Can a commercial divide a nation? That seemed to be the case a couple of weekends ago, when a large part of the nation tuned in to see one of the most-watched events on American television. This year, the Super Bowl had over 111.5 million people watch the game and its famous commercials.
One of the most controversial was the Coca-Cola commercial, that showed all kinds of Americans of different cultures, ethnicities and sexual orientations singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages. After it aired, social media networks blew up with many opinionated messages attacking the soda company. Here are a few of the thousands of messages that were sent out:
“Nice to see that Coke likes to sing an AMERICAN song in the terrorist’s language. Way to go Coke. You can leave America.”
“@CocaCola has America the Beautiful being sung in different languages in a #SuperBowl commercial? We speak ENGLISH here, IDIOTS.”
“The national anthem is supposed to be in ENGLISH. Quit slapping real Americans in the face with your offensive commercials.”
These are just some of the outrageous messages that came after the commercial aired.
First, I’d like to point out that “America the Beautiful” is not our national anthem. Criticizing Coke for being “un-American” but not knowing that our national anthem is actually “The Star-Spangled Banner” is just beyond words. Way to prove your point.
I’m just bewildered that this was the response to a commercial that I didn’t even think came close to being offensive. There were other commercials that could have been criticized for being too sexual or too crude. I think it’s ridiculous that people chose to get fired up about a commercial that shows how diverse America actually is. After all, they were in fact, still singing about how beautiful America is, even if it was in a different language.
Have people forgotten that apart from Native Americans, everyone has ancestors that immigrated to the United States from foreign countries? Our country is a melting pot of diversity, and I believe that is one of its most appealing and beautiful qualities.
As I’ve traveled outside of the U.S., I’ve been amazed at the amount of languages that people speak other than their native language. It’s common for people to know two, three or more languages – that is something that is praised. But here in our own home, I often hear people complain when they hear or see things in other languages.
As a son of an immigrant family, I have seen first-hand how close minded people can get.
I often heard phrases like “Why don’t you learn English?” or “If I moved to your country, I would put effort into learning your language, so why don’t you learn ours?” Do people not realize the challenges that come learning a new language, let alone trying to learn it in a foreign country? It’s easier said than done.
I’m proud of Coca-Cola for having the guts to air a commercial that actually does show the true America. When people come to this country, they become American, but that doesn’t mean that they have to change or forget their heritage. Being different doesn’t make you less patriotic or non-American. Diversity adds so much more to our way of living and is what created our country and made it what it is today. That is what I believe truly makes America beautiful.