983 he opposed creation of a federal holiday to honor King. He later admitted that this was a mistake, and in 1990 supported the holiday. The music video stirred some controversy, as it depicts the group assassinating the governor with a car bomb…
View original post 299 more words