Another moment in which a Latino takes the national spotlight has confused some Americans.
In what has become a common pattern of misinformed people assuming Latino celebrities are foreigners, Twitter haters lashed out at Cuban-American rapper Pitbull Sunday night for hosting the American Music Awards. Their logic: the American Music Awards shouldn’t be hosted by a “Mexican.”
sorry pitbull i thought this was the american music awards not the mexican music awards
— anthony (@anthonytooturnt) November 25, 2013
how is it the american music awards when a mexican in pitbull is the host and a british or whatever 1D is won 2 awards
— JJ Collins (@TheJJCollins) November 25, 2013
I'm guessing since Pit Bull is hosting he thinks he can turn this into the Mexican Music Awards 😐
— Medina M (@dinnie_xo) November 25, 2013
I'm gonna be honest, I didn't know Pitbull was Mexican until like 5 months ago
— Olivia Bowers✨ (@bowers_olivia) November 25, 2013
They are, of course, wrong. Armando Christian Pérez, also known as “Mr. Worldwide,” was born in Miami, Florida, making him 100 percent American.
It probably throws some people off that Pitbull's music is infused with Spanish verses and frequently uses his catchphrase, "Dale!" But as the child of Cuban immigrants, from heavily Hispanic southern Florida, it’s no surprise that he sings in America’s second-most spoken language. And as we’ve pointed out many times before, performing in Spanish certainly doesn’t make you foreign in the United States. Spanish was first spoken in North America before English, and more than 37 million people in the United States speak it today.
Some haters realized that Pitbull isn’t Mexican. One user posted a message, later deleted, reading "can we deport pitbull back to Cuba or wherever he came from so my ears dont bleed anymore?"
Those more knowledgeable about Pitbull’s background tried to enlighten the angry Twitter folk.
People complaining on social media about a "Mexican" hosting the #AMAs should realize Pitbull was born in Miami. And is Cuban-American.
— Jessica M. Coggins (@JessicaMCoggins) November 25, 2013
As Latinos become an increasingly prominent part of the United States' mainstream culture , many Americans have struggled to understand that the great majority of Hispanics in this country are American.
Marc Anthony faced a racist backlash on social media back in July from those who thought he wasn’t American enough to perform “God Bless America” at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in New York. The salsa singer was born and raised in New York City.
Eleven-year-old Sebastien de la Cruz, a mariachi singer, faced similar attacks while performing the Nation Anthem before a San Antonio Spurs game in June.
The young Tejano star took it in stride, saying it offered him a chance to showcase Mexican-American culture.
H/T: Latino Rebels.
Check out eight reasons why Spanish is not a foreign language below.
UPDATE: This post was updated on Tuesday at 11:23 a.m. to remove a Twitter user's name from a deleted tweet.