Written by Betsy Wagoner. Media Justin Smith.
Even if you didn’t watch the Super Bowl, by now you have seen or at least heard of the controversial Coca-Cola commercial entitled “It’s Beautiful” that has sparked a national discussion. This particular Coca-Cola advertisement displayed different shots of diverse American life with the song, “America the Beautiful” being sung in several languages. Social media has exploded with memes that say, “This is ‘Murica, speak English!” with a white man riding a horse carrying an American flag, to the extreme opposite; three-paragraph long Facebook statuses that nearly scream for the importance of cultural diversity in our land.
Republican Congressman, Allen West, wrote in a blog post, “If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing “American the Beautiful” in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come — doggone we are on the road to perdition.” West was not the only one to openly take his stance against the ad. Fox News radio host, Todd Starnes, tweeted about his disdain with the commercial. Tweeting, “Coca Cola is the official soft drink of illegals crossing the border. #americaisbeautiful” as well as, “Couldn’t make out that song they were singing. I only speak English.” Thousands of other Americans have complained about this ad, claiming that this is the start of the downfall of the United States; our country will soon be taken over by foreigners. Another big issue that people had with this commercial was that a portion of the song was sung in Arabic, the language of those who left our country in an uproar on September 11, 2001.
On the other end of the spectrum, many people are praising Coca-Cola for the excellent job they did in spreading multilingualism as well as the support of gay marriage, as there was an obvious homosexual couple displayed in the beginning of the commercial. Many posts on Facebook pointed out that English has never become the official language of our country anyway, not understanding the big fuss over the other languages used in the ad. After all, they say, our country is built upon us stealing and killing the Native Americans for this land we now call the United States. The official Native American language was sung in the commercial, which pleased many who recognize the history of our country. It may seem that all conservatives are against the Coca-Cola ad, but that’s not necessarily the case. Conservative blogger, Erick Erickson, spoke up saying, “”People, the Coke ad was well done. This is so crazy that there is outrage over it. E Pluribus Unum isn’t in English either.” People for this ad remind others that America has and always will be a melting pot. We aren’t all white, middle class people who serve God.
Now if you claim to be an independent, as I myself do, with an ultra-conservative upbringing, but a fairly liberal education, you might find yourself torn on your opinion of this ad. Of course I recognize that not all people, actually most people, who speak Arabic, are terrorists out to destroy the U.S. I also recognize that we did murder, rape, and ill-treat the Native Americans in order to gain this land for ourselves. I am fully aware of the diversity in culture and languages of those who call this place their home. But I am also not for illegal immigrants, and I fully understand the argument that in order to communicate properly we need to identify a set language that most people in the world can speak, which just so happens to be English. I can understand the outrage that conservatives have about a wonderful song about their country that is being sung in something other than their native language. And I can understand the liberal point of view that stands for the justice of those with different backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles than one’s own. I have the freedom as an American to hold my own opinion, to take a stand for something I believe in, and to be unsure of controversial issues when I am being bombarded on the daily from all political viewpoints. And that my friends, is what is truly beautiful.
For further reading visit LA Times article.