Christopher Kruse 0

Sebastien De La Cruz For National Anthem

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Looking at the response on Twitter Tuesday night, I never would have thought this was the America I grew up in. Vitriolic, hateful speech directed towards a ten year old singing the national anthem because of his skin color overshadowed what should have been an amazing performance. The America I know is a country begun by outcasts and refugees, strengthened by rebels and free thinkers, protected by the poor, populated by all races and religions, and most importantly, free. Free and open to all people who want to live in a country where one is free to pursue his or her dreams, without fear of retribution or retaliation. Free to raise their family, work hard to own everything they have, and free to worship or not worship any religion they choose. The American Dream. I think of every life that has been laid down in defense of that idea, and then I return to the comments made by people who clearly do not understand what it is that makes America strong. I think of my family leaving Germany at the turn of the twentieth century, my great uncles fighting for the United States Armed Forces, in Korea, in Germany during World War II, and in Vietnam. I think of the ancestor who left his position with the British army at Yorktown, to stay behind in this new America. I think of the members of my family who right now serve their country overseas. I wonder, "Is this the America they are fighting for? The America that showers disapproval down on the shoulders of a child who dared sing the anthem of the country he was born in, was raised in, and lives in, because he isn't pale enough? Is the ultimate sacrifice, laid down by thousands of Mexican Americans, African Americans, and others over the course of our country's history, not worth as much as that of a white man's? Is THAT the American Dream my family has fought for?" I hope it is not. And so I ask that people stand up against this Pale America, the one that would make us weak and simple minded, and show our support for the TRUE America - one that knows, United We Stand, and that divided we will fall. Our strength is that so many from different backgrounds all believe in, work toward, and are willing to defend, the same ideal. How do we still depart from that? It is my belief that we should ask 10 year old Sebastien De La Cruz to return to San Antonio throughout this Finals, and sing our - and HIS - national anthem for every San Antonio home game. Show the un-American bigots that their beliefs are dying, that it is unacceptable to attack a child, and that wherever they are, they enjoy their freedom of speech because someone somewhere, with skin as brown as Sebastien's, laid down their life for that right.

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