I wanted to let the fervor die down just a tad before I went into this topic because apparently there was an unfavorable reaction from some people, and then a more unfavorable reaction by other people to the first people. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you haven’t seen the coke commercial that aired during the Super bowl on Sunday. Really all it amounted to was a bunch of people singing “America the Beautiful” in a bevy of different languages, seven or so I think.
This seemed to tweak more than a few people who went right on to twitter and said among other things: un-American, speak American (not sure what American is), speak English, leave America, etc. Then of course twitter went all crazy with not only those people but others responding to those people with things like: diversity, multi-cultural, racists, etc. But these people have a little understanding for what was actually upsetting the first group.
People who love their country and have a nationalistic view (nationalism isn’t wrong it is just an attachment and loyalty to their nation) had an overreaction to a commercial that used an American song about America and translated it into many languages. People who are nationalistic are not necessarily racists. These aren’t upset about the translation, they aren’t upset about immigration, they aren’t upset that people in other countries drink coke, which is an American product (which by the way is what I think coke was trying to say…hey. everyone, everywhere drinks an American soda, and that is beautiful) they aren’t even upset about coke vs. pepsi. Instead they are angry that what used to be a great melting pot of America has become the multi-cultural United States, where everyone can come and continue to honor the cultures of their home countries while being “Americans” without the fealty, fidelity, or assimilation. This is not about hate for other cultures, even though the second group of people seemed to think so.
When a country forms, they usually adopt, by way of consensus, a de facto national language which they all speak in order to engage in commerce, governing, etc. In America this language defaulted to English. There is nothing wrong with this, instead there is something wrong with people who come here for the freedom and never assimilate into the culture. By the way, you can assimilate into the national culture of America and still stay true to your heritage…I see it all the time. The people who worship multiculturalism are not right. They need to look at the failure of multiculturalism in Europe where the leaders of Germany, France and Britain have all declared that it has been a failure. These leaders point out that immigrants have failed to assimilate into the main-stream culture (of their respective countries) and are tearing the countries apart. But people who refuse to assimilate are what is driving these twitter comments crazy, because we see that all the time too. That refusal to speak English, or even learn some English, to demand that services be available in their home languages while they fly the flags of their former, or still, countries is infuriating and divisive. That is what is driving the anger. If we had secure borders, few illegal immigrants, fewer of those illegals tapping the federal social programs for all they were worth, and the understanding that commerce and governance works best when both parties speak the same language do you still think these people would be upset? Not a chance.
America is a nation that by in large speaks English. In fact, 31 states have English as the states’ official language. This is either by Constitutional Amendment, voter initiatives, various statutes, or other. The oldest one dates to 1807 when Louisiana adopted English as a precondition for admission into the Union and the latest was in 2010 when Oklahoma passed it as a Constitutional Amendment.
America speaks English and that needs to be respected, immigrants need to assimilate and come to grips with that and those who are rah-rah America types (which we all should be) need to understand that native languages connect people to their heritage. Maybe a better commercial for coke would have been to sing the song in English and show the entirety of the melting pot that America is supposed to be through pictures, just changing the voices from scene to scene to have people singing it in English in their own voices. At the same time the Super bowl is seen by a billion people and they want to sell product to the world.
Was it something to get all in a twist about…not really. But then again, maybe coke should have considered their audience a bit more than they did,