Jose A Bastidas:
Coachella is rich in its cultural diversity. Bands from all over the world hit the stage and festivalgoers have all kinds of culinary options from burgers and French fries to Pad Thai and tacos.
Which is why I never imagined that I would experience such blatant racism in what could be considered a cultural Mecca.
"I didn't pay $350 to hear them sing," one girl told her friend.
Other people in the crowd were saying they were uncomfortable and yelling "No Español!" or "Stop singing please!"
I understand that people sometimes feel uncomfortable when they can't understand what people are saying in big crowds. But why is it that a group of people singing a song in Spanish is met with such animosity? Do people feel threatened when other cultures make themselves known in mostly white, English-speaking events? Is it OK for white girls to wear bindis and white men to wear kimonos but not OK for a group of Hispanic concertgoers to sing a song to pass the time in between sets?
The one comment that took the cake for me was after one person suggested that the crowd start singing another song to quiet down the Spanish speakers.
"Yeah, let's sing the National Anthem," a girl responded.
People don't generally understand how fragile the peace they see around them really is. Human beings have a mean streak a mile wide, most people don't need much of an excuse to take a swing at your head. That's the Ground State of Humanity: Mean.
When you pressure a population, they fight back. Mostly because humans like fighting, but also to protect themselves and what's theirs. Our nice calm and peaceful land could get ugly overnight, just from the likes of Mr. Bastidas telling National Anthem Girl from the story to shut up. She's not going to shut up, she's going to get her boyfriend to kick your ass, is what's going to happen.
The transition from peaceful coexistence to warring factions is a short one.