One All-Star moment reminds us of an America not so beautiful

84th MLB All-Star GameI 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.

marc anthony and j loThere 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.

Only then, will America become truly beautiful.

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43 Replies to “One All-Star moment reminds us of an America not so beautiful”

  1. Pingback: One All-Star moment reminds us of an America not so beautiful - BallHyped Blog Network, MLB | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. I agree with you about the ridiculous response to Marc Anthony…he is an American.

    The only thing I am going to mention about race is that it is not just the white man who is racist, blacks, latinos and everybody else uses the race card as well to fit their agendas.

    This is a good topic and one that needs to be discussed rather than not discussed if anybody is ever going to make any progress. Can’t we all just get along?

  3. The interwebs are a petri dish for hate(rs) and if it changes it will only be for the worse. Sorry, Chris, but we all hafta deal with it. Having no FB and Twitter makes it easier. My guilty pleasure is reading the comments at the end of “news” stories. I didn’t mind Anthony doin’ GBA, he put a slightly different spin on it. Didn’t he appear wacked out, tho? Either super nervous or on somethin’ Sincerely, yer boy from Bayside, Queens 1958-60 🙂

  4. Hadn’t heard about that. Better keep it from my girl, she’s in a bad mood already. These clowns should know if they want a true American singing the national anthem at every game, it should be someone of American Indian descent who certainly won’t have a ‘Caucasian look’….

  5. Yeah, D.

    There’s still plenty of hate to circulate.

    Charles Barkley said it best. Raised, obviously, as an African-American (“How long have you been a black power forward?”), he was taught the importance of inclusion. He gave that rant on TNT when the Jason Collins news came out.

    His folks taught him that since blacks had been persecuted for so long, it wasn’t right for them to hold any sort of bias against anyone else.

    If only more people thought like that.

  6. Yazoo…

    One thing I actually do like about the increasing presence of Facebook, Twitter and other social media, is that they give us a true glimpse into a person’s character.

    Say something stupid and you’ll be judged… appropriately so.

  7. I agree with Yaz that the internet is a scourge on our planet.

    I watched Barkely in an interview last week and he said the jury got it right in the Trayvon case. I agree with him for what it is worth. So I will listen to Chuck more than I will listen to say Al Sharpton (one sided thinking). The Mound Round of Rebound is capable of critical thinking unlike many race antagonists in the world. In the words of Sir Charles ” It is turrible”.

    It is a shame as we seem much more divided than we were just 10 years ago. I really think the problem stems from trying to make every perceived injustice about race. it drives a wedge rather than bring people together. The only way it is going to be fixed is to take a different approach than the one that has been used.

    People like Rush Limbaugh, Hannity and a few other right wing yokels share the same blame as Rev Al and Jesse…none of those 4 do anything to make it better and only make it worse…nobody in their right mind should pay any of those people any attention. I am a staunch Libertarian for the record. I have voted 3rd party in every election (Gary Johnson last time) and will continue to do so.

  8. Well stated, Chris. The conversation this nation needs on race must be even tempered, wise, intellectual and compassionate. What we hear too often is abrasive, hateful, unkind and ignorant.

    If we are to face the future together as a nation of laws with the changes we will face, we must be open to all that has made us so great for 250 years. To do less will be to forget our collective heritages.

    These pages should be for discussion of more than touchdowns and home runs when appropriate. Keep it up!

  9. Chris

    So now , three native born (separate incidents of which, one took place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio during the Spurs` postseason run) Americans who just happen to have been of Latin heritage get disparaged , and the whole world is in uproar ? This being the same country that idolizes free speech and yet when religious bigoted Christian zealots disparage dead US military veterans ( from Iraq & Afghanistan theaters of war) and hardly a damn word is said by anyone due never-ending apathy . Oh the damn hypocrisy of it all . io

    Not so long ago you tried to suggest me that the country had moved on from the civil rights era and it now embraced all cultures . Is tat really true ? Explain to me now , how so , after this latest incident ?

    I mean , one of the largest Arab-American centers and cultural organizations is based in Tampa . On a weekly basis , they`re being made to deal threats of violence and that is right in your own backyard . Any comments concerning that ?

