If you watched the Super Bowl this past Sunday, you may have seen Coca-Cola's "It's Beautiful" commercial featuring scenes from American life paired with a multi-language version of "America the Beautiful." While some saw the commercial as a powerful celebration of American diversity, others took offense to the advertisement. In "Coca-Cola's "America the Beautiful" Super Bowl Commercial Sparks Outrage on Twitter," E! Online reported that following the ad #SpeakAmerican instantly began trending on Twitter. Many angry comments flooded social media in the ensuing hours, some attacking the commercial, others attacking the attackers.
Coke having a commercial with an American song in other languages... not cool. Coke. GTFO with that.
— KYBlackoutTFM (@KYBlackout) February 3, 2014
That coke commercial made me realize that there are two types of people. 1) true Americans 2) white people who forgot they were Europeans
— Coast Life Guy (@coastlifeguy) February 3, 2014
Dean Obeidallah of The Daily Beast also reacted to the commercial, specifically the hateful criticisms. In "Coca-Cola Critics Have Never Heard of ‘E Pluribus Unum’," he commented:
But here’s the thing: America was intended to be a multicultural nation. The philosophy of our nation’s Founding Fathers is etched upon the Great Seal of The United States adopted by Congress in 1782. There it is written: “E pluribus Unum,” or “Out of many, one.”
It could not be more clear that the very people who created our country intended it be a place where people of different backgrounds could live together and become one as Americans. That’s exactly why my mother’s parents emigrated from Sicily, and my Palestinian father came to this country. It was the promise of nation where different backgrounds would not only be tolerated but thrive together.
And to be honest, the notion of “E pluribus Unum” is more relevant today than it was in 1782 because of our nation’s evolving demographics. Currently, racial and ethnic minorities represent approximately half of the children under age five in the U.S. And estimates are that by 2043 the white majority in the U.S. will be over. America will soon be even more diverse and multicultural.
Here’s the simple message that those who were outraged over the Coke commercial must accept: America will change with or without you.
How did you react to the "America the Beautiful" commercial? What did the commercial represent for you? Share your reactions below.