Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day

Today is International Workers' Day. How fitting then for the Immigration March and Boycott planned in this land of immigrants for a day that commerates working people around the world, save here in the USA.
What seems to be at issue here is that those who have power, money, property want to protect and keep that power, money, property without reflection on how they achieved it, nor helping others achieve.
The recent statement concerning the "Star Spangled Banner," the National Anthem, from the President illustrates this by saying that the song should be sung in English and learned by all new citizens. A few points of reflection:
1. Most people do not know more than the first verse. (To read all the verses see: star-spangled-banner.shtml )
2. Most people can not sing this even though it was set to a popular British (!) drinking song's tune.
3. It did not become our "National Anthem" until 1931. Since then, almost annually there are bills proposed to change the anthem to one of the following songs: "My County Tis of Thee," "America, the Beautiful" or "God Bless America."
4. There is no national language, by common practice we speak English, but in actuality Americans speak a polyglot of languages (including Pres. Bush's family).
5. The translation of the "Star Spangled Banner" into Spanish should be considered a compliment--other Americans want to share the song.
6. The version, sung by popular American latino/as stars will be heard and listened to (not always the same thing), if not sung by not only our Spanish speaking neighbors, but by most young people under the age of 24--the people who have the lowest political efficacy and political participation. So if it reaches them! To hear this go to :
7. The lyrics, translated back into English (thank you M.R.), are not the warlike, violent images of the English poem by Francis Scott Keye but about stars, and hope and defending liberty.

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