Today, two blogs are being published. The first I had written last night and scheduled for this morning, but this I had to write today since most are hearing about it today.
Last night on Facebook, one of the pages I follow called I Love Being Puerto Rican, posted an article that looked like this and they were absolutely fuming. After reading it, I can see why. Some baseball fans were furious that Marc Anthony was singing God Bless America. They ranted and raved, questioning his citizenship, asking who hired the Mexican to sing, claiming America was nearing an end, using racial slurs and curse words to punctuate their ignorant statements.
Just to clarify, Marc Anthony was born in New York City, which in located in the United States thus making him a citizen. Even if he was born on the island, he would still be a citizen of the United States of America, Citizenship was officially granted and accepted in 1917. We have served in every major war the U.S. has fought. My grandfather was a medic in San Juan, PR during the Korean war and he came over to the U.S. on the GI Bill. He received his degree from the University of Kansas where he learned English while working to obtain a medical degree.
Now, we are not Mexicans. Just because we speak Spanish and some of us have brown skin, that does not make us all Mexicans. Each country (or commonwealth as in the case of PR) has their own dialect, music, food and more. Everything is a bit different from country to country. That is like saying to a British person they are the same as an Irish person because they are white and speak English or clumping all Europeans into one collective group if they speak English. That doesn’t make sense to us and sounds stupid, but that is exactly what people to do Latinos. No, we don’t all eat tacos, those are Mexican (however the base of Mexican food is stews and soups, which are excellent I might add. They don’t all go running around with mustaches, sombreros & tacos in hand. Another misconception). We use different words than other countries, our music is slightly different and our history is different. Stop seeing a brown person who speaks Spanish and assuming we are all Mexican or illegal. There are so many Latinos from every country who are here legally. Not only that, Latinos are in all colors, black, white, brown, some blue-eyed with blonde hair or green-eyed with red hair depending on the history of the area and their heritage.
We are also not Spanish. I am not Spanish, I am part Puerto Rican and my Abuelo is a Puerto Rican. If you want to refer to Latinos in general like you would refer to Europeans in general, it is Hispanic or Latino. Spanish means you are from Spain. Yes my ancestors are very much from Spain, my last name is very Spanish, but my family is from Puerto Rico and therefore, I am part Puerto Rican.
I would like to finish this by saying racism will always be part of the human race unfortunately and it is the ignorance of those people can hurt others. I write this to open people’s eyes so they stop judging others. I noticed that a lot of the comments about how un-American it was to have Anthony sing even if he was a citizen, were written by people who’s last names were Italian or German or came from other backgrounds. The only people native here are Native American, everyone else has come from some other country other than the U.S. They came from immigrants who weren’t citizens originally but who came here because they had hopes and dreams and they helped create the beautiful country we know as the United States, one where people should be allowed to grow together and different races can melt together. Where you come from should not separate us, but bring us together so we can learn more about the world.
Think before you judge, and if you are going to say something mean and insulting, maybe you should do some research first before you make your comment because many times when mean comments are made before people know what they are talking about, you come off even less intelligent than you would be by just making a mean comment.
Thumper from Bambi gave us as children the message of, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. As we grow older, some of us forget that message.
To close this out, I’d like to end with the link to the video of Marc Anthony singing. I think he did an amazing job and I have always loved his voice! Enjoy!!