Sebastien De La Cruz, 15, also known as El Charro de Oro, sang the National Anthem before the Democratic presidential debate on March 9 (video below).
De La Cruz, a Hispanic teen born in the U.S., delivered a great performance, but also stirred outrage among many on Twitter.
According to RawStory.com, "some of the worst reactions" included these tweets:
"Could I go to a Presidential debate in Mexico dressed as Uncle Sam and sing the Mexican National Anthem?"
Popular VideoThis young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true.
"CNN this is the dumbest thing I've quite possibly ever saw. For a minute I forgot I was in #America until they sang the national anthem."
"Wrong Univision to let a boy sing our national anthem with a charro outfit. I'm democratic and Hispano but that wasn't right"
"The Dem Debate hosted by Mexico, the National Anthem sung by little @marcorubio"
"Gawd - the guy who sung the national anthem looked like the Frito Bandito!!"
Popular VideoThis young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true:
"CNN has topped a new low…mariachi singing the national anthem…for a US presidential debate…"
The Washington Post notes that De La Cruz also sang the National Anthem before Game 3 of the NBA finals in June 2013, which also brought a wave of racist insults and accusations of him living in the U.S. illegally.
“My father was actually in the [U.S.] Navy for a really long time,” De La Cruz told a San Antonio, Texas, news station at the time. “People don’t know; they just assume that I’m just Mexican. But I’m not from Mexico. I’m from San Antonio, born and raised, a true San Antonio Spurs fan.”
This time around, De La Cruz was invited to the debate by Univision, a Spanish-language cable channel that co-sponsored the event with The Washington Post.
“Sebastien’s presence is the vindication of an American child who is entitled to be proud of his Hispanic heritage,” Daniel Coronell, Executive VP/Executive Director of News at Univision, told The Washington Post. “It’s also a perfect metaphor of what we Latinos are in America.”