I rarely write about sensitive subjects like race and religion. There’s a time and a place and this website is certainly not one of them… until now.
I read recently that there was some uproar about Marc Anthony, a New Yorker, singing “God Bless America” in last week’s All-Star Game. The shit I hear that comes out of people’s mouths these days never ceases to amaze me.
Ever since the attacks of 9/11, baseball stadiums nationwide changed their tradition of singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. “God Bless America” is now sung in its place to remind us how proud we are to be Americans.
Major League Baseball, who rarely gets things right, asked Anthony to perform the song for the All-Star Game. He proudly accepted. That decision, however, prompted some overly Caucasian people with half a brain and a Twitter account to speak their minds. TylerPounds, who deserves absolutely no recognition if not for his unconscionable ignorance, Tweeted “Welcome to america where god bless america is sung at our national pastime by a mexican.”
Not only is Pounds’ caps lock button out of order but so is his sense of direction. Last time I checked, Mexico is nowhere near New York City. Nor is Anthony Mexican for that matter.
Minutes later, Jerrell Rock Golden, a black man and fledgling hip-hop artist whose Facebook profile claims he “devotes truth into every word that comes from his soul” Tweeted “Marc Anthony singing God Bless America on the MLB Allstar Game….. am I the only person that finds that un-American.” Not only is Golden as ignorant as Pounds but apparently he also lies about having a soul.
I could go on with several of the other hateful and dreadfully uneducated Tweets that Anthony’s performance prompted but why bother? Let’s just say they included a bevy of racial slurs describing people of Latin descent. As proud as I am to be an American, I absolutely fucking weep for this country and the close-mindedness that resides within it.
There is no denying we have become overly sensitive to race. A nation comprised of families of near infinite backgrounds, we still struggle to understand and respect the differences that make this country unlike any other. I’m no huge Marc Anthony fan but the guy is a talent… and an American. The fact that he married Jennifer Lopez, who was also born and raised in New York, makes him okay in my book and should in yours. Don’t let the fact that they look better than you, sing better than you, dance better than you, make more money than you and speak more languages than you lead you to form any unfounded resentment.
Like Lopez and Anthony, I am of Puerto Rican descent, also born and raised in New York City. I am also Jewish and tremendously proud of both heritages. At this point in our nation’s history, we are all mixed. That’s what makes this country great. Intolerance of that greatness is what makes us flawed.
Perhaps one day we’ll learn to judge our fellow man not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. One very smart man taught us that lesson fifty years ago. You think we’d start paying attention.
From here on out, let’s keep it classy, America. Pick up a book every once in a while and not just one that requires crayons to complete. Shelve away your hatred and intolerance and take the chance to get to know someone who might look a little different from you. You might just learn something.