Thursday, May 04, 2006

Oh, Say, Can You See Xenophobia in a Land of Immigrants?

by John Chuckman

"One of the important things here is that we not lose our national soul"






Was George Bush speaking of some truly shattering event in American affairs? Perhaps the imprisonment and torture of thousands of innocent people? Perhaps the lack of democratic legitimacy in his own coming to power?

No, what Bush was describing is a version of the American national anthem in Spanish "Nuestro Himno [Our Anthem]—which was played on American Hispanic radio and television stations recently

Now, in many countries with multi-ethnic populations, most people would see this as charming and flattering. Canada's anthem has two official versions, French and English, and were a group of immigrants to offer it in Ukrainian or Mandarin, most Canadians would be tickled. It would undoubtedly be featured on CBC.

But in America, the broadcast of a Spanish version of "The Star Spangled Banner" has aroused a somewhat different response. Charles Key, great-great-grandson of Francis Scott, offered the immortal words, "I think it's despicable thing that someone is going into our society from another country and...changing our national anthem."

"This is evoking spirited revulsion on the part of fair-minded Americans," offered John Teeley, representative of one of innumerable private propaganda mills in Washington commonly dignified as think-tanks. Mr. Teeley continued, "You are talking about something sacred and iconic in the American culture. Just as we wouldn't expect people to change the colors of the national flag, we wouldn't expect people to fundamentally change the anthem and rewrite it in a foreign language."

A foreign language? There are roughly 30 million Spanish speakers in the United States. The analysis here is interesting: an immigrant singing an anthem in his own language resembles someone changing the national flag. This argument does, perhaps unintentionally, reveal the real concern: Hispanics are changing our country, and we don't like it.

So it is not surprising that the American low-life constituency's political and moral hero, George Bush, should declare: "I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English."

Never mind that the American Constitution says nothing about language. Never mind that waves of immigrants from Europe about a hundred years ago founded countless private schools and cultural institutions in the United States where German or Italian or Hebrew were the languages used and promoted. Never mind that after a generation or two, minority immigrants always end up adopting the language of the majority, something which is close to an economic necessity. And never mind that xenophobia in a land of immigrants should have no place.

An entertaining historical note here is that Francis Scott Key did not write the important part of "The Star Spangled Banner," its music. Key wrote a breast-swelling amateurish poem whose words were fitted to an existing song. The existing song, as few Americans know, was an English song, "To Anachreon in Heaven," a reference to a Greek poet whose works concern amour and wine. "The Star Spangled Banner," in any version, only began playing a really prominent role in America during my lifetime, that is, with the onset of the Cold War. In Chicago public schools during the early 1950s, we sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," another breast-sweller, written not many years after Key's, by another amateur poet, Samuel Smith, sung to the music of the British national anthem, "God Save the King."

It shouldn't be necessary to remind anyone in an advanced country that things change, and they change at increasing rates. Even in the remote possibility, a century or two from now, Spanish or some blend of Spanish and English were to become the dominant language of the United States, what would it matter to today's angry and intolerant people? After all, the English language came from another land, and it grew out of centuries of change from Latin to early versions of German and French layered onto the language of Celtic people.

Throughout history, fascism is closely associated with xenophobia, but then we find many other unpleasant aspects of fascism—from illegal spying to recording what people read in libraries, from torture to illegal invasion—feature in George Bush's America.

Article Source Here.

48 Comments:

Blogger Devdas said...

i wouldn't expect much more from americans trying to protect their drinking song. anyway, you people preserve your cultural solidarity, and i'll preserve mine and its superiority. all in all, please visit my blog
your blog's not bad. keep it up.

May 04, 2006 10:42 pm  
Blogger ParisGuy said...

A great read. Your article selection is really great. Bravo.

May 04, 2006 11:17 pm  
Blogger Pelusita said...

Nice article,you could write one about what happened a few weeks ago here in chile:
An antifascist-skinhead was killed by nazis on april 16th and everyone knows who they are but the police doesn't do anything about it...

May 05, 2006 1:26 am  
Blogger anne altman said...

brilliant piece!

