Get ready for guitarist Carlos Santana to be the latest right-wing hero, as video just surfaced of him launching into a completely unprovoked transphobic rant at a late July Santana show in Atlantic City.
76-year-old musician and former San Francisco resident Carlos Santana probably has more Mission District murals of him than any other living human being. And just last week in a Mission Local piece, Santana’s son Salvador was quoted as saying, “You can’t say the Mission without saying the Santana family, and can’t say the Santana family without saying the Mission.”
But some of us may be reevaluating that sentiment, as the Chronicle brings us the news today that Carlos Santana went off on a bizarre transphobic rant onstage in a video that’s now going viral and confirmed to be authentic.
In the middle of his concert in New Jersey, Carlos Santana went on a bizarre anti-Trans rant.— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) August 24, 2023
Attendees say Santana interrupted his set after one song and went on for a while.
“When God made you and me, before we came out of the womb, you know who you are and what you are.… pic.twitter.com/PLypNVcXuw
The video above is from a show from the Hard Rock Atlantic City in late July, though the footage is just now surfacing.
“When God made you and me, before we came out of the womb, you know who you are and what you are," Santana says. "Later on, when you grow out of it, you see things, and you start believing that you could be something that sounds good, but you know it ain’t right. Because a woman is a woman and a man is a man. That’s it. Whatever you wanna do in the closet, that’s your business. I’m OK with that.”
Finally I have justification for disliking Carlos Santana https://t.co/rjjmYDa0Hs— Heidi N. Moore (@moorehn) August 24, 2023
A Reddit thread from late July seems to confirm all of this, with consistent statements from numerous people who posted weeks ago that they were at this show as well. “One song in though, Carlos Santana stopped and spent a solid 15 minutes spouting the most insane anti-trans bs I've maybe ever heard?,” the original poster said.
Comments to the post state “I was there too. It was very uncomfortable, especially the guy shouting Amen throughout,” and “I was there, fuck that guy. And the worst part is most people around me were applauding his garbage sermon.”
Carlos Santana Says Transgender People Should Stay ‘in the Closet’ in Concert Clip https://t.co/rsbMo73TIo— billboard (@billboard) August 24, 2023
Santana (or his publicist?) responded with a statement to Billboard that makes little narrative sense:
Here is my personal goal that I strive to achieve every day. I want to honor and respect all person’s [sic] ideals and beliefs whether they are LGBTQ or not. This is the planet of free will and we have all been given this gift. I will now pursue this goal to be happy and have fun, and for everyone to believe what they want and follow in your hearts without fear. It takes courage to grow and glow in the light that you are and to be true, genuine, and authentic. We grow and learn to shine our light with Love and compliments. Have a glorious existence. Peace.
The band Santana has since wrapped up their now-ironically named 1001 Rainbows tour, during which the clip was shot. But should he perform live again soon, don’t be surprised if he brings his fellow transphobe Elon Musk on stage, as his “brother” Dave Chapelle did last December.
Image: NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 17: Carlos Santana attends the "Carlos" Premiere during the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival at Beacon Theatre on June 17, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)