This 11-year-old can wail.
Sebastien De La Cruz, of “America’s Got Talent” fame, opened up game three of the NBA Finals Tuesday night with a stellar performance of the National Anthem.
As the Daily Dot put it:
The kid was fantastic. A few minutes before tipoff, he walked out onto the court in full mariachi get-up and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” with so much strength that you could fully believe in the American dream. The kid was dynamic. He was theatrical as it gets. He hit all the high notes. He stayed long on the low notes.
Unfortunately, the moment was accompanied by an outpouring of ignorance on social media that reminded us once again how many people think that just because someone has brown skin and a Spanish name, they don’t count as American.
This isn’t really surprising. Every time we publish an article about the Mexican American Studies ban in Tucson, we get a slew of comments from people who think Mexican American history is foreign. In fact, the term refers to the history of Americans of Mexican descent -- Americans like San Antonio native De La Cruz.
Some of the Twitter comments about De La Cruz -- compiled by Tumblr Public Shaming -- are straight up racist.
Fortunately, not everyone on Twitter is a hater. A bunch of people tweeted out messages of encouragement for De La Cruz and pushed back against the venom.
UPDATE: De La Cruz answered his critics in a televised appearance Wednesday, saying:
They don’t know my life. My father was actually in the Navy for a really long time… People don’t know, they just assume that I’m just Mexican. But I’m not from Mexico, I’m from San Antonio born and raised, a true San Antonio Spurs fan.
This post was updated at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12, 2013.
Check out De La Cruz’s performance in the video below.