    This country has yet to move beyond the color issue and it is unlikely that it ever will . .

    tophatal ………….

  10. Chris, R U sure u r not writing incognito? Will you take a polygraph to confirm u r not Geraldo? LOL This race sniping is getting old.

    I come from mixed parents. Mom was a racist and Dad totally opposite. That made me half-half until Uncle Sam had plans for me during the Nam war. Join or get inducted. LSS, when I got out early 70’s my bad half was reduced to 10%. Shoulder to shoulder cured that. The remaining 10%? Charlie.

    You wrote and excellent piece and I hope it gets through to a few people.

  11. Anyone with half a brain should realize Hispanics pre-date Anglos in the Americas and if I’m not mistaken, people of both Hispanic and African blood have freely participated in every conflict our nation has been involved in, Revolutionary War included… They have just as much right to display their American patriotism as any of the others of us…

    There are a whole lot of people out there who simply need to keep their mouths shut because every time they open them they let the rest of us know just how galactically stupid they really are…

  12. Wow, this is ridiculous. However, we just have to take this and wipe it off our shoulders. It’s sad that to this day, racism still exists. Unbelievable.

  13. It’s sad really. When I was younger I always thought race relations would be better. I guess we are stuck with the ignorance until natural selection has done it’s job and mankind is rid of such fools.
    Sorry I won’t be around to see the day.

  14. Chris

    Matt Kemp is now complaining about Ryan Braun ?

    Courtesy of ESPN

    Kemp: Ryan Braun should lose MVP

    TORONTO — Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, who finished runner-up to Ryan Braun in voting for the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player award, thinks the suspended Milwaukee Brewers slugger should be stripped of the honor.

    Braun finished with 388 points and 20 first-place votes, to 332 and 10 for Kemp. Major League Baseball attempted to suspend Braun following a positive test that October for elevated testosterone, but the penalty was overturned by an arbitrator who ruled Braun’s urine sample was handled improperly.

    Braun agreed Monday to a 65-game suspension for unspecified violations of baseball’s drug rules and labor contract.

    Asked Tuesday whether the award should be taken away from Braun, Kemp responded: “I mean, yeah, I do,” pausing and adding, “I feel like it should be, but that’s not for me to decide, you know?”

    Kemp said people feel “betrayed” by Braun.

    “I’m disappointed,” Kemp said. “I talked to Braun before any of this happened, we had conversations and I considered him a friend. I don’t think anybody likes to be lied to and I feel like a lot of people have felt betrayed. That’s not just me, that’s the whole Brewers organization, a lot of his teammates. I think a lot of people feel that way.”

    Jack O’Connell, secretary-treasurer of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, said the award vote was final.

    Click on link to read in full .

    Did the second place finisher in the Miss USA pageant complain when Vanessa Williams was stripped of the crown after it was found out se`d done a nude pictorial spread ? . Are there any similarities there do you think ? LOL,LOL !!

    Kemp is a damn hypocrite ! As where was he before all of this concerning the other steroid cheats ? I guess he`s oping that the BBWAA might strip Braun of his 2011 NL MVP Award and promote him instead ? LOL,LOL !!

    The writers within the organization (Baseball Writers Association of America) have stated that Braun will be allowed to keep the award and he still will be accredited as the winner for that season . `noug said ______ their credibility is still lacking .

    tophatal …………..

  15. D…

    Chuckles definitely moves the meter. And I agree with you on the extremists. They’re tough to listen to on both sides and unfortunately, too many people do.

  16. Jim…

    Thank you, sir. When that conversation is held as you suggest, it can be productive. The problem, as Heavy D points out, is that happens far too infrequently.

  17. Al…

    I hate to say you’re right but… you’re right. If we’re moving at all, it’s at a snail’s pace, or perhaps even in the wrong direction.

  18. Thanks, Bets, but I’ll have you know Geraldo and I are not the only Puerto Rican Jews out there. There’s Esai Morales from “Bad Boys” and “La Bamba” fame and of course, the ficitonal Juan Epstein from “Welcome Back Kotter.”

    As you can see, I keep select company.

