A Florida woman claims that another woman slapped her daughter for not putting her hand over her heart during the national anthem, then questioned whether or not the young lady of Latino ancestry is even an American, Coral Springs Talk is reporting.
At this point, it bears noting that this reporter wasn’t there when the alleged slap occurred. No police report was filed, and no source other than Coral Springs Talk is covering the story. So all we can do at this point is take the mother’s word for it.
Here is how Rachel Gonzalez-Howard, the girl’s mother, describes what happened on Saturday.
The city of Coral Springs had put together a city-wide remembrance event for the 15th anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001, including a 5k run.
— Coral Springs, FL (@CoralSpringsFL) September 11, 2016
Rachel’s 11-year-old daughter, Jessica, had been looking forward to the event; her job was to hand out water along the race route and to give medals and T-shirts to the finishers.
“My daughter loves to volunteer. You can usually find us at 5k’s because my husband, her father, is a runner.”
She says her daughter, whom she describes as “very patriotic,” even got up at 4:30 a.m. to get ready for the big event. She made sure to wear her red, white & blue, and coordinate her outfit with the rest of the family. In other words, she was excited.
However, her excitement was quickly tempered by another attendee once the national anthem started. Once the final notes of the song played, Rachel says she saw Jessica in tears.
“That lady next to me yelled at me because I didn’t have my hand on my heart. First she asked me if I was a citizen of the United States, then she yelled at me and kept yelling for being disrespectful.”
She also said that the woman slapped her “really hard.”
Not that it matters, but Jessica is a citizen of the United States; though the young girl is of Mexican ancestry, she was born here, as were her parents and grandparents.
Gonzalez-Howard was, as you would expect, livid that a stranger would hassle her daughter about her ancestry and then assault her, all for not putting her hand over her heart during the national anthem.
“I didn’t get it. Disrespectful, for just standing there? I kept my cool, but seeing my child cry because of someone yelling at her was a bit much. If my daughter wants to sit down, kneel or show total lack of respect, she can because this is a country where men and women fought for our freedom. However, my daughter was showing respect – as she was taught.”
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 11, 2016
Jessica’s dad wanted to have a talk with the woman, but she had already disappeared into the crowd.
However, the woman’s daughter, identified only as a woman in her 50s, apologized on behalf of her mother and hoped the Gonzalez-Howard’s would cut her a break because of her age.
“She apologized for her mother and kept saying ‘she’s 75’ and that she should be excused for that.”
Emotions are running high in this country, to say the least, when it comes to the national anthem. On Friday, for example, an Alabama preacher, working the announcer duties at a high school football game, told the crowd that anyone who didn’t stand for the national anthem was free to go to a nearby fence so that members of the military, who were at the game that night, could shoot them, as reported by the Inquisitr.
Do you think it’s OK to slap an 11-year-old child for failing to put her hand over her heart during the national anthem?
[Image via Shutterstock/nixki]