Spanish version of “Star Spangled Banner” causing furor

Some are even calling it the “Illegal Immigration Anthem.” God forbid we acknowledge the large Hispanic population in this country, and that some give tribute with a Spanish-language version of the anthem for the country they love. Yes, this is just deplorable.

Even worse is that they note the comments being made on “the blogosphere.” FUCK the blogosphere. Who cares what some guy who works for Subway in New Paltz thinks of the anthem?

Edit: Good points brought up in the reply. It certainly is bad timing, and most likely brought about by the recent debate that has sprung up in this country. However, I still think people being outraged over it is a bit much. There’s also the over-arching matter of people discussing it as “the immigration issue,” when really it’s “the illegal immigration issue.” There are large Hispanic populations in some cities, such as Miami, where they’ve achieved the balance of integrating into the American culture (which needs to be examined since some will argue that there’s more of an over-arching Western culture than there is an American culture) while maintaining a strong aspect of their own native culture (i.e. being bilingual); which is in keeping with the American tradition of immigration throughout the country’s existence. Individuals such as those I’m sure appreciate a version of the anthem in their native tongue without it being part of some political agenda. And personally, I’m surprised this hasn’t been done before.

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  1. April 28, 2006 at 2:44 pm

    The idea itself doesn’t bother me, but I will say this is awful timing. It looks extremely confrontational to the non-Hispanic population of the country, like they’re saying “we’re here and we are going to take everything and make it fit our culture, not yours.” It aids and abets the common notion among a lot of people that the goal is simply to create a lot of little Mexico’s amidst the U.S., enclaves with no interest in doing anything but taking U.S. dollars and U.S. benefits while never attempting to be part of the country.

    This is going to backfire politically. There’s a reason why march organizers have been begging people to wave U.S. flags instead of Mexican ones. And I don’t mean it will backfire in the blogosphere. Everyone knows all political bloggers are nuts. But to middle America, the people who either will or won’t make this a big issue, the kind politicians lose their jobs over, this looks confrontational.

  2. April 28, 2006 at 3:10 pm

    The idea doesn’t bother me either because like all legal immigrants before them, they love America but do not have the command of English that native speakers have. My grandmother was born in the US, but her father stumbled over English and in the home, he rarely spoke anything other than Italian. He loved America and the ideals it stood for, but he just couldn’t speak good English.

    My issue with this lies here –

    Unlike most immigration waves, the Mexican immigration wave believes something is “owed” to them. It’s subtle, but its there. Talk to Sally about the CA Contractors Liscense Law. Really, you should. I’ll fill you in. It’s a book you need to study for an exam in California. All construction workers must pass this exam that covers basic safety, construction law in CA, etc… It’s a test in English so we publish the book in English. What happens is that many illegal immigrants want to work in construction, so they buy the book to take the test and they fail.

    Why do they fail? Because they can’t read English. Then they call us, the publisher, and complain that the test was in English and they can’t read English and they want a refund because the book, which also was in English, couldn’t help them. This is sometimes MONTHS after they buy the book.

    It’s as if they’re saying “We’re here and we’re not going to learn your language and it’s up to you to make accomodations for us.”

    Cue to my time at Old Navy. I was trying to help a Mexican woman but she couldn’t speak English and I’m a French speaker. (You see, since I make trips to Canada often enough, I thought French would be the more useful language.) Anyhow, her husband came over to me and started shouting at me in broken English that it was unacceptable that we in Old Navy weren’t fluent Spanish speakers since so many Mexicans work in the farms over the summer. I managed to get one of our managers – a man from PR who DOES speak Spanish – and the customer indicated that many of his co-workers and he alike were outraged that we didn’t speak Spanish and forced them to muddle through with English.

    You know those arrogant Americans that go to other countries and get pissed when people don’t speak English? This is worse. At least with tourists its a temporary thing.

    I think most Americans are fairly willing to go with reasonable changes. However, most Americans also wish to preserve a certain way of life. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, with the current attitude of the current immigration wave – that we’re here and you’re going to change for us – its really difficult for Middle America to accept them.

  3. April 28, 2006 at 4:31 pm

    In response to your reply, I think the initial wave of outrage over the idea of translating the anthem would be mostly confined to the folks who generally hate immigration to begin with. The thing I see as being the hook those people will use to sway the middle is the idea the article mentions of a version where they add words to the anthem to decry the plight of illegal immigrants. That move turns it from “we are showing how we are blending our culture into this culture” into appropriating the US culture for their own political purposes. It’d be like if the movement started using a version of the U.S. flag with the Mexican Eagle where the stars should be.

    I don’t think it’s this one thing that is causing the outrage so much as this provides a convenient flashpoint for everyone. The issue is being presented by both sides and the media in a way that is hard to ignore and forcing people to take a stance one way or the other, especially leading into the midterm elections this year.

    • April 28, 2006 at 6:43 pm

      I see your point, and agreed.

