N'Dour Cancels North American Tour
Youssou N'Dour, the acclaimed Senegalese singer and bandleader
and UNICEF Ambassador, has announced the cancellation of his
seven-week tour of North America, originally scheduled for
March 26-May 15. The 38-city tour was to be the most extensive
series of performances in North America in his career.
N'Dour says, "It is my strong conviction that the responsibility
for disarming Iraq should rest with the United Nations. As
a matter of conscience I question the United States government's
apparent intention to commence war in Iraq. I believe that
coming to America at this time would be perceived in many
parts of the world -- rightly or wrongly -- as support for
this policy, and that, as a consequence, it is inappropriate
to perform in the US at this juncture."
understand that there are many in the US who do not support
the idea of their government initiating war in Iraq at this
time, and I offer my greatest respect to them. I also regret
the difficulties this causes those who were to present my
concerts in North America and those who were looking forward
to seeing me and my band. This tour was over a year and a
half in the planning and was the greatest commitment I had
ever made to performing in the US."
is my fervent wish to return to the US in better times. But
I find it impossible to imagine playing concerts in America
when such grave issues are confronting all the peoples of
Globe sez: I'm deeply disappointed about the cancellation
not only because I won't get to see this marvelous performer,
but because it reinforces to me how broadly "my"
government has managed to alienate so much of the world in
so little time. At first new immigration policies were keeping
out musicians who had scheduled tours in the US. I've heard
from many Canadian artists who are avoiding the US simply
because it's so difficult and time-consuming to come here.
Now artists are actively avoiding the US because of our government
help but be reminded of the days of aparthied, when international
cultural and economic boycotts were the world's response to
a minority government's attempts to hold onto power at the
expense of the majority. I haven't heard of anything being
organized yet, and given the US stranglehold on much of the
world's economy and popular culture, I'm not sure what kind
of impact such a campaign would really have. Also,
when it comes down to it, it was the people of South
Africa (and of the former Eastern Bloc) who rose up and made
the needed changes in their governments. If Americans don't
take some responsibility for their own government, we could
become the most dangerous rogue nation in history, with an
economic-political elite lashing out at our perceived enemies
while alienating our historic friends.
Of course, many would say we're already there. If you already
are questioning the US policies, keep it up! It may be time
to revisit some of the revolutionary ideas this nation was
founded upon. What could be more American than that?
all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great
things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all
power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one
government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive
as the government from which we separated.
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1821