Published on November 28th, 2011 | by Alan Cross


Carlos Santana Calls Grammy Category Cuts “Racist”

The Grammy nominations will be out Wednesday, just in time to fire up a little buying frenzy leading into the last three weeks until Christmas.  And unlike years past, it’ll be a little easier to sort through all the categories, mainly because there are fewer of them.

Last year, there were 109 different categories.  This year, that number has been culled to 78 as categories have either been dropped or merged.

Naturally, there are people who are rather unhappy to see that some of their favourites have been axed. Some are accusing the Grammy organizers of being insensitive, out of touch or plainly racist because a big chunk of the cuts came at the expense of ethnic music.

Carlos Santana:  “Why do they cut only this music? Why not other music? I think they’re racist… You can’t eliminate black gospel music or Hawaiian music or American Indian music or Latin jazz music, because all this music represents what the United States is: a social experiment.”

Bonnie Raitt:  “The diversity found in Latin jazz, Cajun and zydeco music, Hawaiian music and Native American music, among the 31 categories lost, is an important part of our heritage, and should be recognised as such by the academy.”

Latin jazz musician Bobby Sanabria:  “When you notice that more than 70 per cent of the categories that have been cut are racially or ethnically based, then you have to say something. People at the academy are so culturally insensitive that they don’t know what they’ve done is racist. But it is. I was hoping that people like Sting and Bono would rally and say something, but they haven’t. People don’t say anything when it doesn’t affect them.”

Read more here.


About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Related Posts

One Response to Carlos Santana Calls Grammy Category Cuts “Racist”

  1. Marisa Torre says:

    Unfortunately, I have a feeling these cuts were made relative to sales …
    Unfortunate because I liked to think the Grammys were about the work and contribution to a cultural art that enriches on an intangible level.
    Unfortunate because the U.S. defines the cultural trends around the world and 50 years from now when they look back to see who won this year, my great grandkids are going to think we're idiots.
    Unfortunate because the Billboard awards, The American Music Awards, BET Awards and MTV 'MoonMan" etc already pander to $$ based success and 'popularity contest' mentality …
    Unfortunate because they were also stupid enough to create a category for "Disco" like it would endure forever …
    My great grandkids are going to think we're idiots.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