Land of the Free and Home of the Ignorant

In the United States, a Spanish teacher’s job is not limited to teaching language. We must also educate our youth on how to be civilized citizens of the world. Unfortunately racism still exists and intolerance of “different” cultures is overwhelming. Early this week I wrote about how Spanish teachers can stop promoting simple stereotypes, but this post is so much bigger than that.

During this week’s 2013 MLB All Star game a lot of ignorant tweets were posted regarding a latino singer and his “merit” for singing at an “American” sporting event. Marc Anthony sang a wonderful rendition of “God Bless America”, but comments in the twitter-sphere claimed this act was “un-American”.

Let’s get the facts straight:

1. Marc Anthony was actually born in New York City. Last time I checked, this was part of the United States.puerto rico us commonwealth

2. Maybe some were confused because his parents were born in Puerto Rico, making Marc of Puerto Rican descent. I guess they didn’t know that Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States and all Puerto Ricans are citizens of the USA.

3. “Baseball is an American sport.” Yes, and it quite popular in such American countries as Cuba and Venezuela. Oh, you didn’t realize that America is a continent and not just a country? To most people outside of the USA,  North AMERICAN and South AMERICA are referred to as just “America”.  It’s not like there have been any other latinos in the MLB.

4. Many people referred to him as being “Mexican” in addition to other racial slurs. Time to take out your maps! It turns out Puerto Rico is not even part of Mexico. But I guess as long as you look latino we can just lump everyone together. It’s not like Spanish is the official language of 21 countries, all of of which would have their own culture.

These are things that must be part of our curriculum. One of the things that I hammer Language vs. nationalityhome with my students is the difference between the term “Spanish” as a language and “Spanish” as a nationality. Just because someone speaks Spanish, does not make them Spanish. And just because they look a certain way doesn’t make them Mexican. So everything I hear someone describe someone as being “Spanish”, I ask them if they are from Spain…. turns out they usually are not.

Sources of tweets:
Baseball Fans super ANGRY Hispanic-American Superstar sings “God Bless America” at All Star Game

Baseball fans take to Twitter to protest Marc Anthony singing God Bless America

A few offensive tweets (that doesn’t include curse words) after the jump :Feel free to send these twitter users your own responses (although some accounts appear to be now deleted. Hopefully they have learned a valuable lesson).

@kriederkid: “Shouldnt an AMERICAN be signing [sic] God Bless America? #getoutofmycountry #allstar game”   [account deleted]

@Dusboy7 “Another disgrace Marc Anthony singing god bless America.Is he even an America citizen?” [account now private]

@Sonnier6 How they going to pick a got[sic] damn Mexican to sing God Bless AMERICA”

@treymcnickle “Letting a Spanish guy sing God Bless America really hurts my heart. Figure it out America #USA” [Recent tweets have him being apologetic. Looks like he learned a lesson the hard way]

About spanishplans

Spanish Teacher in Chicago. Have studied or traveled to Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Uruguay. Have taught level 1 at middle and high school levels. Degree in Spanish and Master's in Teaching and Leadership. Blogger www.SpanishPlans.org
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10 Responses to Land of the Free and Home of the Ignorant

  1. Anonymous says:

    It is so sad to see the extent of ignorance of our population. The lack of tolerance is another issue and I refuse to address the language.

  2. Awilda Velez Rodriguez says:

    Why is it that no one critices Celine Dion or Justin Bieber when they sing American patriotic songs? Neither of them is an American. I guess they have Selective Bigotry. Its a shame the amount of racism and bigotry that still around. I like your title “Land of the Free and Home of the Ignorant.” You hit the nail on the head. God bless you.

    • Linda says:

      And to hear the really dumb things that Justin Bieber has been doing lately from, racing through his neighborhood, to spitting in a man’s face and yet everyone continues to find excuses for his conduct. Yep, selective bigotry alright!

  3. Aracelie says:

    I’m glad you take the time to educate about the many faces of the USA. That some of the tweeters are remorseful proves the value of the educational process. You might be more effective if you continue in that vein instead ofcalling names to anyone who doesn’t know or understand the differences between Spanierds, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans etc. I say this as someone who does not look or sound native USA, but very much is. It is difficult to overcome stereotypes without always appearing a victim. That is just as bad.

  4. Kath says:

    I can’t believe those tweets! Not a big Marc Anthony fan, didn’t like his rendition of the song but not because of his race. Thank God we live in a country that let’s all its citizens share in the pride of America. I’ve seen a lot worse renditions of the song, and Marc did know all the words. To add to your message of ignorance. During that game fans stood and hand placed over their hearts to God Bless America. It’s NOT our anthem! You can’t fix stupid!

  5. meggiemae67 says:

    I just wrote a blog on this topic as well!! It is so frustrating the level of ignorance in this country. It truly shocks me.

  6. Cecy Fencer says:

    Bravo, Me encanto! Todos los Mexicanos son Hispanos y no todos los Hispanos son Mexicanos. REalmente el rol de un maestro de Español debe ser un poco de profesor de Civica e Historia. Algo que me molesta tambien son las palabras Americanizadas, como troca, yarda y demas, creo que los Hispanos deberiamos hacer el esfuerzo de hablar mejor el Español.

  7. Elvie says:

    Do you know that there are blond blue-eyed Mexican an South American ¨Latinos¨ in this world? Would this be a case of selective bigotry too?

  8. Petra says:

    What a great article, people should think more before they say something and stop judging someone just because they look different!

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