May 05, 2006 1:56 am  
Anonymous Chris said...

Sure, just accept the change to our national identity and culture. The fact is that America is a huge melting pot of foreign lands. We have people from all countries around the world -- and they all come for the same reason: To live the American dream.

Let's just remember, the forefathers of this great country had difficulty defining who or what an American is. At the conception of this country, we had influences from all cultures and lands (French, Spanish, British, Native American). The one thing that unified this country was the eventual adoption and acceptance of a single language of communication, English. This is why our national identity should include English -- it is the one bond that Koreans, Irish, Japanese, Mexican, Spaniard, Sudanese, Iraqi, Native American and the melting pot of generations of natural born U.S. citizens. This is why this is such a critical issue -- we have schools spending twice as much money to hire bi-lingual teachers and offering classes in English and Spanish. How long until the Koreans or Chinese in this country begin demanding the national anthem in their language. What about the classroom now spending 3 times as much to offer classes in English, Spanish and Arabic.

Let's go back to a unified country. We are the United States of America. We should Unite and accept people from all lands into our great society -- but we must unify on our ability to communicate effectively with one another.

May 05, 2006 3:06 am  
Blogger Frontline Joe said...

In most other countries, singing their anthem in any other language is illegal. So is manhandling their country's flags. These are offenses right up there with sacrilege, usually, with severe penalties. Go to Mexico and sing their anthem in English. Wrap yourself in their flag. Tell them you are there illegally, but you don't really care what laws you have broken. Also, tell them you demand to vote. If and when you get back, let me know how it went.

Frontline Joe

May 05, 2006 3:44 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

Joe I live in the UK and I used to love singing the old sex pistol version of god save the queen (the fascist regime)

Nobody batted an eye lid . Like the article states in most (democratic) countries it would be seen as a compliment to have our national anthems sang in another language . 40 million spanish speakers in the US and most of them are legal.

Patriotismm is not defined by how many flags you keep or how you sing the national anthem . Its about unity , a collective sense of identity

and no amout of 'USA USA USA' shouted at football games make you more patriotic. A flag is a peace of cloth that was probably made in china anyway and the world (that I have seen) finds ammusement in how you all hold such a piece of cloth in such high regard. If someone started burning british flags we would simply laugh at them for wasting 2 dollars (£'s over here)it hase not impact on patriotism .


I love my country (I am sure you love yours) but my loyalty to my fellow brits runs much deeper than what language they speak or how they sing the anthem Its about a shared loyalty to all that is green and beautifull about our land or about our history or culture .

your national anthem is based upon "To Anachreon in Heaven," a song that was written by an Englishman in honor to a greek , so maybe you should all learn greek if you want to sing it right

Be proud of your unity and be proud that its the American national anthem they wish to sing.

Your a land of imigrants and if thats how they wish to express their loyalty to the United States then let them . Its is their country too and language has no part of the basis of your constition.

May 05, 2006 4:23 am  
Blogger LaineyWorld said...

Well, bless my bleeding liberal heart. GREAT post and some good comments without all the conservative, "you people are un-patriotic" bashing. If we, as Americans, stopped to think more instead of spouting off knee-jerk emotional responses, we might all be a little more tolerant of each other and the inherent change as our nation continues to grow and develop. Ah, well, a girl can dream.

May 05, 2006 5:57 am  
Blogger Luv Bunny said...

I come from South Africa, and we have ELEVEN OFFICIAL languages, countless non-offical dialects, our national anthem comes in 11 versions plus one version that incorporates all of the langauges, while america likes to portray itself as land of the free i tend to lean more towards land of the overly conservative and close minded.

May 05, 2006 7:45 am  
Anonymous Kofi Annan said...

I don't think a protest that contains the message "We don't need to comply with American law" is going to get these people anywhere but back in Mexico.

I’m traditionally a strong liberal, but I think this anthem in Spanish and out of control illegal immigration is a serious problem that needs to be addressed quickly.

Luv Bunny ... South Africa is not exactly the poster child for acceptance of diversity.

