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article imageWatch Sebastien de la Cruz, 11, sing national anthem, once again

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jun 15, 2013 in Politics
After Mexican-American Sebastien de la Cruz, 11, opened up game three of the NBA Finals Tuesday, with an impressive performance of the US National Anthem, many attacked him on Twitter wondering why a "Mexican" was allowed to perform the national song.
According to the NY Daily News, Sebastien de la Cruz, former “America's Got Talent” performer, native of San Antonio, known, according to Buzzfeed, as El Charro de Oro ("Boy with the Golden Voice"), was filling in for country singer Darius Rucker, who was unable to appear.
The Daily Dot extolled his performance:
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.
But the performance was followed by a slew of online comments, compiled on Tumblr Public Shaming, which observers noted reveal the depth of racist feelings among some Americans. The sight of a boy, evidently of Mexican ancestry, wearing a black and silver mariachi outfit, singing the national anthem was simply more than many could take.
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According to the Daily Dot, "The moment was accompanied by an outpouring of ignorance on social media that reminded us once again how many people think that just because someone has brown skin and a Spanish name, they don’t count as American."
A YouTuber, LateNightCable, encapsulated the attitude that "brown skin and a Spanish name, isn't American" with a comment: "Anyone familiar with the Texas War of Independence or the Battle of San Jacinto knows that a Mexican Kid in a mariachi suit singing about the star spangled banner still being there through the night makes absolutely no sense historically... Anyway, I think it was him singing the anthem in a mariachi suit that rubbed some people. Thank goodness he did not roll his R when he sang 'home of brave.'"
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The Daily Dot concluded: "The problem was that people on Twitter couldn't focus on anything except his heritage.. [Twitter's] output was vile. It was disgusting. It had all the makings of the worst of the worst on the Internet."
A sample of the tweets complied by Daily Dot:
Shit we gota Mexican signing our national anthem (: only in San Antonio
Benny James Trevino (@Baller_Benny32) June 12, 2013
Who this mexican singing the national anthem? Lls sike nah
— iAmKing (@SupremeStrokage) June 12, 2013
Could this national anthem possibly get any more stereotypical? Might as well throw a sombrero on him too.
— Some Random (@shawnintheflesh) June 12, 2013
SPURS GOT THIS LITTLE ASS KID LOOKING LIKE HE ABOUT TO SALSA DANCE ALL OVER THE COURT SINGING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM.
— MarcosGarcia (@MrStealYaChsCke) June 12, 2013
we got a fucking chacho doin the national anthem?! in a fucking MEXICAN outfit? WTF is going on in San Antonio???
— CAPital Gains (@BLangsett) June 12, 2013
However, as Tumblr Public Shaming noted, not all the comments were hostile, some tweeted encouraging messages and castigated his critics.
The Huffington Post reports young De la Cruz got the opportunity to answer his detractors on television Wednesday. He said: "They don’t know my life. My father was actually in the Navy for a really long time... People don’t know, they just assume that I’m just Mexican. But I’m not from Mexico, I’m from San Antonio born and raised, a true San Antonio Spurs fan."
According to NY Daily News, the fifth-grader added with a sense of maturity beyond his years: "With the racist remarks, it was just people — how they were raised. My father and my mama told me you should never judge people by how they look."
He got the opportunity of a repeat performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before game four of the NBA Finals Thursday. One again, clad in a mariachi outfit, he confounded those who had labelled him an "illegal alien."
This time, he was introduced by San Antonia Mayor Julian Castro. The mayor had defended him Twitter, saying: "Sebastien de la Cruz, your rendition of the national anthem was spectacular! Don't let a few negative voices get you down."
According to NY Daily News, Spurs coach Greg Popovich, also defended him: "I would like to say I would be shocked or surprised by the comments. But given the fact that there’s still a significant element of bigotry and racism in our nation, I’m not surprised. It still plagues us, obviously. And what I was surprised by was how proud these idiots were of their ignorance by printing their names next to their comments. [De La Cruz] is a class act. Way more mature than most his age. And as much as those comments by the idiots saddens you about your country, he makes you feel that the future could be very bright."
His performance on Thursday drew sustained applause from an appreciative audience.
Twitter comments after his second performance were friendlier:
Actress Eva Longoria: "As a Mexican-American, I am so proud of Sebastien De La Cruz, a great symbol of what America is today!"
More about Sebastian de la cruz, de la cruz, The StarSpangled Banner, Twitter, MexicanAmerican
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