Coca-Cola’s Superbowl ad has been getting a lot of attention. Mixed reviews, to say the least. A bunch of people are upset because they don’t feel this version of America the Beautiful is patriotic. If you haven’t seen it yet–or you just want watch it again, have a look:
Within minutes of it airing during the game, Facebook was lighting up with people saying it was weird and un-American to have a song about America sung in other languages. On Twitter, #SpeakAmerican was quickly trending.
A few thoughts:
- “American” is not a language.
- We don’t have an official language in this country.
- Who’s to say the people in the commercial aren’t Americans who are speaking?
America has long been known as a melting pot of cultures. We are a country built, for the most part, by immigrants and their descendants–Americans. There were people here before the colonists and settlers–Native Americans, and some of them were featured in the commercial. Before this country was flying the red, white, and blue–and every day since its founding, America has been a multi-lingual nation. It continues to be–and it is beautiful.
In all my travels in the US and abroad, I have never encountered anyone from another country who took pride in only speaking one language. In most other countries, children are taught at least two languages in school–because being able to communicate more broadly is seen as a good thing. As the world gets smaller, it’s more important than ever to be able to work with, communicate with, and reach more people. With the click of the mouse, we can find people from all over the world–including on this blog.
I’m having trouble with the uproar about this Coke commercial because I can’t wrap my mind around the idea that people who speak more than one language would be looked down upon–that being bilingual would somehow be seen as a detriment. Recognizing and celebrating one’s heritage and culture is spurned by some under the guise that it’s not patriotic … it’s not American.
I disagree. Every St. Patrick’s Day, I make a traditional Irish meal in honor of my Nana. It’s a part of my heritage and I love celebrating that. It’s a reminder of where my family has come from in the same way that having a picnic with burgers, hot dogs and potato salad while watching fireworks on July 4th reminds me of other family members and traditions. It’s all part of what’s brought me to where I am today as a proud American.
What better way to celebrate the beauty of this country than by paying tribute to the diversity that makes us so wonderful. I say Kudos to Coca-Cola for showcasing what it truly is to be America the Beautiful. There is no one color, race, religion, or language by which we define what it is to be American. Instead, what makes this country beautiful is that we have come from so many different backgrounds and cultures over time that we are a multi-faceted nation of rich culture and various traditions.
Imagine our nation’s portrait painted in one color with every stroke of the brush the same–uninteresting and plain, each part indistinguishable from the next. It’s not much to look at and it’s not an accurate representation of even my own family of four, never mind the people of the United States. America is NOT a monochromatic nation. We are interesting. We are diverse. We are Americans. We are Beautiful.
What makes America beautiful to you?