May 05, 2006 7:48 am  
Blogger G_in_AL said...

"Canada's anthem has two official versions, French and English,"

Um, Canada was still French for quite awhile, they adopted English in PARTS later, so as they have two official languages... it would make sense that they have two version of their anthem.

But note, the hispanics singing the anthem, as-is, in Spanish is not the uproar (nice try to pain the picture otherwise though), the "Much-ado" is that the ENGLISH producer who helped put the song together changed some of the words around.

Now, you may think that Canadians would be "tickled" to have their anthem sung in Manderin (I think you're mistaken), but I can pretty much state without doubt that they wouldnt appreciate parts of the song being changed, reguardless of language.

It's not XENOPHOBIA, it's national pride. Would you care if some of your new African Immigrents to the UK changed the Union Jack around a bit to reflect their "heritage"? thought not.

May 05, 2006 2:12 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

Personally I wouldnt care if replaced the Union Jack with a skull and crossbones

The flag is a simble of my country but it is not what makes me patriotic .

Changing the words of the national anthem is nothing new . I am sure you remember the sex pistols with their version of god save the queen


god save the queen
the facist regime
they made you a moron
potential h-bomb
god save the queen
she aint no human being
there is no future
in englands dreaming
don't be told what you want
don't be told what you need
there's no future no future
no future for you
god save the queen
we mean it man
we love our queen
god saves
god save the queen
'cos tourists are money
our figure head
is not what she seems
oh god save history
god save your mad parade
oh lord god have mercy
all crimes are paid
when there's no future
how can there be sin
we're the flowers in the dustbin
we're the poison in your human machine
we're the future you're future
god save the queen
we mean it man
we love our queen
god saves
god save the queen
we mean it man
and there is no future
in englands dreaming
no future no future
no future for you
no future no future
no future no future for me
no future no future
no future for you
no future no future for you

Guess what . It went straight to number one in the charts and if you hear the song today it has simply become another simble of England.

It is called freedom of expression G and it is one of the things that makes me feel patriotic about my country

Not some silly anthem or silly piece of cloth. but the people and the diversity.

You have to remember we already have loads of flags so which one matters . St George cross , the Welsh dragon , The Scotish Flag ...

In fact the Union Jack is all those flags blended together to represent the union of all the cultures of my country

It would not surprise me to see it change again within a few decades to represent the new cultures we have blended with. and I for one wouldnt mind one bit.

40 million speak spanish in your country G so why shouldnt they be allowed to sing the anthem any way they like. It does not make them any less american than you.

Europe knows this already , we hav had the saxans the romans the celts the vikings etc ... so we constantly evolve.

It is xenophobia G when your frightened of change. Embrace the future . English once was latin and who knows what it will be in two hundred years.

speaking as an Englishman I can see that there are many reasons to be a proud American and a Patriotic American . But to put that patriotism into a flag or an anthem is very weak. Be proud of your diversity.

I am quite sure those that sing your Anthem in a different language would be willing to lay down their lives as quickly as any american in defence of what they hold dear.

May 05, 2006 2:38 pm  
Blogger Hype said...

even worse our government would rather debate and create bills to make burning our flag illegal than fix our real issues like healthcare, gas prices etc.

xenophobia is spot on. broken borders is bullshit. we need the workers. their xenophobia is a broken record and most of those playing that record are white racists.

-Hype

May 05, 2006 2:46 pm  
Blogger Hype said...

broken borders is a wedge issue. divide and conquer. well it won't work. maybe in a few circles here in there but overall the Democratic party is taking back the House. and after that we will be impeaching the President and possibly VP. They did it to Clinton and he only had his knob polished. Bush has broken over 750 laws and lied about, well everything. He has also used xenophobia, racism, fear and many other negative things to keep Americans on message.

-Hype

May 05, 2006 2:48 pm  
Blogger Da Katz & Reni said...

Spanish is an easier language... but Spanglish doesn't have any standardz yet.

English will probably still remain the language of trade, commcerce and the final frontier.

