Darius Rucker, (left) the country singer who was once a member of the rock band Hootie and the Blowfish, was scheduled to sing the Star Spangled Banner before last Tuesday night’s NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. But Rucker had a last minute travel snafu, so eleven year old Sebastien De La Cruz, who made his mark on the NBC television show, “America’s Got Talent,” was asked by the Heat to be a last minute replacement.
Sebastien wowed the crowd, singing a wonderful rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” without accompaniment, and he received a rousing ovation. You can watch his performance in the video below:
Not bad for an eleven-year old on very short notice, wouldn’t you say? But not everyone lauded the young singer in his mariachi costume. Before Sebastien even had time to leave the arena floor, Twitter broke out in a flurry of xenophobic and racist tweets, using the hashtags #gohome, and #yournotamerican.
“This lil Mexican snuck into the country like 4 hours ago now he singing the anthem” read one.
“WHY DO MIAMI HEAT FANS GOT DIRTY MEXICAN FIVE YEAR OLDS SINGING THE ANTHEM” said another.
You get the picture, I’m sure, and I want to wash my hands just from typing those words, but if you would like to see the ugliness for yourself, Tumblr has them chronicled here on their Public Shaming Page.
Sebastian has his supporters of course, and they defended him on both Twitter and Facebook, causing some of the offenders who posted racist tweets to close down their Twitter accounts. But it was young Sebastian who was his own best defender. Watch below as he lets his attackers know, he was born in Texas. His father served in the Navy. And he is every bit, a proud American.
He never called a name. Never used a swear word. Never made a threat. He never even raised his voice. He made those responsible for the Twitter insults seem like the ones who were un-American. Sebastien De La Cruz is a shining example of why this country truly is “the home of the brave.”
UPDATE 5:45 PM:
“Sebastien De La Cruz, known as San Antonio’s “Little Mariachi,” did such a fantastic job singing “The Star- Spangled Banner” the first time, the Spurs have invited him back for an encore,” My San Antonio reports, adding an exciting development:
That’s the word from a reliable source, who said the 11-year-old, a former “America’s Got Talent” semifinalist, will return to perform the national anthem in the AT&T Center before tonight’s Game 4 of the Spurs-Heat series.
Sebastien’s image screenshot via YouTube
Darius Rucker photo via his Facebook Page
Jean Ann Esselink is a straight friend to the gay community. Proud and loud Liberal. Closet writer of political fiction. Black sheep agnostic Democrat from a conservative Catholic family. Living in Northern Oakland County Michigan with Puck the Wonder Beagle.
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