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.
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: