Saturday, June 15, 2013

Mexican-American boy taunted by racists

Terrible, isn't it, how they let this little Mexican-American kid sing the National Anthem, rather than a real American, a white kid?

From TPM:
An 11-year-old boy who sang the national anthem before game three of the NBA Finals on Tuesday in San Antonio, Texas found himself on the receiving end of several racist taunts disseminated over Twitter.

After Sebastien De La Cruz performed his rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner prior to the game between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat, some Twitter users mocked him for his heritage. De La Cruz is a Mexican-American and was donning a mariachi outfit at the game.

"This lil Mexican snuck in the country like 4 hours ago now he singing the anthem," read one.

"Can't believe they had the nerve to have a beaner sing the national anthem of AMERICA #smh," read another.

De La Cruz, a San Antonio native, seemed to brush off the insults in an interview with CNN that aired Thursday.

"I think that the people who were talking bad was because of what I was wearing. And it's not my fault. It's what I love," he said.

Sure, it's Twitter. And it's a minority of complete morons, I'm sure. Still, I have to think of similar situations here in Nebraska.

We frequently have towns celebrating their ethnic heritage, usually with ethnic food, music, and costumes. One town near here, Wilber, has an annual Czech festival, for example. Of course, bigots never get angry at that. Why not?

Oh, well, it's useless arguing with lunatics, I know. And things could definitely be worse. It's hard to even imagine that kind of tragedy!

Still, you have to decide which side you're on. You either have to accept people who are different from you or hate them. Oh, you might not plan to kill any kids yourself, but that's what bigotry leads to. It's the great mass of bigots who let the real crazies do such terrible things.

So you can't just shrug it off. Racism matters. Bigotry matters. Antisemitic comments aren't comparable to the horrible things which happened to Jews in Nazi Germany, but that kind of thinking does lead to the Holocaust. Racist comments might not seem exceptional, but that kind of thinking led to lynching blacks in America.

I know a lot of people who don't make racist comments themselves, but still shrug it off - maybe laughing uncomfortably - when their friends do it. And they might find the blatant racism of the Republican base distasteful, but still vote Republican, even when the Republican Party deliberately wooed those racists with its notorious 'Southern strategy.'

America has never completely lived up to the ideals we established as a nation - certainly not when it comes to racism - but there is an 'American way.' We're a country of all sorts of different ethnic backgrounds, all sorts of different beliefs - mostly all living together in peace, all relatively united as Americans, despite our differences.

Look at Al-Qaeda for the antithesis of that,... and make your choice. Which is the best model for our country, for the world? Acceptance or bigotry? Tolerance or hatred? This isn't something to shrug off. If your friends are bigots, get new friends.

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