Carlos Santana: Passing Laws Against Illegal Immigrants is Shameful; Lionizing Murderous Scumbags Like Che, Not So Much

Rawk legend Carlos Santana was given a "Beacon of Change" award before an Atlanta Braves-Philadelphia Phillies baseball game this weekend as part of a civil rights celebration. Santana, who used to say that he was guided by a guardian angel named Metatron, lambasted Georgians and Arizonans for being anti-immigrant:

Santana took his turn at the podium on the field in a pre-game ceremony before the Braves-Phillies game to criticize the immigration bill just signed into law by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal Friday.

“I represent the human race,” the Mexican-born Carlos Santana said. “The people of Arizona, the people of Atlanta, Georgia, you should be ashamed of yourselves.”

The Georgia immigration law, HB 87, cracks down on illegal immigration by increasing enforcement powers and requiring many employers to check the immigration status of new hires.

More here.

I am totally pro-immigration and think that folks fixated on illegal immigration are flat-out wrong on every level; indeed, if the U.S. had a vaguely sane immigration policy, there wouldn't be illegal immigration. There would only be folks coming here to work and live and add to their lives and ours. (Watch me debate Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, who wrote his state's rotten law).

And yet, I'd like to push Carlos Santana to be a little more consistent in his support for the "human race." I'm not suggesting that he buy up and destroy all existing copies of his dreadful "Winning" (though that would be a kind gesture for sure). But he really ought rethink his asinine and juvenile romance of Che Guevara, the oh-so-glamorous butcher of La Cabana prison, architect of Cuba's in-the-shitter economy, and so much more misery around the globe.

I don't expect rock stars to be much smarter than, well, a rock but simply being the guy behind Abraxas doesn't give Santana a free pass on the stupid scale. And I don't think he can simply blame Metatron for this one.

Here's Reason.tv's Killer Chic: Hollywood's Sick Love Affair with Che Guevara, in which a Cuban musician run out of his homeland in part due to the influence of Santana's fave T-shirt icon:

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  • The Gobbler||

    I want that iconic picture on a shirt with the Gus quote:

    "YOU CAN'T SPELL DOUCHE WITHOUT CHE"

  • Ska||

    I might have to make that shirt for the next concert I go to at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

  • ||

    His music is the lamest shit. The Che t-shirt is perfect for him.

  • Paul||

    His music now or when they were all on drugs and wearing platform shoes?

  • ||

    You can't spell "lame" without "Santana". God, I hate Jurassic Rock.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    The thing I like about 60s and 70s music, compared to today's crap, is that back then, artists mostly wrote and played their own stuff. Being a great musician was an asset, not something to hide as they do nowadays. Today all you need is a pretty face, a good producer, a good choreographer, and a good publicist. Back then you had to be able to play.

  • My Dad in 1965||

    The thing I like about 40s and 50s music, compared to today's crap......

  • The Monkees||

    Damned straight, man.

  • Decentralize Everything!!!||

    LOL!

  • Concerned Citizen||

    I stand amended. 1930s, 1940s, 1950s big band and jazz were awesome.

  • ||

    Bay City Rollers

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I hate to say this, being a child of the 80s, but the mid- to late- 90s is when you can clearly recognize the downfall of music as a component in the "music industry."

    We get the music we deserve, and apparently, we deserve shit like this.

  • ||

    There has always been plenty of cookie cutter crap out there. But one thing that really has changed in the late 90s/early 00s was that alternate distribution methods opened up that the record companies didn't control, so the truly good artists fled into those other channels to avoid getting screwed by the RIAA as their predecessors mostly did.

    So while the state of music in general is just as good as ever, I think it really is true that Top 40 music now is much worse than it was ever before, simply because only those people who really do need the RIAA's hyping ability are even bothering with them anymore.

  • Zeb||

    Santana is a fucking amazing guitar player. I agree that some of his music has been pretty lame, but you don't get out enough if you can't identify some lamer shit than Santana.

    Why the fuck do people think that being a great guitar player means that people should give a shit about your stupid, ill informed political opinions?

  • Educated Person With Taste||

    Actually, Santana is not a great guitar player. He is an average rock player, whom was fortunate to become popular, and is now a celebrity.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Santana is a fucking amazing guitar player.

    Are there worse guitar players than Santana make buckets of money? Definitely.

    Are there guitar players who are leagues better than Santana? Hell yes (Chuck Berry, Howlin' Wolf, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, B.B. King, just to name a few).

  • ||

    I'm guessing you don't actually play guitar? Or any instruments?

