Maybe the marketing executives at Coca-Cola knew what they were getting into when they dreamed up this year’s Super Bowl commercial. The 60-second spot, which celebrates the diversity of America through music and imagery, has stirred up praise and criticism and in doing so, highlights some of the very unfortunate divisions that plague our country. And with this latest Coke commercial, the haters could take their pick—gay marriage and parenting or racial diversity and multilingualism.
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The commercial shows a montage of images of Americans of all ages and races doing what Americans do–picnicking, playing with their kids, spending quality time together laughing and smiling. It included one brief image of a happy gay couple ice-skating with their daughter. The spot, titled It’s Beautiful, featured the patriotic anthem “America the Beautiful.” Except that the song was song in eight different languages, including English and Spanish.
Haters took to Twitter, and even got the supremely ignorant hashtag #SpeakAmerican to trend. (A word to the idiots: we speak English, not American in the United States.) And still others expressed outrage that the ad featured gay parents—the first ever shown in a Super Bowl ad—and thereby further “normalized” the concept of gay families.
To the haters who don’t like that Coke featured Americans singing an American anthem in a language other than English, or who took offense to seeing a gay family celebrated—just like any other family—during a nationally televised sporting event: look around you. The genie is out of the bottle. The United States is a diverse nation. It is woven of as many colors, religions, and ethnicities as you saw in that commercial. It is straight, gay, bisexual and transsexual. It is filled with men and women who love each other, and parents who love their children. It is filled with people of all walks of life who are proud to call this country their home—regardless of whether they or their parents were born here or not. And this diverse America is the majority, moral and otherwise.
Enjoy your 15 minutes on Twitter, and by all means, continue to #SpeakAmerican until you get it out of your system. The rest of us will be busy celebrating our nation and helping it on its continual, inevitable march to equality, acceptance and prosperity for all.