‘God Bless America’ — and the way Marc Anthony sang it

Posted Thursday, Jul. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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kennedy Maybe I’m confused.

Would you rather listen to Americans of Hispanic descent sing God Bless America and the national anthem?

Or would you rather they never sing those songs at all?

For the second time, an uproar has broken out when a fellow American sang before a sports event.

This time, the American was singer Marc Anthony, born Marco Antonio Muniz to parents of Puerto Rican descent 44 years ago in New York.

When he sang God Bless America at the baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday, some soreheads took to Twitter calling him a “foreigner,” a “Spaniard” and other ruder words beginning with f and s.

And here’s where I’m really confused.

Puerto Rico is part of the United States.

Last I checked, so is New York.

Apparently Anthony inflamed the white right just by being on TV, and even more so by trilling a couple of “r’s.”

First, he sang for God’s blessing “from the mountains … to the prrrairies.”

Then — and not until the last line — he rolled out “God bless Amerrr-ica.”

You’ve have thought he had spat on a Don’t Tread On Me flag.

A college baseball player in Florida wrote on Twitter: “Letting a Spanish guy sing God Bless America really hurts my heart.”

A young man with a photo of himself holding a baby wrote from a Texas address: “Welcome to America, where God Bless America is sung at our national pastime by a Mexican.”

It’s not the first time some sports fans have gotten confused about Americans of Hispanic descent.

Just last month, an 11-year-old mariachi in San Antonio was bombarded with insults over his singing of The Star-Spangled Banner before a Spurs-Miami Heat basketball playoff game.

That kid wasn’t just an American and a Texan. His dad is a U.S. Navy veteran.

Anthony defended himself Thursday to ABC, saying, “I’m as American as apple pie.”

He told Latino-bashers to “get over it.”

Justin Velez-Hagan, executive director of the National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, said by phone from Washington that the comments are “just another example of the incredible ignorance.”

“Even somebody born and living in Puerto Rico is just as American as anybody else,” he said.

I have a news flash for those out who hate Hispanics or Tejanos.

Texas is about to have a Latina first lady.

Both the Republican frontrunners for the gubernatorial nomination, Greg Abbott and Tom Pauken, are married to Latinas.

So barring a political turn, the next first lady will be either Cecilia Abbott, the daughter of Lucy Segura Phalen of San Antonio, or Port Aransas artist Ida Ayala Pauken.

Hope you like how she sings.

Bud Kennedy's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538

Twitter: @BudKennedy Get alerts at RebelMouse.com/budkennedy

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