  • Colin||

    His support of Che is particularly sickening considering that the regimes Che helped spawn were not exactly supportive of immigration rights; though, of course, their restrictions were placed in the opposite direction.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    So Che was against immigration and emmigration. No wonder the Jr. Statists love him. Central control, baby.

  • Spencer||

    Fucking retards are fucking retarded.

  • rather||

    I want a T-shirt that says:
    full of piss and vinegar

  • ||

    No, "Fucking retards are fucking retarded" is perfect for you, rectal. Just like an "I'm with stupid" t-shirt that points up.

  • rather ||

    I told you I'm on top. I'll wear it only if it points down

  • Spencer||

    Well, if you're on top...

  • rather||

    You want epi on top? ;-)

  • prolefeed||

    Nobody wants Epi on top. Not after the Steve Smith epi-sode.

    * Shudders *

    ;-)

  • STEVE SMITH||

    EVEN I DON'T DRIBBLE WHEN ON TOP. EPI DROWN GIRLS AND BOYS WITH SALIVA
    -NO CLASS WOP

  • Che Guevara ||

    I am shutting down these comments for the sake of preserving the liberation of the oppressed peoples of the island of Cuba.

  • Charles||

    I think Carlos should be ashamed of himself for playing the same solo in every song for the past 40 years.

    Maybe that's just me.

  • Che Guevara ||

    I can have him killed if that would you feel better?

  • Che Guevara ||

    *make

    Damn, contras stole corrupted that sentence.

  • ||

    Capitalist scum!

  • Shorter Charles||

    I have an untrained ear.

  • ||

    If you're a pop musician who needs people to have trained ears to appreciate your music, you're in big trouble.

  • ||

    Carlos Santana has no business commenting on any hot topics as long as he continues to commit musical genocide by aligning himself with some of worst pop stars of the modern era and using them to butcher classics.

  • Che Guevara ||

    But does he butcher the pop stars he collaborates with?

  • sarcasmic||

    I wish.
    Ah, to never hear Matchbox Fuckme again...

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Does his guardian angel transform into a Walther P38?

  • Ska||

    You should have seen his Walkman!

  • Apple||

    But what do Neal Schon and John McLaughlin have to say?

  • Ska||

    I don't know, but McLaughlin is probably the best guitarist I've ever seen perform live.

  • ||

    I agree the McLaughlin is excellent. Which always made me wonder why he was hanging with CS.

  • Apple||

    Aw, man. I'm with everybody on the Santana of today but I love early '70s Santana, especially that album he made with McLaughlin.

  • ChrisO||

    Yep, there was a time when Carlos actually played interesting stuff and made interesting music, especially when he was hanging around McLaughlin and other jazz guys.

    Thing is, Carlos was especially influenced by the minimalism of Miles Davis, so he wasn't trying to outdo McLaughlin in the virtuosity department. I think that's partly why they connected musically.

    Unfortunately, Carlos really has been playing the same damned set of licks for the last 20 years or so. He did have a few good efforts in the '80s, like "Blues for Salvador."

  • ||

    I am older than most here I would assume. To say that Santana was not an innovator in the late 60s would be silly. What he did in fusing a terrific rhythm section with rock was interesting, and enjoyable. The reaction at Woodstock (the movie, I wasn't there) was electric for a reason.

    Having said that, he got very stale. Los Lobos went beyond CS in my opinion.

    His politics are irrelevant.

  • ChrisO||

    Carlos got more interesting when he got away from latin rock and went towards jazz fusion in the early '70s. It was after that that he basically gave up the creative ghost and went back to the paint-by-numbers latin rock on the Amigos album in '76.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Los Lobos is fantastic.

  • ||

    I love them. I particularly like the fact that they play rock and all kinds of latin music very well, and they don't try to explain what they do. They just do it.

    ChrisO, that's what I mean, his early stuff was innovative, then he did some interesting jazz stuff, but seemed to lose interest in that. Frankly, I don't even know what he's into now. Admittedly, I lost interest in McLaughlin after Mahavishnu.

  • ChrisO||

    He's into being a pop star now, I think.

  • Paul||

    a guardian angel named Metatron,

    You think that's weird, wait 'til you get a load of Sun Ra.

    I always wondered if Sun Ra ever gets pissed when his sister keeps telling the press, "Herman not from outer space! He grew his ass up in Birmingham!"

  • ChrisO||

    The difference was, Sun Ra was his own guru, whereas Carlos has been seeking outside guidance all his life.

    There's also the factor that Sun Ra was an entirely original musician who kept innovating till the day he died.

  • Paul||

    I wasn't comparing Santana to the genius of Ra, merely the spacey philosophy.

    Yeah, musically, Sun Ra was the shit.

