Augusta firefighter's tweet draws national attention, controversy

Thursday, June 13, 2013 1:18 PM
Last updated Friday, June 14, 2013 1:58 AM
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An Augusta firefighter’s tweet questioning the citizenship of an 11-year-old singing the national anthem at Game 3 of the NBA Finals in San Antonio on Tuesday gained national attention – and controversy – after it was picked up by news Web sites and blogs.

Sebastien De La Cruz returned Thursday to sing the national anthem before Game 4 of the NBA Finals.  DAVID J. PHILLIP/ASSOCIATED PRESS
DAVID J. PHILLIP/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sebastien De La Cruz returned Thursday to sing the national anthem before Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

Watch 11-year old Sebastien De La Cruz sing the national anthem at Game 3 of the NBA finals in San Antonio Tuesday.

“How you signing the anthem lookin like an illegal immigrant,” tweeted Andre Lacey, who appeared to have since deleted his twitter account, @AndreLacey.

An Augusta firefighter since 2007, Lacey wasn’t working at Fire Engine Co. 5 on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard mid-Thursday and couldn’t be reached for comment.

Fire Chief Chris James said the department was aware of the tweet and taking a look at its options.

“I don’t think he was on duty,” James said. “If he was at home, as despicable as that comment that he made is … I don’t think the actual tweet itself had anything to do with the fire department.”

Regardless, the firefighter “will be counseled for sure,” James said. “What he said by no means is reflective of our attitude. It’s completely inappropriate and not acceptable.”

The department continues to attempt to address social media issues as they arise but has no official policy.

James said some firefighters have voluntarily deleted their Facebook accounts after unrelated conversations have grown heated.

LATINO BOY SINGS AGAIN FOR GAME 4

SAN ANTONIO — An 11-year-old Latino boy whose singing of the national anthem at the NBA Finals set off a barrage of racist tweets, including one from an Augusta firefighter, earned a roaring ovation in an encore performance Thursday night.

Sebastien De La Cruz, a mariachi singer, was congratulated by San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra at midcourt afterward.

His second act followed an outpouring of support after disparaging tweets about Latinos during his nationally televised performance before Game 3 this week.

Other celebrities and politicians are also rallying behind De La Cruz. They include San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and actress Eva Longoria, formerly married to Spurs star Tony Parker.

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Marinerman1
4859
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Marinerman1 06/13/13 - 01:39 pm
7
0
The AC Got It Wrong

He did not tweet "singing", he tweeted "signing". Guess he did not look before he hit 'send'.

seenitB4
87456
Points
seenitB4 06/13/13 - 01:41 pm
12
9
This is interesting

I would like to hear Mike Ryan's opinion on this one...

We post our "opinion" on here every day...some even call us a racist....does that make us one...uh noooo..

The man was on his own time....making a simple statement...might not be pretty but does he have the right to have an opinion..

CricketSeranade
593
Points
CricketSeranade 06/13/13 - 01:49 pm
15
10
Wow, just, wow.

If you are going to show the world what an ignorant racist you are, at least use proper grammer (and spell check too).

seenitB4
87456
Points
seenitB4 06/13/13 - 01:54 pm
13
2
Cricket you are funny

Check your spelling...grammar. lol

(least use proper grammer (and spell check too).)

MrsM
32
Points
MrsM 06/13/13 - 01:53 pm
7
15
Really?

I say fire him. He didn't have to proudly announce he's from Augusta and make all of us look like racists. Any company I've ever worked for would can you for making them look bad. I just don't get how someone could be so rude to a little boy, directly or indirectly. Shame!

seenitB4
87456
Points
seenitB4 06/13/13 - 01:56 pm
14
7
Pleeeeze

We all make stupid statements day in & day out....should we be fired for each time.....get real here...

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 06/13/13 - 02:24 pm
9
3
According to the national
Unpublished

According to the national news, it was not just Mr. Lacey and it was not just Augusta. Sad, very sad, in any case.
And, I certainly disagree that it's just a case of sticking one's foot in their mouth.

MrsM
32
Points
MrsM 06/13/13 - 02:07 pm
5
13
Not true

I would never expect to work for a company and blast any kind of derogatory comment on a worldwide social network and not expect to be held accountable...off the clock or not. In his case, saying he's from Augusta, when the city itself is his employer, is something most companies would see as representing them in a negative way. We all say stupid things, sure, but outright racist comments on Twitter? No.

Kelly Jasper
86
Points
Kelly Jasper 06/13/13 - 02:13 pm
12
0
Marinerman1, the story's been

Marinerman1, the story's been updated with the original typo restored. It's not everyday that we typo a typo, you know?

KSL
130090
Points
KSL 06/13/13 - 02:13 pm
7
5
I have to agree with seenit.

I have to agree with seenit.

Brad Owens
4468
Points
Brad Owens 06/13/13 - 02:26 pm
19
6
Interesting..."racist" huh?

