45. Super Bowl Coke Commercial
Draws Out Ugly Americans
By Miguel Pérez
February 4, 2014 - We are strong, unique and beautiful because of our diversity. We have a long history as a multilingual country — "a nation of immigrants." Many of our states, cities and major American landmarks are named in foreign languages. Our government has published documents in various languages since the time of the Continental Congress.
Long before a word of English was spoken in North America, books were already being written here in Spanish.
And yet, a Coca-Cola commercial airing during Sunday's Super Bowl, exquisitely depicting an "America the Beautiful" in multiethnic images and several languages, has drawn out the ugly Americans. The commercial featured Americans of different races and ethnicities enjoying the beauty of our country while "America the Beautiful" was sung in the background in eight different languages.
But on social media, promoters of ignorance, xenophobes and right-wing extremists are throwing tantrums and spewing venom that only serves to illustrate the only part of "America the Beautiful" that remains ugly — even in the 21st century.
"WTF?" asked one outraged Twitter user. "@CocaCola has America the Beautiful being sung in different languages in a #SuperBowl commercial? We speak ENGLISH here, IDIOTS."
Really? Idiots? Here's a person in desperate need of a mirror!
"This pisses me off," a woman wrote. "This is America." Apparently unaware that "America" is a Spanish word, she insisted that, "any one that doesn't have a problem with this, you are whacked."
Really? Whacked? Another mirror, please!
Some people called the commercial offensive, ridiculous, "more crap from the left," and the "worst" and "most un-American" Super Bowl commercial in history. Some vowed to never drink Coca-Cola again.
In fact, some of the comments were so outrageously stupid that, unfortunately, they gave us a mirror reflection of the level of ignorance in America.
"Why didn't the first immigrants learn to speak American?" a woman asked.
Wow! Ignorance is an understatement.
Some comments illustrated just how little Americans know about their own history. "Our forefathers are rolling over in their graves," one person posted, apparently unaware that our forefathers spoke several languages, insisted on government documents in various languages, and encouraged teaching French, Spanish and German in our schools.
They are also apparently unaware that when the Founding Fathers gave us our precious freedom of speech, they never limited that freedom to "English only." Surely, these are people who don't know that even Thomas Jefferson recognized that "the ancient part of American history is written chiefly in Spanish."
But it wasn't ignorance of history that dominated the racist comments. It was mostly xenophobia. Some of the social media comments — from Twitter to YouTube and many other sites — were so repugnant, they readily illustrated just how much hatred some Americans feel for many of their fellow Americans who happen to be immigrants.
"I'm so tired of bending over backwards to accommodate cultural diversity at the expense of our own core tenets," one man wrote. "God Bless America is an American song. Can't we celebrate our own core heritage and sing the damn song in English?"
Damn song? I rest my case. The song is beautiful — precious — and the Coca-Cola rendition was outstanding. It brought out the best of America. It showed all kinds of Americans singing in different languages and expressing their pride and love for this country. How could anyone possibly construe this as un-American?
Amazingly, the level of xenophobia is so strong in this country that another potentially controversial issue in the same commercial went almost unnoticed. Although the commercial also featured the first gay family in a Super Bowl commercial — two dads roller skating with their daughter — all the attention went to the multilingual soundtrack and multiethnic images.
Some people used the commercial to ramble online about all their right-wing paranoia. "Libs are not at all concerned about America losing Her sovereignty," one wrote. "They would rather secede our nationality to illegals if it will assist in imposing their Communist ideology. So to defend that very destructive ideology they call those that love America racists. An old tired race card trick."
I know. It's hard to believe there are people who still think this way, as if they have the exclusive right to love America and dictate the language in which America can be loved.
But they are out there, posting their warp mentality on social media and often making complete fools of themselves. And it's not just foreign languages that seems to upset them; it's also Latino entertainers who are asked to sing the National Anthem — in English!
Remember the cruel reaction to Sebastian de la Cruz, an 11-year-old Mariachi boy who sang the anthem at an NBA Final? Remember the similar vitriol directed at Marc Anthony? Remember how they were both accused of being illegal immigrants when they are both U.S.-born Americans?
Ironically, these are often the same people who complain that Latinos and other immigrants refuse to assimilate. Yet when — thanks to Coca-Cola — immigrants engage in a huge demonstration of their love for this country, this is the reaction we get.
Of course, when the bigots blew up on social media after they saw the Coca-Cola commercial, many other Americans responded with appropriate sarcasm.
This was my favorite: "America the Totally Not Racist — you know, until a commercial is aired in anything but English."
Let's face it: If you see people of all races and ethnic backgrounds expressing their pride in being American, and you find it offensive, or if you see a celebration of our diversity as unpatriotic and divisive, the next time you look in a mirror, say hello to an ugly American — consumed by ignorance, hatred, bigotry and xenophobia.
But if you could only see, que linda es America , you might not break the mirror.
COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM
Please share this article with your friends on social media: