A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Once Again: Be Quiet, Laura

Back in October, Laura Bush was helping the President select the awesomely unqualified Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. (More here.)

I stand by what I said:
I prefer Laura Bush when she sticks to picking a theme for the White House during the Christmas season.
This newest departure from the First Lady role isn't making me like her again.

AP: Anthem in Spanish Doesn't Faze First Lady---

"I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English," [President Bush] said. "And I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English, and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English."

Asked her opinion on Wednesday in an interview with CNN's John King, Mrs. Bush said, "I don't think there's anything wrong with singing it in Spanish."

She noted that "we are a nation of many, many languages" and that the country has already heard many versions of the anthem "like at the Super Bowl."

"What people want is it to be sung in a way that respects the United States and our culture," she said.
Why not just rip up the Constitution and re-write that in Spanish too? In fact, why not demand that we all learn Spanish and forget English? Or why don't we all just learn a bunch of different languages and forget English? Obviously English isn't important. It is only the language that our Founding Fathers spoke and wrote. It is only the language of some of the greatest documents in the history of the world: the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution of the United States of America. Need I go on?

There is everything wrong with singing the Star Spangled Banner in Spanish---or any other language besides English, for that matter. We are a nation of English speakers. Our history is English, our traditions are English, and, God please, our future is English. I wouldn't go to France and expect La Marseilles be sung in English. I wouldn't go to Germany, Japan, Sweden, Egypt, or Chile and expect their national anthems be sung in English. We don't live in Mexico or Spain or Colombia or Peru or Guatemala. We live in the United States of America. If you don't want to sing it in English, then go back to your home countries and sing it there in whatever the heck language you like.

As for different versions of the National Anthem, I generally do not like singers messing up our beautiful song. It takes a very rare and talented singer to properly do a different version of the Star Spangled Banner, without making it a complete mess. I've not heard very many. The difference between these versions and singing it in Spanish is that these versions are done in ENGLISH. As much as I don't like some of them, they are in ENGLISH. We speak ENGLISH. Enough said. Slightly changing the tempo or the music is a lot different than changing the LANGUAGE and, actually, the words. Perhaps someone ought to send Mrs. Bush the lyrics to the new Spanish version. She can find them here. How nice.

Respecting the United States and our culture requires respecting our laws, respecting our language---ENGLISH, and becoming AMERICANS, not hyphenated people. Singing our National Anthem respectfully requires singing it in English, as Francis Scott Key wrote it. You can hear it here.

But when it was pointed out that this position differed from her husband's, Mrs. Bush had a different answer.

"Well, I think it should be sung in English, of course," she said.

She compared it to hymnals including translations into other languages.

"I love it when I look at the bottom of `Amazing Grace' and there are the words in the Methodist hymnal in Swahili," Mrs. Bush said.
Hmmmmmm, except NOT. Last I checked, "Amazing Grace" was not the national anthem of any country. A country's anthem is tied to its identity. I don't care if "Amazing Grace" is translated into Martian and Klingon. The Star Spangled Banner ought only to be sung in English in the United States. It is one thing for the words to be properly translated so that people around the world who do not speak English, but are curious about the lyrics, can understand it. It is entirely another to create new lyrics and translate it into Spanish to be sung here by people who spit on our country, our flag, and our national anthem.

Apparently, Condi Rice agrees with Laura:

"I've heard the national anthem done in rap versions, country versions, classical versions. The individualisation of the American national anthem is quite under way," she said on the CBS show "Face the Nation."

"From my point of view, people expressing themselves as wanting to be Americans is a good thing," she added. "I think what we need to focus on is an immigration policy that is comprehensive and that recognises our laws and recognises our humanity," she added.
These versions Condi mentions are all different types of music, not different languages. Quite a different thing.

And these people don't want to be Americans any more than I want to be Mexican. They want to take the Southwestern United States back to Mexico. They don't care about our history, language (obviously), culture, and traditions. They want to speak Spanish and forget anything American. They hate America. People who truly want to be Americans do it the right way. These people just want to make money.

I won't vote for Condi, if she ever decides to run for President. And I didn't vote for Laura Bush (I voted for her husband), so I'll thank her to keep her opinions to herself.

We must keep our National symbols and songs American. Otherwise, how do we know we are Americans?

For more, please visit Woman Honor Thyself for information about the American Flag Display Protection Act.

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