Celebrating diversity: The anti-American thing to do

By Anthony Garcia

February 11, 2014

When I, like 108.7 million other Americans sat down to watch the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, I wasn’t solely in it for the game itself, even though I love football as much as the next person.

For me, the Super Bowl is a giant spectacle, where all the glitz and glamor, bells and whistles and the extra hoopla are celebrated as much as the actual game itself.

In terms of the big game, two things come to mind: football and commercials.

Yup, I’m not afraid to admit it, I enjoy watching commercials about a friendship between a dog and horse, beer-drinking frogs and even the occasional M&M’s spot. They are just too funny not to watch!

The thing that most Super Bowl commercial advocates look forward to are the controversial ads, the commercials that leave you with your jaw dropped and make you find your best friend and ask, “Did you see that one commercial?”

This year, Coca-Cola debuted their “It’s Beautiful” ad, and for many, the TV spot generated tons of controversy and even more hatred towards Coca-Cola and it’s “anti-American,” foreign theme.

What could possibly be anti-patriotic about a commercial that features Americans from across the country savoring the ice-cold classic beverage?

The one-minute ad featured children and adults from all different cultural backgrounds as well as a two-father family singing “America the Beautiful” in multiple languages, English included.

Seriously, that was the entire ad.

Many took to social media to criticize the ad, including former Florida Congressman Allen West who wrote in his blog about how ashamed he is that the commercial was not all in English.

“If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing “America the Beautiful” in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come,” he wrote, “doggone we are on the road to perdition.”

Sites including Facebook and Twitter were burning up with hash tags following the commercial including #BoycottCoke, simply because singing “America the Beautiful” in a different language is apparently un-American and singing in anything but English is just plain wrong and a desecration of the national anthem.

For the record, it is important to note that the national anthem is “The Star Spangled Banner,” not “America the Beautiful.”

It still amazes me these kind of racist, bigoted thoughts still occur in the minds of Americans, especially since we are a country founded by immigrants. Today, everywhere we look, diversity is immersed in our population.

My mother grew up learning English and Spanish simultaneously and my father learned Spanish first as a kid. Growing up, I experienced hearing both languages both as part of a Puerto Rican family and as kid growing up in inner-city Chicago.

Does that make my family and I less American than those who only grew up hearing and speaking English?

Everyone who gains American citizenship does technically become an American, but that doesn’t mean becoming an American makes one lose his or her natural heritage and ethnicity. The differences in cultures are what make living in this country so beautiful and diverse.

Even here at Dominican, we can see the number of different races and cultures that are united together and how wonderful it is to be immersed in it.

We aren’t supposed to hide our various cultures and languages in shame of not being an American. Living in America, we are meant to celebrate those differences and absorb the different qualities of everyone, for that’s what makes this country stronger and makes it home.

The advertisement from Coke isn’t a rejection of the English language. It’s a celebration of what makes us unique from the rest of the world.

Who could’ve guessed it would take a commercial from a soda company to teach us that.