I mean, even all the cultures that they visit on Star Gate: SG1 speak English, except for the guyz who drank huge tequilas and found this big worm in their stomach.

-^..^
if you like funni... come see my bloggiez.

May 05, 2006 3:21 pm  
Blogger Rola said...

Well, I had the oportunity to live in the States for two years. I think singing a National anthem in a different language than teh language it was written is not that proper. I agree with Frontline Joe, mocking a national symbol is a felony. But that is not the problem here. I was among american people and most of them really didn't care, not even to know, what was happening outside their country, without an identity, and a decaying mentality driven by fear, they thought they were the new Roman Empire, people who trusted in their army and not in their law. And I'm sorry to say this, but that's what I lived.

I met a lot of good people, people who cared about me and would help me and speak to me as they spoke to their friends and I love them and miss them, people who taught me and were willing to learn from me.

We should all remember that we are a big family, one big and overgrown species. That we can solve all the problems together. All religions teach of this, of love. All languages have this word, love. I trust in the american people, you are too smart to have such a lame abnd facist goverment. Please keep up the good work. Adios.

Rola, from Monterrey, MX.

May 05, 2006 3:40 pm  
Blogger D said...

I wrote about this issue on my blog in a post entitled "Oh See Can You Say".

I think the Spanish rendering of the Star Spangled Banner falls under freedom of expression, plain and simple. And it's just a song after all.

However, there are going to be political backlashes to that, particularly now in the U.S. I don't think the producers took the heavily conservative population into account when they decided to record this version, so now the neo-cons have a new rallying point, and a patriotic one at that. Not exactly the best thing for the pro-immigration movement right now.

As far as English is concerned - look, it may not be perfect, and it's not in the Constitution, but it is the official language of this country. We are supposed to be a melting pot and a nation of immigrants, but we've got to be able to communicate with each other. I would make an effort to learn the language of any other country I choose to live in, and I expect the same from anyone coming to the U.S.

By not learning English, or even trying to learn English, immigrants are putting themselves at a great disadvantage in this country, and I thought the main reason for coming here was to be able to take advantage of the so-called American dream.

May 05, 2006 3:56 pm  
Blogger Hype said...

"As far as English is concerned - look, it may not be perfect, and it's not in the Constitution, but it is the official language of this country."

not true. no where in our federal law do you find this. therefore it is not the offical language. English is the unofficial language of the United States. Only some small towns and freeperville type places have made English the official language.

Communication is in every form the voters want it to be. We have spanish forms along with just about every other language out there. And that is how it should be. I took Spanish and Japanese in High School. It really isn't that hard and in fact very rewarding.

-Hype

May 05, 2006 4:21 pm  
Blogger Hype said...

freedom of speech includes other languages besides english... this is USA not Englishland. why you refuse to learn other cultures and languages is your problem.

-Hype

May 05, 2006 4:24 pm  
Anonymous Dave (UK) said...

mocking a national symbol is a felony"

Hahaha , you serious ? thats more over the top than some new independent African country would be. sheez fascism is alive and well it seems. I am proud to say that I can burn as many flags as I want (as long as I dont set fire to anything important like a house) and I can sing my national anthem in any language with any words I want.I can call my leader a terrorist or a fascist and read any god damn book i want. Shit and they call it the land of the free !!!!!!!

Even countries that have waited centuries for independence don't brain wash their children into learning a 'pledge' each morning. How sad to feel that your countries identity needs to be protected by bits of cloth and silly songs. I am sure to some Americans it seems important but from the outside looking in it just seems childish and well simply pathetic.

I do agree that learning the Language of the country you live in is important. but that doesnt mean you can't speak your original language as well.

It seems the author was write. xenophobia is alive and well in the USA.

May 05, 2006 4:25 pm  
Blogger D said...

Hype:

I think you've misread my intentions, or perhaps I've communicated them poorly. I'm not some neo-con wing nut, and I did not indicate in any way, shape or form that an immigrant should forget his or her native language (this is indicated in my own blog entry).

