Logic, immigrant families protest Trump's policies with powerful VMAs performance

Lyndsey Parker

Socially conscious rapper Logic provided one of the most moving moments of last year’s MTV Video Music Awards, performing his mental health awareness anthem, “1-800-273-8255,” with Alessia Cara, Khalid, and a choir of suicide loss and suicide attempt survivors wearing T-shirts printed with the Suicide Prevention Lifeline number. This year, Logic continued to bring “peace, love, and positivity to the VMAs,” as introducer Kyle worded it, with an equally topical and impactful performance.

Performing his brand-new single with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, “One Day,” Logic was joined onstage at New York’s Radio City Music Hall by immigrant leaders from the National Domestic Workers Alliance, United We Dream, and Make the Road New York, along with those leaders’ children, to protest the Trump administration’s family separation and detention policy.

During the powerful performance, the participants wore message tees. The immigrant families’ shirts read, “We are all human beings,” while Logic’s shirt was emblazoned with a more blunt slogan: “F*CK THE WALL.” At the number’s climactic and most tear-jerking moment, a wall separating the families onstage came falling down, symbolically reuniting the children with their parents.

Logic and Tedder’s “One Day” music video, released last Friday, tells the story of an immigrant teenager forcibly separated at the border from his family. Jefferson Arpi, a 15-year-old youth leader with United We Dream, said in a press statement on Monday night: “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 was one of the many children onstage at the VMAs Monday. “I’m so excited to have performed with Logic tonight,” he stated. “It meant a lot to me to be able to represent my family because my dad, Manuel Arpi, is in a detention camp.” Arpi’s father has been detained for nine months.

“My message is clear. It doesn’t matter where you come from or how you got here. We are all mothers,” said Edith Calderon, an immigrant leader with the National Domestic Workers Alliance. “I came here 25 years ago when my first daughter was only 2 months old so that she could have a better future. When I see families being separated, I think of my daughters and granddaughters. This is the story of millions of mothers. And all of us belong with our children.”

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