I’ve Got a Few Words for Those Offended By Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl Commercial

coca-colaAt 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.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • shopper

    Think he read my post that I put on when I first saw a complaint. AGREE!!

  • *slow clap*

    People seem to forget that as long as people immigrated to this country, it took at least one generation for them to become assimilated into this country and speak English as their first language. Immigrants tended to stick together and form communities where their original language was still spoken. They still do it. It’s their children who will learn the language.

    • Cynthia Padley

      I grew up in a big city that was very diverse…..summer time was the best………every section of town was a different nationality …..every weekend was a different festival !! Polish,Greek, Hungarian,Mexican,…but the best one was in the Old West End District……Soul food…tour the old restored mansion. In each neighborhood their were many of the older generations that spoke very little English. I grew up in the Polish neighborhood, it was our generation that helped them learn most of their English.

    • Donna Stevens

      It’s hard to learn a second language as an adult. You are correct, Kathy, that the children often learn languages easier than their parents. What many “Only English” people don’t realize is this: these children are a wonderful potential resource for the USA. American commerce and industry needs linguistically talented people to help them compete in China, Japan, Russia, the Mideast, etc. It can take years to train a monolingual adult to be fluent in a foreign language. So, America has everything to win by helping these children keep their parent’s native language, while at the same time providing them proper English as a Second Language classes in school, with properly qualified ESL teachers. These bilingual children will grow up to be the linguistic resource that the USAso desperately needs to compete in the global marketplace.

  • Cynthia Padley

    I thought the ad was beautiful……………I never thought one thing about any political bullshit !! Wake up the next day and find out the right wing nut-jobs got their panties in a bunch over someone else’s freedom of speech………..oh the Hypocrisy of the GOP/teabaggers !!!

    • Sunnysmom

      I didn’t notice anything wrong either. It was a beautiful ad.

  • crabjack

    “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:” followed by a list of milestones that our nation has passed on the road to truly making the U.S. the land of the free.

    Trouble is, the people who objected to, or were offended by, the singing of “America the Beautiful” the way it was on Sunday probably wish those achievements had never come to pass.

  • Veritas vos Liberabit

    Glenn Beck is an anti-american Conservative supremacist who could care less for American history nor the Constitution. The same Constitution that allows him and other supremacists to spread xenophobia, homophobia, gerontophobia and racism through media sources. He and other haters are the ones dividing Americans, not Coca-Cola. But the sad part is that many Americans(?) believe his krapola!

    • white trash religious teaparty

      and,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,he struggles with alcoholism– showcasing his inner demons which propagate on the national spotlight as he makes MILLIONS off of the stupidity of low IQ inbred white trash religious regressives

  • Buddahman

    Its a marketing tool branded with emotions and patriotic music to sell a pretty dangerous, addictive beverage to a wider worldwide audience. Everything else is only your own projection.

    • samee

      Coca-Cola has been around for decades all over the world… they don’t need to advertise this addictive beverage… it is part of our lives…

  • Michael Siever

    Not only did a lesbian write “America The Beautiful”, but an American Socialist wrote the Pledge of Allegiance. God Bless America!

    • Var Enyo

      Don’t forget the ‘under God’ part of the Pledge of Allegiance and and ‘in God we trust’ on the money didn’t come about until the 50’s so I guess every evil they blame on taking it out of the schools must have been rampant before that.

      • wikiBuddha

        But, ‘in God we trust’ was imprinted onto coins since the 1860s. My Grandpa recently gave me a liberty dollar from 1886 that displayed it.

      • 2Smart2bGOP

        On coins since 1864; on paper money since 1957.

    • M Gibbs

      And God wasn’t part of them. That was added later by Congress to show that we are not like the Communists, aka secular.

  • Jared Hoke

    All americans are aliens. We all came from somewhere else. Becoming an American means accepting shared values set down in our Constitution; a simple and profound proposition.

  • Jack Long

    I’ve got news for you we didn’t end slavery your a slave as we speak if you pay a power bill buy gasoline or are even forced to buy stuff you don’t want your a slave ? Freedom is not being busted for weed while the whole country is addicted to legal drugs made legal by your local corporation?freedom is not being put in jail because your poor and needed a place to sleep on the street? Define freedom when you have laws to put us in jail for being poor or not wanting to take your pills or accept your cures what is freedom really ?oh and remember coke is worse for you than pot might be delicious but a legal drug if you ask me?

