While President Trump's controversial travel ban continues to make headlines, a Korean rapper and his crew were detained at San Francisco International Airport for 24 hours, then deported back home despite following recommended protocol. There are even accusations being made of racist comments and gestures made by American customs officials during the ordeal. What exactly is going on?

Here in the United States, it's been about two months since President Trump took office, and life has changed for all of us, better for some and worse for the rest of us. We are all affected by the new administration's actions and policies, whether directly or indirectly, no matter where we're from, no matter where we live. Someone who saw and experienced Trump's America firsthand despite not living here is Don Malik, a Korean rapper who was scheduled to perform at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, on March 17th. Arriving in San Francisco after a long flight from Incheon International Airport, Don Malik and his crew were detained and questioned over a period of 24 hours, during which time their phones were taken away. With no access to lawyers or festival officials, the rapper and his entourage were denied entry into the United States, despite having the appropriate visa waivers as recommended by the folks at the festival. And now, who knows when they can get back in? Unfortunately, there have been a number of international acts that were denied entry this year, some of whom claim to having been victims of racial and religious profiling.

As bad as all this sounds, there are also some accusations being thrown around by Don Malik towards the custom officials that he was made to deal with in San Francisco; and if what the rapper says is true, something definitely needs to be done. In an official statement, the CEO of Don Malik's label claimed the detained men were called chinks, with a few customs officials going as far as to pretend to be monkeys around them. One member of the rapper's entourage was even placed in handcuffs, despite not having committed any crime. Sounds a little crazy, but unfortunately, given the current political climate, totally believable.

So far, no word from the folks over at South by Southwest. With so many bands inexplicably getting the boot before they even come in the country, maybe the festival should come out with an official statement. Oh, wait . . .  they already did. A few weeks ago, the organizers created controversy by releasing a statement warning foreign bands that if they played any unpaid gigs at the festival they would face deportation. Once heralded as one of the best arts festivals around, South by Southwest is now threatening artists who attempt to take part.

Our world is definitely changing.

Don Malik


My Shy Boss

Starring Yeon Woo Jin and Park Hye Soo

Add to Queue Remove from Queue Watch Now