Tuesday, February 4, 2014

America IS Beautiful: An Open Letter to the Internet.

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.



Jasmin said...

Thank you for your beautiful and true letter!

Sweet Love and Ginger said...

The "speak American" ones got me the worst.
I have chosen to try to overlook all of these kinds of comments. I liked the commercial and what it stood for, it amazes me how forgetful people are. The same people who are proud of their Italian/jewish/irish/whatever backgrounds want everyone to conform to their uneducated and hateful ways and become "American".
Thank you for this!

Jenna said...

Umm amen and amen. I try to respect all viewpoints, but seriously, those tweets get my blood boiling. The language of terrorists? Really?

Jenna said...

Umm amen and amen. I try to respect all viewpoints, but seriously, those tweets get my blood boiling. The language of terrorists? Really?

Brittany Romanello said...

agreed 100%. besides. mexicans love coke and they make alot of of coca-cola. no mexicans= no coke. oh wait.. no mexicans, no a LOT of things.
and coke is just as important in a lot of other cultures. people need to get real.

Heather said...

In my opinion, that commercial was truly beautiful.
The ignorance paired with bad grammar really, really gets me! (LOVE the *you're* picture haha). Holy cow, can't people at least get the facts straight before striking at something?! Ugh. I was honestly shocked there was any backlash against that commercial.

Whitney Alison said...

I think a lot of people forget that unless you are 100% Native American, you're descended from an immigrant. (Or in the case of Black people, slaves, but either way we weren't originally here.) My biggest takeaway from all the 'backlash' on twitter and fb was that we are a nation full of idiots. People who think America the Beautiful is our national anthem, and that our official language is 'American' are allowed to vote just like me. That is SCARY. Well said my dear. I enjoyed this post!

Heidi said...

I summarized my feelings on the commercial and its controversy by borrowing another line from a classic American song, "this land was meant for you and me."


Kaity said...

Ditto- to all of the above! I hate that this was even an issue, but I like to think there are more of us pro-Coke's message than against. We can only hope!

Brittany Tennant said...

I WAS SO ANGERED BY THE RESPONSES TO THIS. If we're being honest, I was extremely moved when I saw this commercial, and I couldn't even believe it when people had bad things to say about it. When did America become so racist?! Ever since elementary school I've been taught that we're the melting pot of the world. And suddenly we can't advertise it as such? I just...grr.

Samantha Heather said...

THANK YOU! We get similar negative comments in Australia but fact of the matter is we are a multicutural society, made up of hundreds of cultures from all over the world. Why can't we just embrace that instead of hate on it? Makes me so sad.

see what i sea designs said...

First off, thank you for tackling the "you're" issue. That one drives me crazy!!

I watched the commercial as it aired, started weeping and instantly thought, "What has Coke done? There is no way this is going to appeal to the country as a whole." And then I weeped even more. As your other commenters have mentioned, this is a nation of immigrants. For as long as I can remember, I identify myself as Swedish AND American. It's who I am!

I could go on for DAYS about this one, but I just want to say, I agree. It's so tragic that this commercial has received the review it has. Forgetting our immigrant roots and the drive for the American Dream that comes with immigration is such a waste.

Also, can we tell the one Tweeter that it wasn't the national anthem? I don't think they can be upset if they don't even know what the national anthem is...

Ok, done with soapbox. (:


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