Sunday, July 17, 2005

History Lesson

Recently, Myrtle Beach's minor league baseball team had a promotion called "Fiesta de Beisbol:" For one night, the game was announced in Spanish.

When I first read about it, I knew discontent would follow. And it did. At least one local resident felt "disrespected" by the promo.

But he [MB resident Tom Sprinkle] won't renew his season ticket after feeling disrespected during the game July 9. He's upset that "Fiesta de Beisbol" - which featured Latin American culture, music and food and during which the game was announced in Spanish - came only six days after Independence Day, a holiday made possible because of the heroics of displaced immigrants 229 years ago.

Naturally, "Fiesta de Beisbol" invoked ugly memories of 9/11 for some residents, who recall how 19 men of Hispanic descent hijacked planes and crashed them into American targets:

They [Grand Strand residents] remember that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were orchestrated by men from foreign shores.

Mr. Sprinkle, explaining his discontent, explained why "Fiesta de Beisbol" offended him so:

The 61-year-old [Sprinkle], denied entry into the military because of a heart murmur, said his father served in World War II and his brother served in the U.S. Navy.

"They fought so that English would be spoken in this country," he said.

He said he simply wants to preserve the "official American language," though he didn't mention that Mexicans - U.S. citizen or not - are American.

"Do you know who just got that home run?" he asked during the game, not noticing that names are the same in Spanish and English, only the sound of the announcer's voice different.

(emphasis mine)


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