Critics of boy who sang anthem are ridiculous

June 16, 2013 at 1:16 a.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

To borrow a phrase from the fictional commentator Earl Pitts that airs on an area country music radio station every weekday morning, "You know what makes me sick?"

What makes me sick are those individuals who hurl insults and make threats to those who don't fit the "proper" mold when singing our national anthem.

Tuesday morning, prior to the start of the third game of the NBA finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, a young man of 11 stepped up to the microphone to give his rendition of America's national anthem. He was called on to perform at the last minute because the scheduled singer, Darius Rucker (former lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish and a current country music artist), was unable to attend the game. This young man was wearing the clothing of a Mariachi performer and was probably at the game to perform traditional songs from his culture.

Now, here is the sickening part. After his patriotic duty was finished, emails, tweets and probably other means of communication began pouring into the television network voicing anger over the mode of dress the young man was wearing. People were offended that the proper attire was not being worn. I wonder what the proper attire is?

I suppose if one were of Scottish descent, a kilt would fit the mold. If one were of my Czech heritage, perhaps the attire worn at a polka and waltz club dance would suffice. I'm left to wonder whether there would have been viewer complaints had the singer been attired in such a manner.

Forty-five years ago at a World Series game, Jose Feliciano, a popular flamenco guitar player and singer of that time who just happens to be blind, gave his interpretation of our national anthem. He was met with the same criticisms and anger.

I found the responses to be absurd in 1968, and I find them to be equally, if not more absurd in 2013.

Wake up, America! Don't just read the Constitution and Bill of Rights; live them!

Mike Laza, Victoria



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