During last night’s Super Bowl, Coca-Cola aired a commercial showing people singing ‘America the Beautiful’ in different languages. The fact that Coke showed that America is a country of diversity, with many people coming here from other countries, apparently riled up conservatives. During and after the Super Bowl, Twitter saw two different hashtags trend: #boycottcoke and #SpeakAmerican.
One prominent Tea Partier was so enraged about it that he devoted two separate posts on his blog to the subject. Allen West posted a column on Sunday night and then another one Monday morning. In both posts, he used quotes from a couple of past Presidents (George Washington and Teddy Roosevelt) to help bolster his case that Coke should be ashamed of itself for airing the ad. In his first post, West felt that Coke fostering multiculturalism was truly disturbing.
I am quite sure there may be some who appreciated the commercial, but Coca Cola missed the mark in my opinion. 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. This was a truly disturbing commercial for me, what say you?
West double-downed on this sentiment with Monday’s post. He also suggested that Coca Cola should have featured members of the American military stationed around the world instead. In his opinion, that would have been the best commercial aired last night.
I guess we touched a nerve last night regarding Coke’s “America the Beautiful” Super Bowl ad. Some people felt even questioning why an iconic American song was sung in other languages was racist. There are others, who I figured, just rolled over and said everything is fine.
But the last thing any of us should want to see is a balkanized America. Furthermore, it has to be of concern that we have Americans who lack the resolve to take a stand for our borders, language, and culture. That’s why I included the quotes from President Teddy Roosevelt, because once upon a time that was how Americans felt, and immigrants came here to be a part of the American experience, not bystanders.
Now, here is my recommendation of what the Coca Cola marketing executives should have done. Coke’s “America the Beautiful” should have been sung in English and showed Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen of diverse races, sex, and creed deployed all over the world drinking Coca Cola. If you truly want to show a diverse commitment to service, sacrifice, and honor that enables us to live in “America the Beautiful” that would have been rated the best commercial advertisement of the Super Bowl. And we would be here talking about how we were all touched emotionally.
On Twitter, conservative pundits tweeted out their anger about the commercial. Somehow, Laura Ingraham equated the commercial’s message with advocating for illegal immigration.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 3, 2014
In the end, people like West and Ingraham cannot help themselves. They are so narrowly focused on their own personal visions of what America should be that anything that contradicts that angers them. The United States is a great melting pot of different cultures, races and nationalities. Conservatives tend to want this country to ignore the cultures of the people that live here. They’d prefer for a homogenized landscape where everyone thinks and talks alike. Progress scares them. Differing views and opinions scare them. Change scares them.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).