The following blog post is written not only in response to the above commercial, but a response to all of the responses it's received since it aired. The internet lit up with negative responses after Coca Cola's commercial featuring America the Beautiful sung in numerous languages aired during the Superbowl on Sunday. My twitter feed was clogged with angry tweets directed at Coca Cola for tarnishing the ultra-american icon that is coke by using languages of "foreigners" to sing a patriotic, undoubtedly American song.
These tweets and facebook posts got me pretty fired up. Fired up enough to post some of them here. I highly considered blurring the tweeter's names, but decided that they put their tweets out into the world to be seen, so I should let them be seen in their entirety. Behold:
** Added Snark-Note: America the Beautiful is not the national anthem. Now who's unpatriotic? **
**Added snark-note: I really hope they don't believe that American is a language and they're just being ironic?**
To these last ones, the first thing I have to say is simply:
But now that that's out of the way, there are a few things I'd like to address here.
I APPLAUD Coca Cola for their beautifully made and touching commercial. This is coming from a girl who rarely drinks soda at all because I think the chemicals in there are the devil. But as far as commercials go, I think this one is top notch.
I can't believe I actually have to say this and it's not just painfully obvious, but America, believe it or not, is a country of immigrants. It is one of the youngest countries on earth, because all (excluding native-americans, who were treated very poorly by us I might add) of its residents came from somewhere else. We arrived speaking all sorts of different languages, and representing all sorts of different cultures that are vibrant and beautiful and still alive to this day.
I feel like this is the most basic concept in the world, but I'm going to spell it out:
+ You do not have to be white to be an American.
+ English does not have to be your first language to be an American.
+ You do not have to speak English at all to be an American.
+ Languages that you, as an American, do not understand are not automatically "the languages of terrorists." The last time I checked, terrorism did not have an official language. Actually, neither does America.
I could go on. I could rant about the sense of entitlement I feel so many Americans seem to carry with them, as though other cultures are beneath them and unworthy. I could reference the time my college history teacher announced that "The US government is the best in the world," but had no real way to back up her statement when asked why. I could condemn these people for racism and bigotry.
But, better than that, I just want to wrap this up and say that I love you. I love you regardless of what you look like and what language you speak. I invite you, if you're able, to see more of the world as you can, and maybe learn another language or two. Not only will it look good on a resume, but you may learn that there really is a whole lot more out there than just America and just English.
I am proud to be American, because America is, in fact, beautiful.
But it's a country that is beautiful in any language.