WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA — This, right here, is the effect of Donald Trump’s “travel ban.” Just wait until you read the “depth” of these dropped charges from nearly half a century ago.
As reports Billboard, jazz drummer Alvin Queen, 67 — who has a dual-citizenship in Switzerland — has been denied re-entry to the United States by Homeland Security.
As somewhat a preface, Queen’s following statement is quite intriguing.
“Funny thing, I gave up my U.S. passport to make life simpler at tax time. I never dreamed I would one day be denied entry, and with such ridiculous reasoning… I feel this is more about racial profiling than anything. It’s all about trying to control everyone. I am not a criminal and in fact never was. When I became a Swiss citizen, I ‘became a criminal’ again in the eyes of U.S. law enforcement. If I was undesirable 59 years ago, why have I been issued a fresh passport every 10 years for the past six decades?”
Alvin Queen denied entry in to USA
Folks I’m talking about an American jazz drummer; a long time ambassador of this black American art-form pic.twitter.com/xXK85swqpq
— Ferit Odman (@feritodman) October 6, 2017
“What happened,” you might ask?
According to the source, the agency claims it’s due to a “run-in with the law,” 50 years ago.
***The source mentions he was 16 at the time.***
Now, this hindrance forces Queen to miss a November 15 performance at the “Jazz Meets France” event, in Washington, D.C.
SO, WHAT WERE THE CHARGES?
Billboard reports that Alvin Queen — 50 YEARS AGO — was charged with a DWI offense, as well as one minor drug offense. However, “both resulted in dropped charges,” notes the source.
Homeland Security has to be joking! Seriously!? “A run in with the law”??
Billboard elaborates via Alvin Queen’s manager, Jean-Pierre Leduc.
“He was swept up in a drug raid with other musicians, as was then common. Charges were dropped, but the information remained in FBI files, five decades later. I believe there was a DUI later on, but Alvin was never charged. What is astonishing is that suddenly, after decades of contributing as a taxpayer and after giving to the community through music, he is…treated like a petty criminal.”
— Awilda Rivera (@AwildaRivera) October 6, 2017
But you know the REALLY messed up part about all of this?
According to Leduc, the American drummer has worked for the U.S. State Department “numerous times” as a cultural ambassador — touring Africa, Japan, and Brazil on the agency’s behalf.
Yet, now that the Trump administration is
destroying running the country, all of a sudden dropped charges from half a century ago pose him as some sort of threat??
AND, as reports Billboard, he’ll have to get a waiver from Homeland Security, just to re-enter his own country.
Via email, Leduc contacted Billboard, and here’s what he had to say.
“Since I posted the communique [on Facebook], I’ve received several offers of lawyerly help, notably from Oscar Peterson’s lawyer in Los Angeles. However, we know these matters move at a snail’s pace unless one is a huge music superstar, therefore I doubt if this could be resolved before he was slated to go to the U.S.A. at the end of this month. Getting these things sorted quickly is usually only possible when the artist is a household name. It’s really about money, not justice. I have a call in to Senator Charles Schumer’s office, as he’s in New York, which is also Alvin’s birthplace.”
— STEVEN T. E@STER (@steventeaster) October 8, 2017
According to Queen, he’s not holding his breath for some sort of apology from Trump’s government. On the contrary, he says he’ll just continue to perform everywhere else in the world.
“I know they like me in Canada,” says Queen. “I’ll start there.”
Definitely keep doing your thing, Alvin Queen. Don’t allow the Buffoon-in-Chief’s minions to stop your glory.
All in all, we’d love to know your thoughts about this situation. If you have any comments, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.
[Featured Photo via Twitter]