      On a somewhat related note, it’s interesting to me that Bush is the one who brought this issue to the forefront, but given the varying reaction of various legislatures on both sides of the aisle, I’m not sure if this is the sort of issue that really benefits one party over another.

      • April 28, 2006 at 6:45 pm

        Right now it benefits the Democrats simply because they aren’t in power. It is something that people are not happy about, the people in charge have no answers, and in such cases the voters tend to take it out on the people running things.

        Note that is not saying the Dems are any better on the issue. They have no solution whatsoever seemingly, but in this political environment silence might be golden for them. The GOP is so busy shooting at each other on this no reason for the Dems to stick their heads up and say anything to draw attention.

      • April 28, 2006 at 7:03 pm

        The RNC must be absolutely furious at the Bush Administration right now, if that’s the case.

        I think the lack of solutions is part of the reason why there weren’t as successful as they could have (or should have) been in the 2004 elections, both on the executive and legislative level. Two more years of that isn’t going to help them in that regard. All the RNC has to stress is that while there’s in-fighting in the Republican Party over the issue, they’re at least offering options to each other while the Democrats just sit back and giggle, not learning a damn thing in two years. And, unfortunately, I think they’d have a really good point, and it wouldn’t be too far from the truth.

      • April 28, 2006 at 7:07 pm

        It’s a good point, but it’s too nuanced to work on any mass level. Now, as a left-wing Dem I hope they don’t do this, but they need to get the Minutemen wing of their party to STFU, agree to let this issue get hashed out in the 2008 primaries in return for more border patrol funds for the moment, and allow Bush to put forward a guest worker program with the full support of the entire GOP. Not that it ever needs to pass, but then they can present something to force the Dems to respond.

  4. April 28, 2006 at 4:44 pm

    To your reply sir –

    The immigration issue cannot totally be seperated from the illegal immigration issue. In both cases there are people willing to take a lower pay than native citizens themselves would take. For many in this failing economy, it’s not a matter of whether they are illegal or not, but more that the salaries of entry level and manual labor jobs are being lowered because there’s a greater influx of immigrants willing to take the lower pay.

    There’s always been trouble with illegal immigration. Right now it’s the Mexican border. When my great grandmother fled Ireland’s famine, it was Nova Scotia. It was just as blurry a line between the two issues then, as it is now.

    In times of economic need, people don’t distinguish between legal and illegal alien.

    • April 28, 2006 at 6:31 pm

      I disagree, as I bleieve the real issue pertaining to lower wages does relate more directly to illegals, because it’s much easier to pay them below minimum wage since they’re less likely to report the wages and/or poor working conditions due to their status in the country. It’s much like the issue with outsourcing – business employing workers on the cheap and skirting around the law, resulting in them paying below minimum wage to foreign and/or undocumented workers.

      As far as legal immigrants taking jobs that native citizens want – there’s always going to be people willing to take minimum wage to do really crappy jobs. If natives were willing to take these jobs in the first place, then the issue of legal immigrants taking these jobs would be moot. It’s the economy that creates this situation, not the presence of immigrants in the United States.

      Between 2000 and 2005, 7.9 million immigrants came to the United States. Of that, 3.7 came into this country illegally. That leaves 4.2 million entering this country legally. This number also takes into account those coming to study higher education in the United States (which certain schools would lead me to believe is a fairly high number) who either receive full financial assistance or have to prove they can pay tuition, any children immigrants may have (who are not eligible to work), etcetera. The second factor bears reflection, because then you realize that not all immigrants entering the United States that comprise the numbers that get reported in the media are even eligible to work – and that drops the number of legal immigrants taking jobs quite a bit. I’d like to see statistics on the number of legal immigrants in the United States that are children…I’d imagine it’d work out to be at least about half, if not more.

      Whereas, with many illegals (especially from Mexico) they’ll enter this country illegally solely to work the jobs that pay worse than minimum wage and leave their families behind in their home countries (and/or simply send money home).

      Taking all these factors into account, I can only conclude that immigration as a whole isn’t the main problem – it’s the illegal side of it that takes jobs from Americans, and they’re earning less than minimum wage. Therefore, though the argument could be made that legal immigrants lower the average pay for an American worker, it’s the illegals that have the much bigger impact on our unemployment rate (which if I’m not mistaken usually hovers below 2 million), but that relies on the belief that if illegals weren’t in this country that the unemployment rate would disappear…which I don’t think is true, and there is credence to the argument that there are some jobs that a vast majority of Americans simply will not do. The issue then isn’t “they’re taking our jobs,” but “businesses are not making jobs available to citizens or legal immigrants because they’d rather bring in illegal immigrants to get around minimum wage.”