  • Pipercat

    I for one love the outrage. It reinforces the notion of dog whistle politics. With certain outlets constantly regurgitating the same high pitched melodies, the end result is this outrage over innocuous events.

  • JANE106

    Good Job, Allen.

  • Disfrute Coca-Cola-
    selección de escuadrones de muerte en todas partes.
    Pendejos.

    • Ann Parker Crawford

      I have no idea what you said, but I appreciate that you didn’t say it in English!

  • Sunnysmom

    I loved the ad – thought it was a beautiful celebration of American diversity. The faction who freaked out can take a hike. E Pluribus Unum people!!

  • Awesome commercial which I looked at it as diversity… if anyone has forgotten we are a Nation of immigrants. As to Glenn Beck and company, not worth my time!

  • Michael Woomert

    i have one reason to not like the commercial . there are 2 songs that should never be sung in any language but english . they are both almost equal as being our national anthem . GOD BLESS AMERICA is one and our national anthem is the other . to disrespect the people who fought for our country to keep us from singing some one else`s anthem and singing it in their language is wrong . and you may say that all types of people defended this nation and you are correct sir . but they all spoke english or enough of it to understand orders and commands . so as a progessive democrat who is neither a bigot or racist . you offend me and the people who give us our freedom to be speaking english

    • Sunnysmom

      America the Beautiful is not our national anthem.

      • Tammy Erickson Ferguson

        He didn’t say America the Beautiful is our National Anthem he said “GOD BLESS AMERICA is one and our national anthem is the other” So re read and comprehend before responding. And I so agree with you Michael. I am neither a bigot or racist come look at my family. But the National Anthem and any other American song should be sung in English.

      • Sunnysmom

        I did read and comprehend thank you very much. But the song in the Coke ad is America the Beautiful, so that made no sense to me where the comparison was.

        Hmm…who didn’t comprehend?

      • Douche

        You didn’t.

      • Joyce Meredith

        Why? I think hearing America the Beautiful in other languages is…well…beautiful. It shows that those from other cultures love this country too. What is so wrong about that? And no Douche….you don’t get to reply to this because you’re a troll and I’ll just ignore anything you have to say.

      • Douche

        That is why you replied five times.

    • Wes Jett

      Hey look, a person who this article was talking about! They do come out of hiding every now and then.

      I’ve got news for you dude. My Native American grandmother would have a few things to say to you and your “Speak English” ways.

      • Sunnysmom

        Exactly!! Unless his name is really Sitting Bull, I think there’s a problem with the hard-line this is America “Speak English” logic.

      • The MDG

        your native american nanny can eat my grundle

    • Robb Thompson

      I’m not quite certain what your point is there Michael. First, because I don’t actually agree with what you say, but second, because neither of the songs that you name were sung in the Coke commercial.

      What happened to America being the “shining city on the hill”? Do you only allow it to be that city for people who speak English?

    • Altreg01

      The song was America the Beautiful and your ignorance offends me.

    • Douche

      Well said sir, I will give you two thumbs up for this one. Only it is three songs

    • Eli Cabelly

      The english language is foreign to this land. If you want to speak a language spoken by those who defended this land, then try cherokee or sioux.

      • Ann Parker Crawford

        Or Navajo – didn’t those who spoke Navajo help us win WWII?

  • Ronald Mack

    A great ad. The ignorant bigoted and racist among us are slowly dwindling. This country is slowly becoming more liberal. I probably won’t live to see it, I am 52, but this country one day soon is going to be a wonderfully progressive country full of imaginative free people who once again lead the way in the world.

    • Douche

      No Ronald you are wrong, you will live to see it, when you wake up every day you are seeing it. What you wont live to see are the absolute devastating effects and I am sure like EVERY other progressive, you don’t care. Make sure you tell your children to let your grandchildren know who ran up the bills they are paying.

      • 2Smart2bGOP

        “douche” – aptly named. Turn off the FOX “News” or just walk away.

      • DAME

        Well tell ur cronies to stop spending money on Bull Durham that doesnt return the investment, and those behind us wont be paying too much when it’s their time…why dont they spend money on the youth so they have every advantage to be way smarter than we ever were!! Douche, indeed

      • Douche

        I know, all those investments in companies like GM, not to mention all of those “green energy” plans.

      • DAME

        Right…and all of those billions in spending while we got weapons and ammo in over 138 countries, yet they’re still “underfunded”….right…

      • real_world_truth

        So living up to the ideals of liberty and freedom are going to run up a bill for our children and grandchildren to pay? I beg to differ, as regressive, repressive, totalitarian regimes such as the type that would occur under the current incarnation of Republican quackery would cost them not only money, but their souls as well.

  • Badamz

    I find it so amazing that people chant, scream, complain and slander the white christians. It is so amazing that all the minorities always want to point fingers at people who choose to believe in God. Then the same groups grab hold of all the different beliefs and unload once more in their bigotry towards the whites or faith peoples.

    Seriously, why would someone need to bash christians for tell their truth. It seems it is okay for Homosexuals to have their truth. In this very writing Lesbians proudly boast of their rights. Why is it that Christians don’t have the right to believe the Bible. Don’t the Universities teach evolution and varied other goof ball ideas?

    I can see that everyone one who has stated their side is angry!!! Angry, at anyone who doesn’t agree with them! It is really pretty childlsh. One point fingers at another all while doing the exact same thing the other is doing. Bitching, complaining and declaring they have rights!!!How dare you don’t like what I believe!

    Insanity at it’s best.

    One God given right we all have and constitutional right is free will. FREE WILL>>> believe or not .. your choice. PERIOD. Each left to suffer his own choices.

    Brian Adamz
    Canada

    • White Anglo Saxon Pagan

      The problem is not that they(Christians) don’t have the right to believe as they choose. The problem is the aim of an overwhelming number of those who believe that way to force those beliefs on others through legislation. When a lawmaker stands up in our government institutions and says a law should (or more often should not) be passed because it is for/against God’s word, that is taking away the freedom to choose from those who must live by those laws. That is why the Christian community so often comes under attack. They show repeatedly and resoundingly a complete lack of regard for the millions of Americans who choose other faiths, and their right to that choice. There is not now, and I devoutly hope never will be, a Christian American nation. The reason for the seperation of church and state is quite clearly exemplified in the behavior and conditions of those religious states already in existence. Nations such as Afghanistan. If you choose believe in a goofball idea that the world is 5000 years old and 7 billion people sprang from a gene pool of 2, fine. You do not have the right to force the rest of the country to live by your beliefs. Period.

    • cazzy

      So, you think Christians are the only people to believe in God? That right there is an ignorant, insulting statement. The world is bigger than your little mind can even imagine. Try to open it.

      • Douche

        Who else believes in God?

  • Gabriel Gentile

    So far right-leaning people are going to stop drinking Coke over their Super Bowl commercial?

    So what?

    1. The Coca-Cola company is not about to go out of business any time soon.
    2. Have you seen some of these people? Frankly, they could do with a bit less of the sugary stuff.

    What I’D like to see is Pepsi follow up with an advertisement featuring a gay black couple sharing a kiss and a bottle, smiling at the camera and saying “Well… Bye!”

    • Sunnysmom

      Yes!! If they’d boycott Pepsi too, might help solve the obesity problem. It’s laughable, the boycotters will hold out maybe a week. Plus, they’ll think they’re getting even with Coke by switching to NOS energy drinks, Dr. Pepper, Sprite or even Dasani or Vitamin Water…nope, all owned by Coke. lol

      • Douche

        Dr. Pepper is NOT owned by Coke, Mr. Pibb is.

      • Sunnysmom

        I stand corrected on the ownership, however, Coke still bottles a portion of it for them.

    • Ann Parker Crawford

      Plus Pepsi supports marriage equality.
      AND what is the anti-gay crowd going to drink with the lovely Chik fil A sandwiches?

  • Paul Lewis

    Beautifully put! Nothing more to say Allen said it all.

  • Paul Lewis

    Here’s an interesting tid bit… I did not watch the Superbowl except for a tiny bit during the 2nd half which is when I saw the Coke ad. After it was over I said to my Wife…wow…that ad just said it all and the right wing,racists,bigoted, nut jobs are gonna go ape-sh*t over this.

    • Douche

      you sir are a liar.

      • Julie Wickstrom

        How is stating what happened a lie?

      • Joyce Meredith

        Were you there?

  • white trash religious teaparty

    glenn beck? isnt he having an affair with anne coulter and michelle malkin TRYING to get THEIR chests as big as his??

  • Edward Krebbs

    Coca-Cola has long advertised itself as being a product which although based in America is enjoyed by the whole world. Likewise, as Americans we revel in the image of Football as a truly American sport with the whole world watching the Superbowl. Isn’t that exactly what the commercial was feeding into ?

    • Douche

      in a nutshell, no

      • Joyce Meredith

        You sir are a troll.

      • Douche

        you sir, are correct!

