May 17, 2011

Civil Rights Speech Booed At Civil Rights Game

The fifth annual Civil Rights Game was played in Atlanta this past Sunday, only two days after Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed HR 87 (which was modeled on Arizona's racist and unconstitutional SB 1070), authorizing state and local police to demand immigration papers from people they merely suspect might be undocumented. Any of these suspicious-looking people who are not carrying the proper papers can be arrested and jailed.
One of the non-baseball people honoured over the weekend was guitarist Carlos Santana, who was given a "Beacon of Change" award. I'm sure it's one invitation that Commissioner Bud Selig would like to rescind. Santana addressed the crowd at Turner Field:
The people of Arizona, and the people of Atlanta, Georgia, you should be ashamed of yourselves.
And he was roundly booed by the crowd.

For talking about civil rights on Civil Rights Day before the Civil Rights Game.

(Then again, the home team is called the Braves, and the fans have done the Tomahawk Chop and simulated war whoops/chants for more than two decades, so perhaps ignorance and resistance to equality should be expected.)

A bit later, Santana spoke to reporters in the press box (my bold):
This law is not correct. It's a cruel law, actually. 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. I would invite all Latin people to do nothing for about two weeks so you can see who really, really is running the economy. Who cleans the sheets? Who cleans the toilets? Who babysits? I am here to give voice to the invisible. ...

Most people, at this point, they are either afraid to really say what needs to be said. This is the United States, the land of the free. If people want the immigration law to keep passing in every state, then everybody should get out and just leave the American Indians here.
David Zirin, The Nation:
Where was Bud Selig during all this drama? It seems that Selig slunk out of a stadium backdoor in the 5th inning. If there is one thing Bud has become an expert at, it's ducking his head when the issues of immigration, civil rights, and Major League Baseball collide. If Selig really gave a damn about Civil Rights, he would heed the words of Carlos Santana. He would move the 2011 All-Star Game out of Arizona. ... If Bud Selig cared about Civil Rights, he would above all else, have to develop something resembling a spine.

I searched for any possible video of Santana's comments:

That seemed like a good possibility. But:

(Thanks to Kap Fulton for the heads up on this!)


Jere said...

I searched a lot of articles to read his full speech, and I noticed nobody has any quotes from it other than the one you shared.

MLB does have this video up, which shows a very brief part of Santana's speech:

allan said...

There is also MLB video of Santana addressing a crowd in a room, maybe that evening. He alludes to the law, saying it's a shame these laws exist, and then at another point, asks "Mr. President, are you listening?" There is a seriously uncomfortable silence in the room for a few seconds before a few people clap.

Jeremy said...

Stay classy Bud. And don't let the fact that the video was deleted stop you from running an ad beforehand, either.

laura k said...

Thanks for this!! Bravo to the great Carlos Santana and of course, always, to Dave Zirin.

Santana's words that you bolded refer to a GENERAL STRIKE, and it's just about my most fervert wish to experience one one day.

Amy said...

Thanks for posting this. I have seen no other reference to it (not surprising), so would never have know otherwise. Good for Santana!

Zenslinger said...

Thanks for this, indeed. I linked this JoS post on Facebook. (I don't think that's an issue, but e-mail me if you don't want your posts linked there.)

allan said...

Link the shit out of it. All links are good! Spread the Joy!

I wish their* was footage of the specific comment. There is lots of other stuff from the stadium, including some of Santana's speech, so it clearly exists.

I didn't know about this either, until Kap Fulton (the anti-Padres Military Days guy) emailed it to me, along with the Bert/Ichiro gif in last night's game thread!)

You may remember I wrote about the first CRG back in 2007, which included Cleveland!!! Those players wore the old C caps instead.

* I left the typo in. I make that "mistake" periodically (most often with that word). Any scientists out there** know how it happens? Shit.

** Yay!

laura k said...

I went back to read comments on this thread and saw A's question "any scientists out there know how this happens".

I can't give you the explanation, but I know that people in the field pscyholinguistics - the study of language and the brain - know a lot about this. Mistakes like that, slips of the tongue, people who have had strokes or other brain damage, and mistakes little kids make and do not make as they learn language, are all studied for clues about how language is formed in the brain. It's super interesting, I wish I knew more about it.

So yes, there are scientists out there or their who know or no. Unfortunately I am not one of them.