    • April 28, 2006 at 6:39 pm

      By the way, there are arguments that despite what we liberals would like to believe, our economy actually isn’t failing – especially since it was announced today that the GDP jumped up 4.8% (the biggest growth in two and a half years) and the unemployment rate is at 4.7%, which is the lowest in 4 1/2 years. I think many people our age assume, because of things such as the jump in gas prices, that the economy is hurting. In actuality, the economy looks to be doing pretty well considering the hurdles it’s having to overcome at the moment.

      As for the recent statistic showing Americans are saving negative dollars for the first time since The Great Depression – that says less about the state of our economy and more upon fiscal irresponsibility of individuals and the burgeoning reliance on credit.

      • April 28, 2006 at 6:40 pm

        Just to clarify: GDP up 4.8% for the first quarter, 4.7% unemployment rate for March.

      • April 28, 2006 at 9:35 pm

        Well, the American economy will eventually suffer more because of gas prices, but that’s because (as I’ve said numerous times before) the American life is based off the SUV and the American auto industry survives because people still buy Hummers. With more money going to gas, less will go to spending and with an economy that becoming more so relient on service industry, this isn’t a good thing.

        Alright, so the unemployment rate is lower now? But are the jobs actually better, higher paying and with actual benefits? I look to some of my friends and shake my head. They have jobs, they’ve gotten whatever they can take, and they barely make ends meat after paying for the college education that couldn’t get them anything better than someone with a GED. It’s all service – specialically customer service or data entry – and it doesn’t pay very well. I’m lucky; I get paid well. My friends, all getting jobs down state, are not paid even close to the average salarie for their position. Perhaps this is because Ulster County is a depressed region (still). Maybe its because of the economy.

        And the housing bubble? Please.

        I agree though that illegals are taking the jobs that no one wants. I have a plan for this, cruel as it may be, and it’s putting the people who are on welfare because they can’t get a job into these jobs. You’re popping out babies and living on state dime? You’re not looking for a job? You’re not taking advantage of incentives to go to community college? Fine, I’ll put you in a job.

        I’ve no problem paying my welfare dues for some poor guy who has to live in a half-way house and can’t work. I’ve got a lot of trouble paying for a kid who quits Target because he can make more off Welfare.

  5. April 28, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    I’m all about the parenthesis in this post – pay no attention.

    In response to the edit – this isn’t about politics (though to say this isn’t a political move is ludicrous), or even racism. It’s just the fact that every other immigrant group in this country (WHICH IS NEARLY EVERYONE EXCEPT THE MARGINALIZED NATIVE PEOPLE WHO WERE THE FIRST VICTIMS OF BIOLOGICAL WARFARE THANKYOUVERYMUCH) – illegal or not – are just pissed that they didn’t think of it first.

    Personally – I think it’d be AWESOME to have our national anthem sung in the ancestral native tongues that truly represent our nation (Imagine the Star Spangled Banner with Xhosa clicks?!?) …but that’d make the opening ceremonies to the Olympics that much longer, and who really wants that?

  6. April 29, 2006 at 12:36 am

    Perhaps this will get me in trouble but here goes. I am hearing a lot of “US” vs “THEM” mentality in this issue and I think that is where the real problem lies. The English “us” vs the Spanish “them”. Stripping a people of their language takes a large part of their identity and the beauty of their culture away. The fact is that most try to learn English but it is just plain hard. And when they attempt to do it in public, their broken English causes dirty looks from many and impatience from a clerk that does not get paid enough to know another language or really to care. Add to that the looks of distrust they get for daring to be another color and the racism they must incounter on a daily basis. You’d go back inside your comfort zone too.

    The fact that one is legal or illegal does not matter to the government when it comes time to pay taxes. The majority of working illegal immigrants do pay taxes and are issued a Social Security Number to ease the process along. What that SS# does not provide is the rights and securities we all take for granted as citizens.

    Well it is commendable that some are taking whatever job they can get, that is not the typical attitude of many Americans. We are not willing to pick fruit in a field for 12 hours a day, change beds for 5.15 an hour, or ride on the back of a pick up truck to do back breaking work for a landscaper that may or may not pay us at the end of the day and certainly will not worry about our health care if we get hurt. That is something we are not willing to do and these are the situations in which we will allow “illegals” to breathe our air.

    There is alot wrong with a society that does not value humans for their culture and content and simply for their productivity. The evidence of that in our society is everywhere. We are a society that supports a temporary workers program that allows “them” to work in “our” country for 6 years in the worst jobs and then leave without access to gaining the rights of citizenship. It is simply a legalized 21st century version indentured servitude. We are a society that would rather save 10 cents on a bottle of shampoo than shop at a store that provides their workers with affordable health care. We are society that thinks that people who do not work are simply lazy, and living lavishly off of our hard earned welfare contributions (when the facts about welfare point elsewhere). We believe that we are better, work harder and are entitled to more. We think that we are smarter because we know English and barely remember the foreign language we studied in college (which we paid for with federal funded loans aka welfare). When in reality we are lucky. We are lucky that these are not the lives we have to lead and simply the lives we get to debate about.

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