Being able to communicate in words - whether spoken or written - is vastly aided by a common language. I don't believe I said "Englishland", nor do I advocate it. Whether techically official or unofficial, this country on the whole uses the English language, particularly for government communication.

As for the following: "...why you refuse to learn other cultures and languages is your problem."

Rude and completely inaccurate, if indeed it was addressing my comments.

May 05, 2006 4:51 pm  
Anonymous Tex Tyler said...

It would not be a problem for me if we were talking about singing "The Star Spangled Banner" in Spanish. What we are talking about is a completely different song. Trying to pass it off as "the spanish version of our national anthem" is offensive. Where does the Star Spangled Banner talk about breaking free of "chains" like Nuestro Himno? Ridiculous and offensive.

May 05, 2006 5:18 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

Funny stuff! Great comedy! :

" In most other countries, singing their anthem in any other language is illegal."

"mocking a national symbol is a felony."

May 05, 2006 5:34 pm  
Blogger Leisus said...

A good read

May 05, 2006 5:57 pm  
Blogger Hype said...

D, my comments might apply more to the general sense i get about english only types i encounter and not a reflection of you personally.

"Even countries that have waited centuries for independence don't brain wash their children into learning a 'pledge' each morning."

OMG, i have been saying this for years. Are we sooo insecure about our superiority and allegiance that we have to affirm them daily with national pledges.

-Hype

May 05, 2006 6:18 pm  
Anonymous Burrelio said...

So... then we must believe you are true patriotics when you use your own flag as underwear?

Please dear beloved "americans", don't be hypocrites.

May 05, 2006 6:19 pm  
Blogger Hype said...

tex, they are doing both.. have been doing both for sometime now.. it is called being creative. it is positive not negative.

-Hype

May 05, 2006 6:21 pm  
Blogger Hype said...

burrelio, you have a good eye. American flag boxers are very popular. I have a pair myself. the flag is a symbol to me but not an idol to be worshipped. The flag is not above freedom of speech or expression.

-Hype

May 05, 2006 6:25 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

"Um, Canada was still French for quite awhile, they adopted English in PARTS later, so as they have two official languages..."

What the? Um, no. The national anthem was written in 1908. The bilingual anthem is the legacy of British policy in British North America and the British North America Act.

May 05, 2006 6:26 pm  
Blogger Keenan said...

I was just wondering whether or not you actually live in America. If you did you would never call it a fascist state. You have no idea what it's like to live under fascism and thankfully neither do I. Should we just change the entire structure of our society to fit the needs of people who don't want to learn English? I don't care if someone doesn't speak english and doesn't want to learn, but when that person tries to impose this way of thinking on a nation, I take notice. You should consult a dictionary, a country having an official language and xenophobia are not the same at all.

May 05, 2006 6:46 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

Keenan

I am quite sure that everyone here knows what Fascism is please do not patronise people. The word xenophobia was formed from the Greek elements xenos "guest, stranger, foreigner" + phobos "fear."

Fascism is the extreme right wing of the political spectrum and the Neo conservatives in the United states are certainly extreme right wing and there is no doubt that many of the polices of the current government including such stupidities as the patriot act are similar in nature to the policies employed by extreme right (fascist) governments.

Nobody has stated that having an official language and xenophobia are the same thing(only yourself) In fact Hype has stated clearly that the United States does not have any 'offical' language so feel free to criticize what isn't there if it pleases you

The Spanish speaking americans are not 'imposing' anything on you .In fact it is you who is imposssing something upon them !

they are not asking you to sing in Spanish , It is their choice . As stated earlier I don't doubt that many who would sing your anthem in Spanish would be willing to lay down their lives in defence of your country and many I am sure have done so. At times of great crisis such as world war two your country has been grateful to those who don't speak English but have offered their lives to protect what you hold dear today . Such people as the Navajo who worked so hard in the war in the pacific preventing the Japanese from intercepting your communications. It didn't matter then that they didn't speak English. your ancestors were more than happy to call them Americans when it mattered to them.

Are you telling me that 40 million Spanish speaking Americans are less American than you are ?

