Carlos Santana Celebrates Cinqo de Mayo

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy Award record-holder Carlos Santana has some thoughts on Cinqo de Mayo regarding identity, immigration, and inclusion.

Redbeard: What role do you think the first two Santana albums played in our American culture, as far as diversity, in the last half of the twentieth century?

Carlos Santana: Thank you for asking that question.  The first Santana was “Richie Valens”. The first Santana was “Jose Feliciano”.  When Selena went to the roof of her house and they said, “Hey Selena, what are you doing up there?”, and she said,  “I carry the dreams and aspirations of my people.  I represent all those people who pick  the grapes, who clean toilets, who change sheets, who baby sit, who garden.  I represent all of those people, not just Mexicans, but everyone from Filipinos to everyone who doesn’t have a voice here in the United States. Before me was Ritchie Valens and ? and The Mysterians with “ 96 Tears”;  was Sam the Sham (of The Pharoahs) . And I know my history, and I know who I am, and I know where I come from.”

Carlos: “We want to extend the same invitation to (Oakland Raiders all-pro quarterback) Jim Plunkett for induction into the  Pro Football Hall of Fame  and also (Raiders ex-) head coach Tom Flores.  Because the NFL stands for “Not For Latinos” !  Ya know, here in the United States it’s an equal opportunity for everybody.  And that’s what makes the United States great,  that everyone can have center stage.”

“Thank you for this great interview.  I thank you from the center of my heart for asking significant questions about healing, and coming together with unity and harmony and grace and dignity.  Healing.  Thank you so much.”– Redbeard