Music News

Santana Blasts People of Arizona and Georgia, Still Scheduled to Play Here in September

Carlos Santana had some strong words last week for the people of Atlanta, Georgia, and Arizona. Speaking at an impromptu news conference while receiving the Beacon of Change Award before May 15's Braves/Phillies match, the annual Civil Rights Game, Santana said:

Via AP: 

"The people of Arizona, and the people of Atlanta, Georgia, you should be ashamed of yourselves."

Georgia governor Nathan Deal recently signed into a law similar to Arizona's SB 1070, which requires employers to check employees' immigration status via E-Verify and gives police officers authority to check some suspects' immigration status.

Santana went on to say that he spoke for "the invisible."

"This is about fear. Stop shucking and jiving. People are afraid we're going to steal your job. No, we aren't. You're not going to change sheets and clean toilets..."

Despite the strong words, Santana isn't hopping on the Sound Strike just yet. He's scheduled to perform here on September 18, bringing the politically outspoken Michael Franti & Spearhead in tow.

As of yet, the 63-year-old Mexican native (he's been a U.S. citizen since 1965) hasn't announced if the concert will feature anything of an activist nature, though given his stance, I certainly wouldn't be surprised if it did.

It's interesting that Santana is taking an approach different from that of the Sound Strike boycott (the Sound Strike, by the way, hasn't announced intentions to boycott Georgia just yet). My hope is that Santana and co. get in contact with Humane Borders, the Samaritans, No More Deaths, and Border Action Network --all organizations who hosted tables at a recent Los Lobos concert in Tucson -- and backs up his stance with some tangible effort.

As a music critic, I also hope he just plays his awesome 1973 album Love Devotion and Surrender live, and none of his awful stuff like "Smooth," but my expectations are considerably higher for the former than the latter.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.