No one has ever accused the Midwest of being colorful. At the moment, we are a gloomy people. We celebrate our heritage of boiled potatoes and ice hockey, which is comforting for about ten seconds. Then you start to notice the dimensions where our community is a cultural desert.
As much as I love the art we have, what helps us recognize and develop our strengths is juxtaposition. Visiting teachers, thinkers, and makers improve our sensibilities with their gifts. Musicians like Venezuelan band Zeta give more than they take – everything they make stays with their audience.
Zeta is a unique experimental, avant-garde punk band that has toured the United States non-stop for almost two years. Recently, each member applied for residency so they could continue to tour the country after their visas expired. Every member’s application was accepted – except Dani’s.
Daniel “Dani” Eduardo Hernandez Saud now faces deportation in less than a week. Dani is also a founding member of Zeta. He is essential to the group, having helped create their highly original style in the first place. Zeta without Dani is like Creedence without a Fogerty. It. Just. Doesn’t. Work.
I have so many reasons to object to this that I’ve decided to number them.
- Zeta’s cultural contribution to the many regions of the United States is immeasurable. Ejecting Dani effectively means that Zeta can no longer tour this country providing valuable intellectual exercise that entertains. Deporting Dani is not beneficial to our society and is, in fact, counterproductive.
- Venezuela is a country in political turmoil. Protests have already turned deadly while government relationships with the United States are deteriorating further every day. It is immoral and unethical to force this young person, who has worked regularly and consistently during his time here, to return to what is, in effect, a war zone.
- Is deportation of law-abiding, civic-minded, hard-working legal visitors really so high priority that it needs to happen in the middle of a shut down? This why we have federal slaves workers who don’t get paid?
I need to get this up, so I won’t list any more. That should be sufficient, however, for anyone with a heart of flesh.
Can you help Dani? Contact him here:
**An earlier version of this post linked to a show at Rozz-Tox. Zeta was forced to drop out of this show to focus on helping Dani stay.**