This Saturday, Omaha native Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes is hosting the Concert for Equality to benefit the ACLU of Nebraska’s lawsuit against Fremont’s divisive and discriminatory immigration ordinance. The sold-out 5pm performance in downtown Benson is historic in its own right featuring numerous nationally-known Saddle Creek Records bands including some that have not played in many years. The lineup includes: Desaparecidos, Cursive, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Bright Eyes, Lullaby For The Working Class, The Envy Corps, David Dondero, The So-So Sailors, Conchance, Simon Joyner, Flowers Forever, Fathr^, and Vago and some surprise acts yet to be announced.
More importantly, the concert brings together thousands of Nebraskans who recognize that laws like the Fremont ordinance and Arizona law are creating a patchwork of state and local immigration laws that are dangerous, discriminatory, expensive, confusing, divisive, and unconstitutional. Such laws are simply bad policy. Along with the ACLU of Nebraska, several Nebraska community groups will be on hand at the concert including Nebraska Appleseed, One Fremont One Future, the Anti-Defamation League, Family Housing Advisory Services, and the Latino American Commission. Nebraskans will show this Saturday that we need workable, common-sense solutions at the federal level that uphold our values and move us forward together.
Oberst has personal insight into our broken immigration system. A friend of Oberst’s mother came to America when she was sixteen. She lived in the United States for twenty-three years. She has three daughters and a husband who are U.S. citizens. Two years ago she returned to Mexico to re-enter the country and has been barred from returning for ten years. “That just blows my mind,” Oberst told the Omaha World-Herald. “I don’t see how that serves society. I don’t see any justice in that. I don’t see what the point is.”
After the Arizona law SB 1070 passed, Oberst joined The Sound Strike, a national coalition of musicians that have bound together to raise awareness about our broken immigration system. Musicians such as Oberst are recording new material to benefit community organizations working for immigration reform.