Found something to shoot my mouth off about.
Well it didn’t take long before some Republican Senator decided to introduce a resolution over the Spanish version of the anthem:
“That flag and that song are a part of our history and our national identity. It declares some of our national ideals, in being the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” That’s why in 1931 Congress declared the Star-Spangled Banner our national anthem.
“That’s why we should always sing it in our common language, English. And that’s why today I am introducing a resolution that affirms that statements of national unity, especially the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem, ought to be recited or sung in English.
“We wouldn’t recite the Pledge in French, or German, or Russian, or Hindi, or even Chinese (which, after Spanish, is the second most spoken foreign language in the United States). And we shouldn’t sing the national anthem in Spanish, or any other foreign language.
“So, in this land of immigrants, let’s all sing it together, as one American nation, in our common language: English.
My question still remains: What’s wrong with singing the anthem in another language or, for that matter, reciting the pledge in another language so long as the sentiments behind the act are sincere? Why get all fucking pissy about it when it’s not the language that’s important but the ideals being expressed?
Update: Incidentally for those of you who seem to feel that singing The Star Spangled Banner in Spanish is some sort of horrible insult you may want to consider these simple facts:
In 1919 the U.S. Bureau of Education commissioned a Spanish-language version of The Star Spangled Banner. Additionally for those folks who are all upset that the Latin pop stars had the nerve to change the lyrics (yes, I’m specifically looking at you DarO), you should be aware that the State Department’s website has no less than four different versions of the anthem in Spanish for you to be all outraged over.
Seems it wasn’t considered a big deal back in 1919. I guess they were just less patriotic back then, what with the end of World War I and all.
Hat tip to the folks at Think Progress for digging this up.
Update 2: Atrios points us to a commenter who refers to bit from Kevin Phillips’ book American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush that shows us that Bush didn’t seem to mind singing the anthem in Spanish during his Presidential campaigns:
When visiting cities like Chicago, Milwaukee or Philadelphia, in pivotal states, he would drop in at Hispanic festivals and parites, sometimes joining in singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in Spanish, sometimes partying with a “Viva Bush” mariachi band flown in from Texas.
Update 3: Back to the folks at Think Progress again and a new entry on how Bush’s highly-scripted 2001 inaugural ceremony featured Jon Secada singing, what else, The Star Spangled Banner in SPANISH:
From Cox News Service, 1/18/01:
The opening ceremony reflected that sentiment. A racially diverse string of famous and once famous performers entertained Bush, soon-to-be First Lady Laura Bush, Vice President-elect Richard B. Cheney and his wife, Lynne, who watched on stage from a special viewing area.
Pop star Jon Secada sang the national anthem in English and Spanish.
Apparently, Secada singing the anthem in Spanish was a regular feature of the Bush campaign. From the 8/3/00 Miami Herald:
The nominee, his wife Laura, erstwhile rival John McCain and his wife Cindy joined Bush on a platform where children sang the national anthem – in “Spanglish,” Secada explained.
I suppose it’s OK to sing the anthem in Spanish when your pandering to the Latino community to try and drag some of their votes into your camp, but Heaven forbid those bastards try to sing it as part of a demonstration on immigration reform! But then we already knew Bush is a hypocrite.