If you are then xenophobia would certainly be an appropriate word to use In fact we could probably expand the concept to cover the extreme islamophobia that has taken hold in the United States in recent years.

As for whom is american and who is not , well you have about a 50/50 split in this thread.

May 05, 2006 8:09 pm  
Blogger G_in_AL said...

H, again, you took what I said and tried to apply it to fact that someone sang it in Spanish... wrong. I was saying that they CHANGED THE WORDS. Now, "silly pieces of cloth" and songs have long been things to be revered and honored... men have bled and died over them both, so trivializing it is rather disrespectful.

I could care less if they sing the anthem in Spanish, but dont change the words around, and then try to pass it off as the United States Anthem. If you are singing a version you made on your own, call it that, and have at it. But they are trying to replace the current anthem in their native tongue. Now, as far as the language goes... that is another story completely.

Just because there are a lot of Spanish speakers here does not mean we should start chaning anything in official capacities to facilitate that. Our anthem, schools, laws, publications... should not be converted on the premise of "there are a lot of them here now". When America was nothing but a nation of imigrants, those imigrants were expected to speak, learn, or get an interpreter for English. That hasnt changed, and nor should it. The United States was founded by French, English, and Spanish (and of course other lesser European nations) colonists, but after several wars, the English were left in control of the areas that then became the Union. Thus, English became the official language.

Now speaking Spanish is never going to be illegal or anything crazy like that, but my government and it's official trapping should not now be altered to meet the desires of a minority, however large, because they choose not adopt the norms and customs of a nation they are choosing to integrate into.

Xenaphobia would mean that we dont want them to come here, or that we want to shut all outsiders and forigners out... that is not the case. We are talking about not changing AMERICAN standards and traditions to suit the current needs of a popluation that is flooding in largely illegally.

I understand that I cant ask you the question "would you care if..." because you represent the sickly level of "toleration" that has made just about anything and anyone acceptable. But you've got to accept that most of the world is not ready to throw down all of their values or make their belief structure fluid so as to accomidate the ever changing wants and desires of people that would otherwise cause a fuss. (yes, I just called you an apeaser) :D

May 05, 2006 8:55 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

G nobody has ever died over a silly bit of cloth , if it ment that much to them they would go to walmart and spend 2 dollars on another one.

The cloth is just a bit of cloth , nothing else. it is you that have decided in your mind that the cloth or the song or the pledge has some deep meaning , it doesnt.

Xenophobia would mean that your happy for them to come over just as long as they become just like you , which is simply what your saying.

English is NOT your official language G . If it is please show me where that is documented ?

The difference between me and you G is I dont need songs and flags to make me feel proud , I already am proud and no flag burning or song singing is going to make me insecure

as for being an apeaser I think you will find it was those of us that stood for freedom that defeated hitler not those who were for over the top restrictions of such freedom .

No amount of word play puts you on the side of free choice and democracy here G . In fact it would be yourself who is the apeaser :-)

May 05, 2006 9:22 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

Ps as for changing the words check the facts again

An entertaining historical note here is that Francis Scott Key did not write the important part of "The Star Spangled Banner," its music. Key wrote a breast-swelling amateurish poem whose words were fitted to an existing song. The existing song, as few Americans know, was an English song, "To Anachreon in Heaven," a reference to a Greek poet whose works concern amour and wine.

It is you americans that have changed the words , the song is not YOURS it was written about a greek guy so maybe you should go out and learn the proper words to it :-P

May 05, 2006 9:26 pm  
Blogger Hype said...

very true words H.

history lessons aside, english is not the official language of the U.S.A. It is the UNOFFICIAL language of the U.S.A.

"Our anthem, schools, laws, publications... should not be converted on the premise of "there are a lot of them here now"."

If the majority of the public in that community speak a different language, you have no right to assert control from afar and force them to use English. For examples go to most border towns in Texas.

"When America was nothing but a nation of imigrants, those imigrants were expected to speak, learn, or get an interpreter for English."

No they weren't. If you could work you could work. Immigrants who wanted to learn english and do better did. Those who didn't want to learn or didn't have an oppurtunity to learn, stayed with the immigrant community.

