Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mariachi Kid Gets Racial Tweets

Did you see the young Mexican American singing the national anthem at the 4th game of the NBA finals in San Antonio back in June?  The boy sang so proudly in his custom-made mariachi uniform, of which he was so very proud.   I meant to comment about the story back in June. 

When I saw his performance I found it very moving in particular because he was a Mexican American and wearing his mariachi outfit.  He did a great job!  While listening to him, I couldn't help but think that this boy was a living embodiment of our nation's rich history and tradition of immigrants coming to this country to settle, have families, and become true Americans but still remain proud of their heritage.  The moment literally moved me to tears.

And this boy is so proud!! Everything about that boy and his performance spoke to me of his pride and confidence.  

His name is Sebastian de la Cruz, he's just 11 years old, is a San Antonio native and was born in the USA.  He filled-in at the last minute to sing the national anthem at the NBA game.  Darius Rucker, who was late, was supposed to have sung.

The most amazing about the performance was that some people made racist comments about the boy on Twitter.  When I heard about the racist comments I was truly shocked because I was so moved personally.  But I think that there were a very small number of these negative reactions.  I want to believe that most people were moved in a positive way as I was.  One point about Twitter: Twitter (and the internet) is a place where haters and cowards can thrive in anonymity.  People can be very rude online.

Here's a good clip about the story, his performance, the backlash and Sebastian's reactions from FOX in San Antonio (2:44 minutes)

One of the amazing things about this country is how well Latino immigrants integrate in this country despite their large numbers and controversy about their official status.   Despite that, there is really very little backlash against this group.  Most Americans surely recognize that they are hard-working and have similar ethical and family values as this country.

To give you an idea of how far this country has come with regard to racism,  remember the Broadway play and movie of Rodgers and Hammerstein's 'South Pacific?'  Nellie, the nurse from Arkansas, fell in love with a French planter Emile but she was shocked and repulsed by his Polynesian children!  Can you imagine??  In her mind, non-white was black.  It's an insanity now but not so at that time. It wasn't that long ago.   Also, remember the appalling story of our round-up and internment of Japanese Americans at the outbreak of World War II?  It seems insane now and is a shameful chapter in our history.  Interestingly, Hammerstein himself adopted two biracial (Japanese and American) children in the 1950s which was very controversial at the time.

Things have changed so much since then.

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