  • ChrisO||

    Oh, I get you, but at least Sun Ra's spacey philosophy was his own creation. Santana seems to jump on any goofy idea that comes down the pike.

  • Paul||

    Santana seems to jump on any goofy idea that comes down the pike.

    Che tee-shirts, QED.

  • Che Guevara ||

    Is Liberace still a homosexual? Do you need me to kill him?

  • ||

    Rule of thumb, "When someone screams rascism, they are usually the rascist."

    How can you compare the struggle of Jackie Robinson and MLK to modern immigration. There are clear (counterproductive) laws that many people choose to ignore. It is like saying capital gains tax is rascist because it overly affects whites and asians.
    Just dumb.

  • ||

    I used to get pissed off when i saw people wear Che t-shirts. But now when I see one, I just recall that Che pissed his pants when the CIA operatives in Bolivia told him they were going to shoot him, and I am satisfied that the people wearing the t-shirt have no idea who the piss-pants really was. It gives me comfort for some reason.

  • A Serious Man||

    Weren't his last words: "I am Che Guevara and I have failed."?

  • ||

    Something like that. Meanwhile, Fidel and Raul live like kings.

  • Googling Furiously||

    The butcher of cabana pissed himself? I'm looking for info on this, first time I've heard it.

  • Spiny Norman||

  • ||

    I like how progressives can lionize Che Guevara, but think Ayn Rand, who never killed anyone or even advocated violence, is a subhuman monster.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    But but...she said selfishness was a virtue while Che was all about brother love and equality. Rand was just too selfish to murder dozens of innocent people in cold blood.

  • Che||

    Brother love? Incest and homosexuality. I'm not into that shit. Want me to shoot you in the head and take your shit. I will. 'Cause that's what the Che does, butches.

  • Castro||

    I continue your proud tradition by jailing homos, and anybody else I don't like.

  • Paul||

    C'mon Hazel. You're smarter than that.

    Che did what was necessary to keep the brutality that is capitalism from overwhelming the peasant class.

    Ayn Rand was intellectually egging it on. She was the architect of the capitalist final solution. It's not like Adolf Hitler was actually operating the gas chambers.

  • ||

    Not that I'm taking you seriously or anything, but, wouldn't it be more honest to admit that Rand believed her philosophy was good for humanity in general, not just rich people?

    Hitler literally advocated killing Jews. Rand did not advocate killing, exploiting or oppressing the poor, she thought capitalism was a better system for everyone, rich or poor.

    In order for you to believe otherwise, you have to think that everyone who disagrees with you secretly agrees with that all your Marxism premises are true and good, and capitalism is evil, but advocates capitalism merely out a cynical desire for personal gain, rather than an honest conviction of it's virtues.

    And you're smarter than that. So, shut the fuck up.

  • Hobie Hanson||

    If Ayn Rand had ever been in a position to murder people you can bet she would have done so. Look how much she enjoyed writing about all those wrong-thinkers suffocating in the tunnel.

    Luckily, between her and Che it was only Che that got into a position of power.

  • ||

    That's funny considering she never actually sought political office.

    One of the many differences between libetarians and leftists. Leftists seek power, and create systems of power that permit murder. Libertarians generally don't believe in exercising power over others, and don't seek office.

    It's hardly "luck" then, that Ayn Rand never got into a position of power. She never sought one and didn't want one.

  • ||

    That's funny considering she never actually sought political office.

    One of the many differences between libetarians and leftists. Leftists seek power, and create systems of power that permit murder. Libertarians generally don't believe in exercising power over others, and don't seek office.

    It's hardly "luck" then, that Ayn Rand never got into a position of power. She never sought one and didn't want one.

  • ||

    That's funny considering she never actually sought political office.

    One of the many differences between libetarians and leftists. Leftists seek power, and create systems of power that permit murder. Libertarians generally don't believe in exercising power over others, and don't seek office.

    It's hardly "luck" then, that Ayn Rand never got into a position of power. She never sought one and didn't want one.

  • ||

    It wasn't "luck". Ayn Rand never sought political office.

    Like many libertarians, she did not believe in exercising power over others. She did not advocate violence and she did not seek to impose her will through government.

    Unlike leftists, who spend a LOT of time trying to control other people, through democratic means, or otherwise, libertarians simply don't believe in doing so.

  • ||

    Blah, server gremlins.

  • ChrisO||

    Yeah, the song "Winning" sucks, but the rest of the Zebop! album was actually a return to form after some of Carlos' middling efforts in the late '70s.

    As for admiring guys like Che, you have to remember that Carlos was still following his guru, Sri Chinmoy, years after his Woodstock-era cohorts had given up all that shit and come back to Earth. I've long been under the impression that Carlos is pretty clueless when it comes to anything other than music.

