What was wrong with the Coke Super Bowl ad where each line of "America The Beautiful" was sung in a different language (except for first, last, and one in the middle, which were all done in English), an acknowledgment of America's melting pot population? Nothing, really… unless, as was reported by Huffington Post Feb. 2, you happen to be a nativist or one of those English-only denialists who don't understand that Spanish is already almost as predominant a language in over half the states in the country. But if you are, it becomes something akin to blasphemy to have "America The Beautiful" performed in various languages.
But why? Isn't that how America became America, peoples from all over the globe immigrating and settling and thriving?
Remember when Coca-Cola was pushing for world domination of the soft drink market and tried to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony? That ad appeared in English and there was also one where it was performed in various languages. And except for the nutcase conspiracy theorists out in the lunatic fringe screaming about the New World Order or some nonexistent unilateralist movement attempting to brainwash through television ads, most people had little problem with that commercial?
So why did Twitter and other social media sites explode with xenophobic pettiness and hateful remarks when "American The Beautiful" was performed by a diverse range of people representing several languages?
As a list of Twitter tirades posted by Huffington Post show, people were angered that the song wasn't performed entirely in English. One pointed out that it was "a commercial with an American song in other languages. Not cool."
Some said they'd never drink another Coke product. Another commented that there were terrorists singing "America The Beautiful."
One particular hater was so incensed that they tweeted that over half the commercial was done in Spanish. This master of observation must have stopped listening after the second line...
Did the symbolism simply fly over the heads of these isolationists?
It must have. Take, for instance, Breitbart.com's Michael Leahy's confusing contempt shouldered for most conservatives for a viewpoint he also supports: "The company used such an iconic song, one often sung in churches on the 4th of July that represents the old 'E Pluribus Unum' view of how American society is integrated, to push multiculturalism down our throats.”
Leahy, like many others, took the singing of the standard not as a celebration of America's inclusiveness but as an attack on American traditions and values -- and the sanctity of the English language. (Oddly enough, the English language is also polyglottal, constructed from hundreds of languages.)
But multiculturalism is what makes American society "the old 'E Pluribus Unum,'" which, for those rusty with their Latin, translates to "out of the many, one," or "one from many." Like it or not, America always was and continues to be a multicultural "melting pot" of ethnicities and races and cultures. And it is through the integration of the the many cultures that one has evolved to become what is a unique and singular culture -- an American culture. And wasn't that the point of the commercial?
Perhaps the United States should start spending a bit -- no, a lot -- more on education...