This is inspired by a flurry of Facebook posts and comments:
Lot's of potshots are being fired over the Super Bowl ad presented by Coca Cola on Sunday night. Those who were offended at hearing a patriotic song about America sung in foreign languages, are being labeled racist. And those who embrace multi-culturalism are being call unpatriotic. While it is probably somewhere in the middle of both, I am one who felt slighted by the ad.
Facebook is ablaze with the debate and I will add that while I agree with this comment somewhat:
"I loved the ad.... Can anyone imagine how we look to some in other Countries? We ARE the shinning "city on the hill" and if somone who wants to be a part of that city and wants to sing America the Beautiful in their native language then so be it. Grow up !"
...I still feel that multi-culturalism does damage to the nation because now anyone be whatever they want to be in America, except just American which is now something less than ______ American. Once upon a time people, my ancestors, came to America because of the new life it afforded them. Being Italians, they came to this country legally, through Ellis Island, and assimilated into American life. They learned the language and spoke it, and contributed to American society, not as Italian-Americans but as new Americans only. They didn't demand that anything be changed to suit them. They didn't differentiate themselves as "this or that" American. They came here because being American gave them more promise and opportunity than their own countries. They were proud to become American and speak it's language and join the culture and make it theirs.
In an article about this ad Allen West writes:
...we should remember the words spoken by President Teddy Roosevelt;
Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.”
In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American.
There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile.
We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, and American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.
There are some of us who still believe in America as a "melting pot". It's a bit like alchemy where the elements melted into it become something else. You don't have clumps of mineral here and others there. It is meant as a transformation into something new. Americans. This is how my ancestors thought about it and I stand by it. They came to America for a new life as Americans. They didn't need to "press 2 for Italian" or burden the government to convert street signs to Italian. They became English speaking citizens with an Italian heritage. They didn't impose that on anyone. They worked hard to learn to be in America. Now everyone has to give lee-way to these other cultures. What makes them so special now, not to be expected to what was expected in the past?
I guess then if the American " melting pot" means to each his own and for ones own gain only, it is not only sad but against everything I have known about the American experience from my Italian (legal immigrant) family. I guess I will wear black and go into mourning, OR stand my ground on the belief that being an American actually means something...