At first I hadn’t planned on writing about this “big controversy,” but then I had seen such ignorance that I couldn’t keep silent. After all, how dare Coca-Cola air a commercial during the Super Bowl with America the Beautiful sung in several different languages and featuring – gasp – a gay couple.
Americans (especially conservative Americans) have proven they don’t know a damn thing about American history or what it is to be an American.
Apparently what being an “American” means is being a straight, white Christian who speaks english.
First, let me state that this commercial was not aimed to make any kind of political statement about the United States and any kind of “official language” it should or shouldn’t have. If you really believe that, seriously get a life.
This commercial was clearly aimed at celebrating the diversity that is the United States of America. That no matter what the language, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation – we are all Americans.
And that’s beautiful.
It wasn’t, as Glenn Beck tried to say, a statement to “divide” people. He tried to perpetuate this idea that this was an “in your face” statement where, as Beck said, “…if you’re offended by it, you’re a racist. If you do like it, you’re for immigration. You’re for progress. That’s all this is: to divide people.”
You know who’s offended by this commercial? Ignorant bigots. Yes, if you’re offended that an American song might be sung by an American in a different language, you are a racist and a bigot.
Why would it offend you if you weren’t? A fact doesn’t suddenly become opinion just because some conservatives don’t like the fact that it exposed the total ignorance of the average conservative voter.
You know how a commercial like the one Coca-Cola aired might not divide people? When people stop acting like bigots who wished every “American” was a straight, white Christian who speaks english.
If Coca-Cola, or any other company for that matter, aired a commercial that celebrated desegregation – would that not “offend” racists? Should those companies not air such things because it might offend the most ignorant among us?
Besides, can someone get these people a damn history book not written by the tea party?
Let’s think about the reality of this nation. We “founded” a nation on land that was already occupied by other human beings. Human beings who weren’t white, by the way.
Then we “built” this nation on the backs of African slaves and expanded further with basically the mass genocide of Native Americans. Hell, even women weren’t given many of the same rights as men when this nation was founded.
An American is an American as defined by our Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
It doesn’t say, “Only if you’re a straight Christian who speaks english. Oh, and hopefully you’re white too.”
And here’s a fun fact: The song “America the Beautiful” was written by a lesbian named Katharine Lee Bates.
It’s just an absolute joke to believe that a commercial which meant to celebrate unity and togetherness somehow was a “ploy” to divide us because some ignorant bigots had a problem with it.
Well, here’s some more harsh truth – if we based this country on worrying about offending the most ignorant within this country, we wouldn’t have:
- Ended slavery
- Given women the right to vote
- Ended segregation
- Passed the Civil Rights Act
- Passed Title IX
- Passed the Affordable Care Act
- Started to give homosexuals equal rights
Plus many other instances in our history where we evolved against the ignorance, we didn’t “make sure not to offend it.” And yes, those last two count. Much like other parts of our history the ignorant claimed would “ruin the nation,” so too will history reflect back on the Affordable Care Act and the fight for equal rights for homosexuals as proud moments that defined our nation.
So, if Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl ad still offends you in some way – good. Because Americans don’t bow down to ignorance, we rise above it.
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