Like most of America, I watched the Super Bowl and paid attention to the many commercials that successfully vied and made it to the most coveted spots in television advertising. I enjoyed some of the commercials and contrary to many Americans, I quite enjoyed the Coke commercial. While watching it, I said to My Love, “there’s gonna be all kinds of flack on this one.” He nodded in agreement.
Last I checked, this country is called the United States of America, and I’d like to hazard a guess that ‘united’ not only stands for the culmination of the 50 states, but also the mélange of nationalities this country comprises of. So, unless I missed something in history class where the US; again, emphasis on U was also referred to as the “melting pot” and melting means, to liquefy or blend gradually. Therefore, on that premise, I think it’s safe to say that the ‘United’ States of America means to unite and blend gradually the many origins of its people.
I digress and back to my issue. The Coke commercial presented America the Beautiful in English and the languages of other countries to represent the collective population of America; thus, creating a social media hail storm of negativity. People were up in arms that the song was not presented solely in English. Being from another country, which is also often referred to and seen as a melting pot for its diverse cultural and ethnic population, as a black woman from said country who has served in the US Armed Forces, I take offence to those who are enraged that the song wasn’t sung solely in English. I resent that those offended spewed their bigotry; especially when they’ve probably never lived outside of the country, experienced life as a minority, and never served their own military yet cry patriotism.
These very same “patriots” probably never gave patriotism much thought until 9/11 and then all of sudden everyone became An American and claimed their rights as citizens to defend their country if in no other way, but by voicing it. As I said, I served military and enlisted before I was even a citizen, so I’d like to say, “shut the hell up!” These new-fangled patriots make me laugh. I’m especially amused by those who don’t even simply say “I’m American”, but preface it with the origin of their fore parents who left their original countries of birth to restart their lives in America. Suddenly everyone has become “I’m (insert country/nationality) American forgetting that some of their fore parents never fully learned English and/or passed down their native tongue in order to preserve their history, cultural integrity, and/or diversity of which many still speak or practice their cultural events thereof.
Wait, I’m running off track here…My beef is not with Coke as I originally said. I enjoyed the commercial and thought it great that Coke, which is a globally recognized brand that is consumed with immediate recognition regardless of knowing the language of the country it’s being sold in. I take issue with those opposing Coke’s doing America the Beautiful in many languages. America is beautiful for cultural diversity not in spite of it. America is beautiful because people from all over the world became a part of it and brought pieces of their homelands to help build it and create it.
Back in the 70s CoCa Cola’s theme song was “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing”, it specifically said “World” not “America”, so if it’s teaching the world to sing, then it sings in many tongues, not solely in English. The native tongue of this country was not English, it was the many tongues of the Native Americans that resided here. It became English after being colonized and even then, there were Dutch settlers and many of whom still speak in Dutch; the Amish for example, but I guess folk forgot that and maybe need to go back to school.
I will say I’m open minded enough to say I allow people their opinions and that if you live in a country such as America where the primary language is English that one should learn how to speak the language; however, do those who travel outside of the country take the time to learn the native tongue of the country they’re visiting? I’m sure those residents could say speak our language while you’re here. Furthermore, the English spoken here isn’t even authentic. Americans speak a derivative of the English language, so I think I have the right to challenge here…I speak English; proper English at that.
Those objecting to Coke’s Super Bowl commercial have vowed to stop drinking Coke, which made me laugh because Coke has so many other products; many of which these offended consumers will still purchase, so I’m sure they’re really not hurting Coke and its entities at all. And since most Coke drinkers have their preference to Pepsi, what will they drink instead? What these offended consumers don’t realize is that Corporate America has its share of offending practices like racial profiling for products, using slave labour, outsourcing to the very countries whose language may have been used in the Coke commercial; the same clothing which they proudly purchase and wear. Corporate America is driven by power and profit and the latter being what the offended fail to see. They can hate on Coke for the commercial and still support another company that is stomping on their rights for gender, sexual orientation, race, demography, to name a few. The so-called “Offended” may want to take a better look at themselves and then dig deep and I mean real deep into the corporations they support before casting stones at something that should be uplifting and inspiring.
Yea, I said it!