-Hype

May 05, 2006 9:34 pm  
Anonymous dave (UK) said...

"No one – and I repeat, no one – has ever died for a flag. See, a flag ... is just a piece of cloth. They may have died for freedom, which is also the freedom to burn the fuckin' flag, see. That's freedom."

Bill Hicks

RIP

May 05, 2006 10:20 pm  
Anonymous Burrelio said...

if nobody cares about a flag... why then do you care about a National Anthem? That ain't something to worship either.

May 05, 2006 11:15 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

Burellio

I totally agree . I am not a religious man but I do not remember any request to 'worship' a national anthem or nation state in the Bible or Quran etc

in fact I think such things would be classified as the worship of false gods (and idols)

You see being proud of your history or culture is a wonderful thing but when it becomes a feverish worship of flags , songs and pledges to the point that you become filled with rage and anger when people question your false gods then we have degenerated back to neanderthal thinking.

I say be proud of your country and its people that is real and tangible and applies to all nations on earth from the Indian gentleman that started this thread to the American who is proud of his countries achievements

Sing if you want to sing , burn or fly your flags with vigour but do not worship them for such worship creates a society that believes its flags and symbols stand equal with that of a god . Save your worship for your god (if you have one)

Ironically those that worship the flag with the most passion also seem to be those who look down upon other nations as lessors and do not 'seem' to value the lives and cultures of others in equality to their own.

A perfect example that comes to mind is George Bush when he said "we are fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them at home" clearly defining his view that the life of an Iraqi child has less worth in his mind that that of an American.

May 05, 2006 11:51 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

On the asinine "felony" argument here's First Lady Laura Bush:

"I don't think there's anything wrong with singing it in Spanish."

May 06, 2006 12:08 am  
Blogger A Great American said...

A few people hate other people along with their beliefs. but others die protecting the beliefs of people they've never met. our soldiers now and back in 1812 when our sweet-ass drinking song with new lyrics was first written died protecting their country and its people. The mexicans think that they have the right to sing that song then fine let them. But it is still the AMERICAN national anthem not the mexican one. sing it in spanish then fine but everyone needs to remember AMERICA is the place they're in and our national anthem,flag,the people need to respect the fact that maybe someone has died for the country,flag,anthem and so on.


good writing too your real good at this.

May 06, 2006 1:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

May 06, 2006 2:02 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

Anonymous

Thank you for another one of your comments However you may have missed the fact that we do have a Posting Policy on this site which attempts to keep each post on topic and your previous seems to fail to do that.

If you wish to question the motives of this site (again) then please feel free to email the site and I will be happy to converse with you in a one on one debate where a much greater understanding of my views (and yours ) can be achieved.

You have already made one comment that had no bearing to the topic in question and does not follow the flow of the debate . So to continue this thread as others have done in this case (2nd time) I have removed your comment.

If you wish to make any comment that is on topic and complies with our posting policy then you are most welcome . If you wish to debate with me about the motives behind this site then please contact me direct and I will be happy to oblige

Anything to say on the flag , constitution , anthem , immigrants etc ? as long as it stays with our posting policy you are most welcome to put such ideas to to the thread and I look forward to reading them.

Respectfully

H

May 06, 2006 2:22 am  
Blogger Poffrono said...

It is not the land that makes this country great - it's our culture. True this country was built by immigrants but that was a hundred years ago. Today the vast majority of Americans were born in this country as well as their parents and grandparents. This country hasn't been a nation of immigrants for many generations now. In the early days immigrants assimilated into the fledgling culture out of necessity. The people who came here during the 17th, 18th and 19th century spent months at sea with no guarantee of survival. The new world they sought did not offer public assistance. There were not better schools; there was not free medical care. Back then, America was not strong. Before and during the war of 1812 America was under constant threat of attack. Today's immigrants have it easier than the ones that built this country. Consequently millions of them are not driven to assimilate. As citizens of a sovereign nation we have the right to know what immigrants' intentions are. We need to know if they love America. We need to be assured that they can support themselves and their families without public funds. We citizens and patriots do have the right to make some reasonable demands of jonnie come lately.
Mass immigration without mass assimilation is a recipe for disaster. It's our culture that makes this country great so let’s get busy protecting it.
>The Star Spangled Banner was written by a witness to a battle during the war of 1812. The song depicts the patriots' valiant struggle against the superpower of their age. The Spanish version of the song does not even try to capture the sentiment that inspired the song. An actual translation would be a different story. The Spanish version of the anthem exhibits a different sentimentality altogether; one of entitlement and race baiting - it was a disgrace.

