The AT&T Center burst into applause Tuesday night as young Sebastien de la Cruz rang out the final notes of the Star-Spangled Banner, and for one fleeting second, one all-too-short instant, we appeared to be witnessing a moment that was purely good — something even the heinous underbelly of America was incapable of ruining.
Then Twitter happened.
De la Cruz nailed his rendition of the national anthem and earned the plaudits of 19,000 fans inside the arena. But a number of
people trolls enjoying the game at home under their bridge didn't respond in turn.
Apparently offended by both his mariachi outfit and the smooth Latin ring of his surname, they took to Twitter to voice their protestations and reveal their disgusting character.
Here's what you should know.
1. De la Cruz is an American Citizen
Much to the surprise of his naysayers, the young singer is, always has been, and always (probably) will be a citizen of the United States. As De la Cruz was introduced to the audience, the PA announcer even made a point to note that he was a San Antonio native.
So sorry, Tia Jordan — or should I call you by your Catholic name, @Queen2DaThrone — but the kid who sang our national anthem did not, in fact, do so as an illegal.
Note: Mrs. Jordan has since disabled her Twitter account, ostensibly because of her public shaming.
2. His Dad Served in the U.S. Navy
According to MSN.com, De la Cruz is more than just the son of an American citizen. He's the son of an American veteran.
Sebastien's father performed a long tour of duty with the United States Navy, protecting the country he calls home and place where he chose to raise his child.
By contrast, while Mr. De la Cruz was out serving his nation, Mrs. Grace Kelly (keep dreaming) was out making sure her summaahh got started with a twerkkk:
Summaahh starts off with a twerkkk twitter.com/ADobTrack/stat…
— Grace Kelly.❤☀ (@ADobTrack) June 6, 2013
3. De la Cruz Responded to the Racism With Class
De la Cruz doesn't just have talent beyond his years, he has poise beyond them too.
He responded to the backlash with poise and aplomb, not just in the video above, but also on his Twitter account:
Please do not pay attention to the negative people. I am an American living the American Dream. This is part of the American life.
— Sebastien De La Cruz (@selcharrodeoro) June 12, 2013
It's hard to find better words than Sebastien did himself, so from here, once again, I'll defer to him:
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.
4. De la Cruz Was a Last-Minute Replacement...For Hootie!
De la Cruz wasn't even scheduled to sing the anthem last night, stepping in as a last-minute replacement for country artist Darius Rucker — better known as "Hootie" from Hootie & the Blowfish.
Rucker was held up by travel issues and unable to reach the stadium in time for his performance. But De la Cruz was ready for his closeup, performing one of the best renditions of the anthem in recent memory.
5. He is a Former Contestant on America's Got Talent
That's America's Got Talent, as in the country where Sebastien has lived his entire life.
Appearing in Season 7 (2012), Sebastien was originally eliminated in Week 4, but called back as a wild-card by Howie Mandel a month later. In that pressure-filled show he performed a mariachi version of Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" (an homage to America's biggest city) and was one of three contestants to advance.
He was eliminated for good in the semifinals, felled by a dance troupe called "The Untouchables" and a dog-trick act called Olate Dogs. Still, at the tender age of 10, Sebastien "El Charro de Oro" was (and remains) well on his way to American stardom.