  • T Leonard

    Love how the constitution is quoted in this column. Personally, I thought the commercial was awesome, and celebrated our diversity as a nation that I spent 26 years of my life serving. But the constitution also guarantees other freedoms. Take a look at the 2nd amendment.

  • joe michael villa

    I loved the commercial.
    It was beautiful, it is what America is all about.

    As soon as I saw it I knew the ignorant Right Wing was going to have a problem with the commercial. I was right.

  • Sunnysmom

    I’m cracking up at all the people saying they will never drink Coke again. For starters, Coke owns a ton of brands so good luck remembering which ones to hate. Secondly, I’m thinking now if Pepsi would just come out with a similar commercial, they can boycott them too and we might be on the way to solving some of the healthcare problems in this country. It’s a progressives dream come true either way. lol

    • Ann Parker Crawford

      They support marriage equality. 🙂

  • Pjs8200

    Coke just lost the trailer park market………..

  • indianqueen

    You forget one thing. People who believed in God came to America to get away from religious oppression from those that did not practice Christianity. I said “practice” Christianity and not just talk about it to lie their way through what they will to make the Devil appear good. Nobody is perfect; but God still wants us to live a clean and wholesome life that comes from good and moral things. Sex between, or should I say lust for the same sex is one of perversion; but it is also a way to control procreation which will never happen.

    • real_world_truth

      Okay, so could you explain in a couple of coherent sentences what your point is, because that ramble you just went on sounds like Palin, Beck, Coulter and Limbaugh talking over each other after way too many martinis.

      • Sunnysmom

        Lust for the same sex is not a problem in my book…but Palin, Beck, Coulter and Limbaugh in a four-way after too many martinis turns my stomach. lol

      • real_world_truth

        Oh no, the mental image! Quick, gimme the bleach I need a brain enema! LOL

  • Koreen Eads

    I just want to say I’m glad you decided to speak out about this.Well said.

  • Tracey Lindberg

    I am not a bigot. In fact, I am a woman, I have gay/lesbian friends, and a nephew who is half black. I admire all types of leaders throughout the US and the world. However, this is America, and, while we are a melting pot, our native language is English. Therefore, I believe the anthem should have been sung in English. It is that simple in my eyes. But it could have been a great marketing ploy on the part of coke to increase sales to its non english speaking customers
    .

    • Julie Wickstrom

      We are a melting pot, we have no official language, U.S. native languages aren’t English, and our national anthem is the “Star Spangled Banner”. I still wouldn’t have a problem with it if they did use our national anthem. I’m sorry that you didn’t see the beauty that others saw in a commercial with a bunch of happy people singing a patriotic song while occasionally sipping an overly sugary beverage. It’s very American!

      • Tracey Lindberg

        I didn’t say it was not beautiful, I did not say I was offended by it, and i did not say it was unamerican. I merely responded to the article written calling people who didn’t like it bigots, and expressed my feeling that I would have preferred it in English. And you may be right that with all of the immigration to this country there are many different languages spoken here, but I believe that english is still the most common one associated with our country. I suppose we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

  • L Daniel Roberta

    I bet the people who complained about this wonderful commercial, never had any any problems going to Disney Land of World and listening to It’s a small world that was sung in many different languages…I mean how dare a white Corporation owner allow such an attraction in his theme parks….The world really is small, and whether you like it or not you cannot impose bigoted views such as the extreme right does. We need to live together in peace…the option, is we live in pieces…always at each other because they or we or I am different…we are all one race….The Human Race!

  • Donna Stevens

    This ad was a true celebration of diversity. And diversity should be the basis for uniting the American people. A flower garden with only one type of flower that is only one color is ok. However, most people would agree that a flower garden with many types of flowers and many colors is far more interesting and beautiful,.

    As for history, our country is made up entirely of immigrants. Even the Native Americans immigrated here, albeit thousands of years ago. People arrived here not just with physical baggage, but with cultural baggage, too. That cultural heritage includes language, social customs, family connections that makes each of us the unique individuals we are. There are so many people who are searching for their ancestry, for their “roots”. And this diversity is what makes America beautiful!

  • Kate Gamble

    Your point is wonderful, but a bit heavy handed and somewhat racist against Christians. I AM a straight, white Christian who LOVED the commercial, and celebrate ALL Americans. So while I do know that many who carry around the label of Christian are certainly not a representation of my wonderful Lord, there are many of us who understand that Jesus would have loved the commercial also, as well as every single person in it.

  • Douche

    Mission accomplished!!!!!!!!!!