  • ChrisO||

    Close the damned italics, dammit!

  • A Serious Man||

    One can conclude two things about a person that admits to admiring Che Guevara: either they are grossly ignorant and/or deluded into believing a nonsensical myth about a guy who was nothing more than a narcissistic mass murdering tyrant. Or they know all that and are simply open with their love of totalitarianism.

  • ChrisO||

    The Che T-shirt phenomenon is 100% about the image. Guevara was lucky to have one great, iconic photograph taken of him. Otherwise, he'd be just some dead Latin American radical that nobody gives a shit about.

    I think about the same of Che T-shirt wearers as I do about the Black Bloc pussies who call themselves anarchists but wouldn't last five minutes in a state of real anarchy.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Saw a hilarious bio of John Denver. It chronicled his humble beginnings, travelling from town to town, just him and his guitar, playing sometimes for nothing, picking up loose change here and there, slowly building up a following. Then he got some songs on the radio, became a huge star, built his dream home in the Rocky Mountains, smoked a lot of weed, then appeared with Jimmy Carter to denounce capitalism and praise socialism. At first I thought it was a satire.

  • ||

    Then Reagan shot down his plane. True story.

  • alan||

    I remember my hippie-Leninist sixth grade teacher (back in 1980) coming into class one day denouncing John Denver as an environmentalist hypocrite for the crime of gas hoarding. Apparently, he built a tank on his land for the purpose of catching gasoline in commodity at low price.

  • Cyto||

    requiring many employers to check the immigration status of new hires.

    Wait, what?!? I thought all employers were already required to do that. Why the heck did I have to provide all those forms of ID when I got hired if not for verifying my citizenship/work status?

  • Mensan||

    That was just to make sure the government gets their cut of your paycheck.

  • SIV||

    “The people of Arizona, the people of Atlanta, Georgia, you should be ashamed of yourselves.”

    Atlanta(metro) is one of the most immigrant diverse cities in the fucking country.Georgia has more Mexicans than any state not bordering Mexico. What's some damn Mexifornian has-been celebrity doing coming down here and telling us otherwise?

  • Cytotoxic||

    This doesn't change how asinine your new laws are.

  • ||

    "Murderous Scumbags Like Che, Not So Much""

    Che proabably would shot him for being a stupid no good artist type.

  • ||

    I always thought "Winning" was Steve Winwood; not that I ever gave it much thought.

  • ||

    indeed, if the U.S. had a vaguely sane immigration policy, there wouldn't be illegal immigration.

    Really? It would be legal for serial killer child rapists with AIDS to set up shop here?

    I tend to think that anyone should be able to move here to work and better themselves, but I am not willing to simply shut down all immigration functions. Even during they heyday of open immigration, they screened for disease, after all.

  • ||

    I was wondering if anyone else noticed that.

    Also, the logic of semi-open borders folks would require there to be the same types of border checkpoints at state boundaries that there are at international borders.

  • Sidd Finch||

    So Santana, who mostly babbles about "spirituality," manages to Kanye West the ceremony, and Harry Belafonte and Jesse Jackson manage to keep their traps shut. It's a brave new world.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Great article and I'm glad for the link where you debated and destroyed that asshole Russel Pearce.

  • ||

    Santana should stick to music. he is like alot of other "celebrities" who comment on political issues when they haven't got a clue of whats going. He's pretty out there from interviews i've read with him. Maybe his "shaman guild" told him to say that.

  • Che Is An Immigrant, Too||

    In libertarian land, there is no reason not to allow Che, and Pol Pot, and a few million armed "dependents", to immigrate and participate in the local economy...so long as they promise to be nice, of course...

    That is why libertopia will never exist. It automatically will be destroyed from within, no matter what fantasies L. Neil Smith may have...

  • nobody||

    Carlos threw the Marin county monthly munch out of a restaurant he had just bought after they'd been meeting there a long time, didn't want those freaks around I guess.

  • Contemplationist||

    And yet, I'd like to push Carlos Santana to be a little more consistent in his support for the "human race."

    Lolz, you can't put 2 and 2 together, can you Nick? Consistency is the hob goblin of libertarian minds, to twist the overwrought cliche. Or rather, universalism is. The world is a tribal shitfest. You refuse to see it, but others are well aware of it. With that in mind, opposing laws against illegal immigration and being pro-Che is perfectly consistent, just like jihadis are against American bombers killing Muslim civilians but not against killing American civilians.

  • Sam Martin||

    I always admire the way you present your blog site posts.They are always so informative and neatly placed with the simplest of words used.Thanks a lot for sharing.

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