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America’s Embrace of Diversity Was Center Stage at The Super Bowl Last Night

Last night, America was witness to a series of Super Bowl commercials that stressed the role of immigrants, and a performance by Lady Gaga that was all about the diversity Donald Trump bashes on a daily basis.

MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin took note of the Coke commercial:

And as our own Sarah Jones observed,

Before the game, the NFL honored black players now enshrined forever in the Football Hall of Fame, who came from predominantly black colleges. Naturally, Trump’s supporters were all saying “What about white players?” But it was precisely the right time for the NFL to do this.

The Hill claimed, “Lady Gaga shocks with no anti-Trump statement in #SuperBowl performance,” but on the contrary, her whole performance was an anti-Trump statement and we are only left to wonder what the folks at The Hill were watching.

Others saw it along with us. We witnessed a halftime show by Lady Gaga, who, as CNN put it, “brought a message of inclusion to her #SuperBowl halftime show,” – It scarce needs be added this was right in Donald Trump’s exclusive face.

The New York Times described what we saw as “one big, glittering, diverse party”:

Lady Gaga went for one big, glittering, diverse party with her Super Bowl halftime show. “We’re here to make you feel good,” she declared mid-set. At her N.F.L. news conference, she had promised a statement of “inclusion,” an upbeat and uncontroversial stance, and she made good on it as she began her set, singing a few lines each of “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land” and reciting the “one nation indivisible” conclusion of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Yes, as Time tweeted, she “pulled off one of the best halftime shows ever,” but it was so much more than that, as she sang “Born this Way.” As The Daily Beast tweeted:

Slate called her performance “a patriotic tribute to a pluralistic America.” As CNN’s Ana Navarro tweeted,

George Takei noticed as well, and took obvious delight in tweeting,

In a word, as Huffington Post contributor Johnny Taylor put it,

You can talk about the game and its outcome all you want. Yes, the Patriots with Trump fans Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the team of choice of Nazis like Richard Spencer and Donald Trump, won the game.

None of that matters as much as the underlying message of diversity that took center stage at Super Bowl LI last night by the corporations Donald Trump pretends to champion.

It doesn’t matter who won, because as Lady Gaga sang last night,

No matter gay, straight, or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to be brave, baby
I was born to be brave

This about it: as the Times observed,

“It was doubtless the first time the word ‘transgendered’ had been sung at a Super Bowl halftime show. Dozens of dancers of multiple skin tones and genders joined her, matching her moves in exultant line dances and embodying her message of empowerment as a shared celebration.”

There was also a Budweiser commercial, and right-wingers have attacked the brewer now as well, to which we can only say, as Salon’s Amanda Marcotte responds,

This and no mindless worship of Donald Trump is what America is about. Our so-called president wasn’t there to witness it, but Mike Pence was, and the NFL had a message for him as well, trotting out the cast of Hamilton – Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Jasmine Cephas Jones, the Broadway musical’s three original “Schuyler Sisters,” to sing “America the Beautiful” – and oh, by the way, adding “Sisterhood” to “Brotherhood.”

Last night was not about the ugliness of Donald Trump. It was about the beauty of a diverse America. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Photo: Screen capture Twitter @NFL

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