LatinaLista — The national outcry over the attacks lobbed at 12-year-old Mexican-American Sebastien De La Cruz and Puerto Rican singer Marc Anthony for singing the national anthem and God Bless America earlier this year at sold-out televised sporting events isn’t going away anytime soon.
Political pundits continue to challenge the ignorance of the critics, and disgust and frustration over both incidents can still be found among the tweets and Facebook postings of Latinos throughout the social media sphere.
Yet, one Latino couple wanted to express their frustration with the blatant Twitter attacks by turning both negative situations into something that ‘sings’ with positivity.
Miami residents Carla Curiel and her husband Roberto Castro, parents of twin girls, have always sought to make sure their young children were proud of their Latino culture. In April, they launched Lanugo, a Latino-oriented apparel line for kids that raises awareness, among the future generation of Latinos, of their cultural roots.
Yet, after the backlash against Marc Anthony, the couple realized that it was crucial to not only continue to instill cultural pride in young Latinos but make those critics aware of who are Latinos in this country.
“We need to show (people) we are here and we can make a difference,” Curiel explained via phone to Latina Lista. “But we can’t make a difference if our children aren’t confident in who they are. We don’t want our children to think they aren’t American enough.”
Realizing that singing the national anthem epitomizes being an American citizen, Curiel and her husband came up with an idea — send out a national call to Latinos to send in videotapes of them and their families singing the Star Spangled Banner. Once the videos are received, they will be edited into one film showcasing Latinos from across the country singing the national anthem.
Dubbing the initiative, “Soy Americano y Latino de Corazon,” the couple created a Facebook group, Latino Americans — Cantemos Juntos, where they post updates on what they hope will be a movement that inspires more Latinos to speak out, or sing out.
Currently negotiating with a venue to get permission to assemble Miami-area Latinos for a mass singing and video shoot in the coming week, Curiel is on a mission to fill a gap she sees within the Latino community.
“After those things happened, I just felt nobody was standing up for the Latino community. We want to honor the anthem, honor our country and at the same time show that we can still be bilingual and bicultural,” Curiel said.
While there’s no set deadline for the videos, Curiel asks that submissions be made as soon as possible so that the final video can be edited and shown while the issue is still timely.
To contribute a video, Curiel and her husband have established guidelines:
1) Record your children, your entire family or your group of friends, signing together the anthem Star Spangled Banner.
2) Record the video on High-Definition device such as an iphone5, Samsung Galaxy S4, or a FlipCam.
3) Send the video via Wetransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
4) Include the city where you are sending it from and your Blogger name, so that we can include that you support this movement.
Marisa Treviño, a 17-year career award-winning journalist, is the President of Treviño TodaMedia and founder and publisher of the nationally recognized English-language Latino news site LatinaLista.com