June 14, 2013

11-Year-Old’s Rendition of the National Anthem Sparks Hate and Racist Comments.

“Our true nationality is mankind.” ~ H.G. Wells

He was beautiful and sweet, and his pitch so very perfect. And on this day, he was given this most proud opportunity to stand before America and sing loudly the song of all Americans.

This brilliant young performer, known as “El Charro de Oro”, had been gracious enough to step in with little notice, when Hootie & the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker cancelled at the very last minute.

And within just a few bars of this most famous ballad, this young man captured completely the hearts of thousands of fans.

“The kid was fantastic. A few minutes before tipoff, he walked out onto the court in full mariachi get-up and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” with so much strength that you could fully believe in the American dream. The kid was dynamic. He was theatrical as it gets. He hit all the high notes. He stayed long on the low notes. “

The headline should have read simply, “Young Man’s Song Captivates a Nation of Fans.”

Yet sadly, instead millions took to Twitter to offer their ‘objections.’ Their reason? They were appalled by his choice of attire to this event.

Here are just a few of the less objectionable, hate-filled ‘tweets:’

Since when has our clothing become a reflection of a child’s character?

Sebastien De La Cruz, who specializes in mariachi music, chose to wear a traditional mariachi-style outfit when he entered San Antonio’s AT&T Center. The fifth grader, a former contestant of “America’s Got Talent,” was born and raised in San Antonio—however, his Mexican-American heritage launched a storm of racist tweets all over social media.

You know, when I went to school some many (mumbling) years ago―our teachers instilled within us this concept of a great ‘melting pot.’ They taught us to embrace fully the unique fabric of America, and welcome all and everyone with open arms and hearts.

What did young Sebastien have to say over this outcry?

“When I started mariachi, I knew there was gonna be a lot of politics…And I’m just a proud American, to be honest.”

This is not the first time that Twitter’s ‘wings’ have fanned racism’s fire. In many ways, social media has become America’s defacto ‘judge and jury.’

To which I have this to say,

“Dear America, Stop politicizing on the shoulders of our Nation’s brightest stars.”

And to the Tweeters who hide so ‘fearlessly’ behind the internet’s dark curtain―I promise you, your words have not gone unnoticed.

I only hope you’ll be able to respond to our criticism with the same grace and compassion as this young man.

Though frankly, I’m a little doubtful that your spirit can act with the same degree of integrity and honor.

Video: Sebastien De La Cruz Sings National Anthem

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