  19. Aero…

    Al and I have the consistent conversation that race relations have gotten better in this country over the years. I claim they have. He claims they haven’t.

    Let’s just say, at least from this standpoint, he’s won the argument for the time being.

  20. Al…

    I’ll remind you that Jose Canseco won the American League MVP in 1988.

    When it came out that he had been taking steroids, Mike Greenwell, who had himself a monster year that year and finished second in the voting, said that MVP was rightfully his.

    I don’t know that he made all the noise that Kemp is making. Had there been incessant media coverage back then like there is now, he may have.

    But the bottom line is this. Braun’s not the only MVP winner to have taken PEDs. So if we’re going to take one award away, shouldn’t we take them all?

  21. This is the reason I like Twitter. It exposes racist pieces of shit for what they are. In the past, people were racist but they kept quiet about it. So it was hard to know who to hate. Now Twitter streamlines the whole process. Now people have the ability to say, “Hey world! I’m a dipshit!” in a matter of 140 characters or less. We no longer have to do any work to expose rotten human beings. They do it themselves! I say, let them.

  22. I couldn’t agree more, Ry. God Bless freedom of Tweet.

    I wonder if there’s a career out there to be made as a Tweet adviser. Remind me to look into that.

  23. I only jumped over here to finish your thoughts and my words are best described at the top my HeavyD and M .

    One of your better columns.

    So much more could be said but I’m not sure which direction you want to steer this blog.

    and I better not comment on tophatal or this will get in the weeds quickly.

    I like the MLK quote and I’ve been a fan of Charles Barkley for a long time. I appreciate men who speak their mind plainly so that you can see without effort where they stand.

    Unlike anyone in DC it seems…

  24. Thank you, Tree.

    I appreciate your support and candor as a reader.

    Like I said in the piece, I generally try to keep things lighthearted around here but still, hopefully, thought-provoking.

    Some things just rub me the wrong way and this was one of them.

  25. Race relations like war . We all have our opinions on it , but when it comes time to doing what is right . No one has a damn idea as what to do .

    On the score and topic of race relations` discussions is between us both , I will repeatedly win that argument time and time again .

    If you thought what was done to Marc Anthony was bad . Then how about the young kid who sang the National Anthem at AT&T Center in San Antonio , during the Spurs` postseason run ? Not only were members of the audience being derogatory , but also hosts of a local talk radio show disparaged the Latino community at large and also mocked this kid`s rendition . That`s the spirit now currently on view in the United States and the beacon of light that is now being shown to the world . Thanks , but no thanks !

    Lady Liberty will now lower her arms .

    Matt Kemp can cry over spilled milk , as it still won`t change a thing . Not when you have the buffoons of the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America ) maintaining their current stance .

    tophatal …………..

  26. There’s always going to be a small percentage of morons and racists who are completely uninformed, and who will display their ignorance to the world on twitter.

    So it’s up to the rest of us to counteract their stupidity with a voice of reason and intelligent dialogue, so that the focus shifts away from ignorance and onto acceptance.

  27. Chris

    The Rays taking two out of the three games in this most recent series at Yankee Stadium was great . Now , if they can keep up that momentum going until the end of the season , that would be fantastic .

    James Loney has simply been outstanding for the team this year . All that for a bargain basement price of just $2 million ? A Rod is getting $32 million for simply being a douche-bag !

    <a href= Friedman needs to re-sign Loney for next year , at least to a two or tree year deal at best .

    Next up for Tampa
    tonight`s game
    against the Red Sox at Fenway Park .

    Do you believe Joe Maddon is a valid candidate this season for AL Manager of The Year ?

    Probable starters for the game

    Tampa Bay Rays news

    tophatal ………

  28. I’m going tomorrow night, Al.

    It should be a nice welcoming home party for the Rays who haven’t played at the Trop since before the All-Star break.

    A Toronto sweep, two out of three in Boston, two out of three in New York and they’re winning that last Boston make-up game in a rain delay.

    This team is playing with great confidence right now.

  29. Rays got a break last night too, Al.

    That runner was clearly safe at the plate but was called out.

    When you’re getting calls on the road in Fenway, you know things are going your way.

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