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Social media is ushering in a new era of awareness unparalleled in human history. Never before has the globe been so small that a whisper into a phone could be published across the world.
This seems to be both a blessing and a curse, as accessibility has risen to all that the world has to offer. This means that the thoughts of brilliant corporations and philanthropists can be seen side by side with the drivel of humanity’s low end of the bell curve.
Few events bring America together like the Super Bowl. It’s a time for family, food and benevolent violence. This year, the greatest conflict was not found on the field, but over a commercial Coca-Cola ran in which “America the Beautiful” was sung in different languages. The ad drew fiery outrage from those who graciously call themselves “conservatives,” overrunning Facebook and Twitter with caustic comments. One comment came from conservative poster boy Glenn Beck, who was let go by Fox News, showing his partisanship to be too steeped for even the honored Fox News Network:
“Why did you need that to divide us politically? Because that’s all this ad is. It’s in your face, and if you don’t like it, 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.” (Source: http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/02/03/watch-best-and-worst-super-bowl-commercials/)
Surely Coca-Cola has nothing better to do than divide the country into racists and communists. The rising tide of caffeine and sugar is bent and determined to cleave the nation into pieces over the most relevant of soda controversies: racism.
As an editorial staff, we would like to debunk the main cries of heresy being flung by conservatives.
Firstly, Coca-Cola is an international company. It is not simply an American company. Thus their initiatives are global, not purely domestic. As a world, we are diverse, both linguistically and ideologically. As such, the fact that there were Native Americans, Indians and gays in the commercial shouldn’t be troubling. America itself can’t come to a majority vote on most things, so should a corporation be held to a higher standard than our government? If our honorable legislature (feel the sarcasm) can’t come to an agreement on gay marriage, immigration or whether Ted Cruz is actually human, why should Coca-Cola have to represent a country that can’t represent itself? It shouldn’t.
Many patriots cried sacrilege that they were singing our “national anthem” in different languages. This is outright daft on their part, as “America the Beautiful” is not our national anthem. “The Star-Spangled Banner” is. Should these people actually be speaking their opinion when it’s laced with such a lethal dose of stupidity? We think not. If one is to state an opinion, it should be factual at the very least. Erroneous as it may be, at least it will be grounded in reality.
Lastly, the American dream is not limited to white, Protestant European-Americans. It is an open invitation to all who want to make a better life for themselves. America was built on immigration and diversity, from the first pilgrims at Plymouth to the thousands of immigrants strengthening our economy, technological development and civil equity. The people who took offense to this commercial are not simply offended by the language issue; they’re bothered by equality, that someone who looks different and speaks differently could have the same worth they do.
Thomas Jefferson, while flawed as a leader, did not stutter in his denouncement of bigoted supremacy when he said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
If anything, Coca-Cola put that idea to use when creating their Super Bowl ad. If you’re against this statement, how American can you be?