I just listened to the Urban Latino-style, Spanish language version of "The Star Spangled Banner."
I've read a number of new reports and blog entries that blast the song as unpatriotic, offensive and just plain wrong.
Comments like that make me feel ill.
The song makes me proud. A segment of the US population who speaks Spanish has offered a song that celebrates freedom, bravery and national pride. The song celebrates the American dream. It draws attention to the fact that we are a wonderful mix of people. We come from many, many different countries and speak many, many different languages. We disagree on many, many things. Yet we are still the United States of America.
I believe in a United States that is not a country of "English-only" speakers. I believe in a United States that is not a country of people who cares nothing for human rights and dignity and instead cares about getting rid of anyone who isn't the same as we are. I believe in a United States that cares for the stranger in our midst and seeks to welcome them.
Our national anthem, no matter what the language, honors the United States of America.
And it was the US Department of Education that commissioned a translation of the US national anthem into Spanish -- in 1912.