May 06, 2006 1:48 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

"The Star Spangled Banner," was an English song, "To Anachreon in Heaven," a reference to a Greek poet whose works concern amour and wine.

You have already stolen the song and if you want to be true to the orginal then you better brush up on your greek history

As citizens of a soveriegn nation they have a right to know what 'YOUR' intentions are and they as citizens have the right to make resonable demands of you too

40 million spanish speaking americans did not just appear over night . Many have been in the US for centuries and they have every right to sing what they want , how they want , when they want (as do you)

Freedom means freedom to love the flag or to burn it

or do you only believe in freedom if people comply with exactly what you tell them.

your not China or the Old soviet Union . denying freedom to sing a different version of a song that was never American to start with sounds like communism to me

May 06, 2006 2:04 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

And please can we get the history lesson sorted once and for all

To Anacreon in Heaven" was the official song of the Anacreontic Society, a club of amateur musicians in London who gathered regularly to perform concerts. These barristers, doctors, and other professional men named their club after the Greek court poet Anacreon (6th century BC), whose poems, "anacreontics", were used to entertain patrons in Teos and Athens. His songs often celebrated women, wine, and entertaining, and today can be considered eroticism.

The connection with Anacreon, along with the "drinking" nature of the lyrics, have caused many people to label "To Anacreon in Heaven" as a drinking song. In all probability some drinking did occur at Society meetings, but the primary purpose of the Society (and its song) was to promote an interest in music. This, however, did not keep the song from being associated with alcohol, as it was commonly used as a sobriety test: If you could sing a stanza of the notoriously difficult melody and stay on key, you were sober enough for another round.

The tune was probably composed (there is only one known firsthand account, by Society member John Samuel Stevens) by a member of the Society, John Stafford Smith, to lyrics by the Society's president, Ralph Tomlinson. Smith wrote the tune in the mid-1760s, while still a teenager. It was first published by Longman & Broderip in London in 1778/1779.

The song, through its bawdy and imbibing lyrics, gained popularity in London and elsewhere beyond the Anacreontic Society, and new lyrics were also fashioned for it, including, in the United States, under such patriotic titles as "Adams and Liberty" and "Jefferson and Liberty."

The melody, if not the original lyrics, became well-known after Francis Scott Key, an attorney, wrote In Defense of Fort McHenry while detained on a British ship during the night of September 13, 1814 as the British forces bombarded the American fort. Key most likely wrote the poem with Stafford's tune in mind. He had written an earlier poem to the same meter scheme. Later retitled The Star-Spangled Banner, Key's words with Stafford's music became a well-known and recognized patriotic song throughout the United States and was officially designated as the U.S. national anthem in 1931.

May 06, 2006 2:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Star Spangled Banner was written by a witness to a battle during the war of 1812. The song depicts the patriots' valiant struggle against the superpower of their age"


Sheeez how many fellow Americans do not know their own history. Is that what they teach people at school ? complete fiction, as stated Francis Scott Key re worked the song from the english original

May 06, 2006 2:32 pm  
Blogger Poffrono said...

I was referring to the lyrics of the American version written in 1812. I confess I was not aware that it was ripped off. I agree that people should speak and sing in Spanish.
Mi gustaria aprendar hablo Espanol major. Necesito practica, practica!

Serious props are deserving for this site! Riveting and informative.

May 06, 2006 3:53 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

Hehehe

Thank you Poffrono

May 06, 2006 4:09 pm  

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