Sociology

When a “Spic” sings God Bless America

Racist Americans
Racist Americans

Racism and ignorance feed off each other like no other. Here’s a classic case.

During the 2013 M.L.B. All Star game, many Americans took to Twitter to share their raw emotions (see more of those feelings here) over a “Spic” and “Mexican” singing God Bless America.

The singer, Marc Anthony, was born in NYC, which makes him an American according to the U.S. Constitution. For some Americans, even being born in New York and having American citizenship is not good enough in the heated discussion over what it means to be American.

In America today, simply having a “Spanish sounding name” and “looking Spanish” is enough for one to be deemed “not American.”

To define an American over the way their name sounds is obviously ridiculous. Not all Americans have names which could have been present during the time of the American Revolution.

My surname, for example, is Considine, which is of Gaelic (and not Anglo Saxon) origin, yet nobody questions whether I’m an American or not. Perhaps it’s because I’m white. Maybe the Irish have slowly become “American” over the centuries.

However, if a Considine was roaming around Boston in 1776, I’m certain many Americans would wonder “who is this foreigner?” They would probably call that Considine a “Mick” or perhaps a “Papist,” a derogatory term for Catholics at the time.

My point is that Americans have shed doubt on names and their “Americanness” for a long, long time.

Question: Is Muhammad Ali, someone with a “Muslim” and “Arab” sounding name, not an American? How about the “Jewish sounding” name Albert Einstein?

Gonzalez IS an American name
Gonzalez IS an American name

When the question of what it means to be an American rises, I tend to encourage people to visit Arlington National Cemetery, the sacred burial ground of American soldiers.

While I may not agree with the U.S.’s current wars, I don’t think there’s a higher “litmus test” in defining who can be an American than Arlington National Cemetery. Everyone at Arlington National Cemetery is an American through and through.

For the record, there are plenty of “Spanish sounding names” at Arlington National Cemetery. See the picture.

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