5/15 – ajc.com – Santana blasts Georgia immigration bill before Braves game | ajc.com

Santana blasts Georgia immigration bill before Braves game  | ajc.com.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Legendary rock guitarist Carlos Santana, in town to be honored for a “Beacon of Change” award at Sunday’s MLB Civil Rights Game at Turner Field, played the part as well.

 Musician Carlos Santana makes some critical remarks about immigration upon accepting the Beacon of Change award during the MLB Civil Rights Game at Turner Field in Atlanta on Sunday, May 15, 2011.

Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com Musician Carlos Santana makes some critical remarks about immigration upon accepting the Beacon of Change award during the MLB Civil Rights Game at Turner Field in Atlanta on Sunday, May 15, 2011.

He took his turn at the podium on the field in a pre-game ceremony before the Braves-Phillies game to take a shot at the immigration bill just signed into law by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal on 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, signed on Friday, cracks down on illegal immigration by increasing enforcement powers and requiring many employers to check the immigration status of new hires.

Shortly after the game started, Santana met with the media in an impromptu gathering in the Turner Field press box after word of his comments began to break on the Internet and through social media.

“Most people at this point [are] afraid to really say what needs to be said,” said Santana, who was honored this weekend along with actor Morgan Freeman and baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks. “This is the United States. This is the land of the free. If people want the immigration law to keep passing in every state, then everybody should just get out and just leave the American Indians here. They’re the only ones that belong here.”

Santana called the immigration law racist, saying it “is the same thing as the Ku Klux Klan. It’s just not right.”

Santana said immigrants are doing jobs that other Americans wouldn’t want anyway.

“This is about fear, that people are going to steal my job,” he said.

“No we ain’t. You don’t clean toilets and clean sheets, stop shucking and jiving.”

Santana referenced his 1960s rock-n-roll background and said he was an artist not afraid to speak out.

“I’m not the kind of guy that’s goes, ‘There’s no business like show business,’” Santana said, actually singing the phrase. “I’m like the Black Panthers. This is my time that God asked me stand up for light, love and truth and justice and invite people with kindness and compassion to give us just honor and respect. This law is not correct. It’s an anti-American law. It’s a cruel law, actually. If you all remember what it was like here with Martin Luther King and the dogs and the hoses, it’s the same thing, only it’s high tech. So let’s change it.”

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