I didn't realize "illegal immigrant" was a race, I guess I learn something everyday.

Brad

MrsM
32
Points
MrsM 06/13/13 - 02:52 pm
7
16
rac·ism

noun. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

Illegal Immigrant was assumed because the boy is Hispanic. Which is a race.

Edward1968
578
Points
Edward1968 06/13/13 - 02:47 pm
15
2
Hispanic

MrsM,
Hispanic is not a race, it is a culture.

seenitB4
87456
Points
seenitB4 06/13/13 - 02:50 pm
11
2
His own dime--his own time..

Freedom of speech includes the right:

Not to speak (specifically, the right not to salute the flag).
West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943).
Of students to wear black armbands to school to protest a war (“Students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate.”).
Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503 (1969).
To use certain offensive words and phrases to convey political messages.
Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971).
To contribute money (under certain circumstances) to political campaigns.
Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976).
To advertise commercial products and professional services (with some restrictions).
Virginia Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Consumer Council, 425 U.S. 748 (1976); Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977).
To engage in symbolic speech, (e.g., burning the flag in protest).
Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989); United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990).

Mr. Thackeray
924
Points
Mr. Thackeray 06/13/13 - 02:52 pm
8
7
Good God, what an idiot!

Good God, what an idiot! Ever been to SA? His outfit is typical for a performance in that town. Can the racist clown!

jrsc429
381
Points
jrsc429 06/13/13 - 02:59 pm
12
1
racist?

How many people have to return to school, to learn the difference between 'racist' & 'racism', and 'bigot' & 'bigotry'? Andre Lacey's comment/question should be considered as 'bigotry'.

internationallyunknown
4211
Points
internationallyunknown 06/13/13 - 03:07 pm
5
11
America, o America

Augusta = a racist town.....noooo I would never imagine...really?!

I see no wrong done...look at the situation with the mixed girl and Cheerios.....it's AMERICA. AMERICA WAS FOUNDED ON RACISIM.

"How you gonna" take someone else's land and say its yours?

Required Reading: They Came Before Columbus by Dr. Ivan Van Sertima

seenitB4
87456
Points
seenitB4 06/13/13 - 03:10 pm
11
2
Just thought of this

At work years ago I had a black woman tell me I was too white....now if I turned around & called her too black (I didn't) but thought about it.... all would be on my case..haha....she really meant my fair skin was toooo white to her....now was that racist....should I have reported that stupid statement....nahhh

We toss the word too much......I really ignore some on here when they say it because it has gotten to the point that you can't say a dang thing without some calling that word...we have posted about problems in South Augusta & right off the bat they start with the race quotes...last time I checked all colors lived there...it gets old.

Pops
8588
Points
Pops 06/13/13 - 03:21 pm
11
3
Seems like people

search out things to be offended by. So what if this guy tweets a comment that is offensive.

Marinerman1
4859
Points
Marinerman1 06/13/13 - 03:40 pm
6
1
@MrsM

Where in his tweet did he say he was from Augusta, GA?

Marinerman1
4859
Points
Marinerman1 06/13/13 - 03:43 pm
3
0
@ Kelly Jasper

I just wanted everyone to grasp the true "quality and flavor" of the actual tweet...

Navarro
31
Points
Navarro 06/13/13 - 03:54 pm
10
3
The race card again.

Is there a citizenship requirement for singing the National Anthem?

Please stop giving stupid people their 15 minutes of fame.

sojumaster
19
Points
sojumaster 06/13/13 - 03:54 pm
12
5
Ignorant at so many levels.

I am totally lost for words on this one. Doesn't Andre Lacey realize that such dress is part of American history, in particular in the San Antonio area? There are plenty of singers out there that have to sing two national anthems at sporting events, you do not see us cry fown when a true foreigner sings our National Anthem. (i.e. when a NHL team from USA plays up in Canada). I can go on and on how this is so wrong at so many levels.

Andre Lacey needs to a good slap of reality.

MrsM
32
Points
MrsM 06/13/13 - 03:57 pm
0
0
Quoted by CNN

-- "How you singing the national anthem looking like an illegal immigrant" from Andre Lacey, proud father and firefighter from Augusta, Georgia.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/12/us/mexican-american-boy-sings-anthem/index...

Good luck finding the actual tweet now, since he shut down his Twitter account.

grinder48
1957
Points
grinder48 06/13/13 - 04:11 pm
0
0
Free Speech !!!!
Unpublished

He can say anything he darn well pleases when of duty, period!

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 06/13/13 - 04:19 pm
7
0
Did he bring the house down

Did he bring the house down with his rendition? That's all that matters to me

internationallyunknown
4211
Points
internationallyunknown 06/13/13 - 04:38 pm
4
11
A spade is a spade.

Would there ever be a race problem if the white ancestors hadn't committed such atrocities throughout history?

seenitB4
87456
Points
seenitB4 06/13/13 - 04:51 pm
5
2
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