February 03, 2014

Coke ad triggers conservative racism

This week the right-wing's manufactured controversy was the Super Bowl Coke commercial:

Coke commercial angers Twitter racists: ‘Speak American’ because ‘your in America’

By Travis GettysA Coca Cola advertisement that celebrated the United States’ cultural diversity inspired a Twitter hashtag urging others to #SpeakAmerican and #BoycottCoke.

The one-minute ad that aired during the Super Bowl featured a multiracial cast as voices sang “America The Beautiful” in a variety of languages.

That outraged many viewers, who suggested that English was the country’s official language.

Coca-Cola’s ‘America the Beautiful’ Super Bowl Ad Causes StirToward the end of the first half of yesterday’s Super Bowl, Coca-Cola premiered an ad called “It’s Beautiful” featuring “America the Beautiful” sung in seven different languages. The ad immediately caused outrage on Twitter, hash tags like #SpeakAmerican instantly were trending and people’s ignorance about this country’s true history became glaringly evident.

Many Twitter users think that “America the Beautiful” is this country’s National Anthem and that English is this country’s national language. Neither of which is true. The “Star Spangled Banner” is in fact the National Anthem.

According to USA.gov, “There is no ‘official’ language for the United States, although some individual states list English as their official language.”
Coca-Cola's Multicultural Super Bowl Ad Really Angered Conservatives

By Tom KludtFormer tea party congressman Allen West even took time to write a blog post during the game to voice his displeasure. For West, the ad started out strong enough.

"Then the words went from English to languages I didn’t recognize," a troubled West wrote, calling it "a truly disturbing commercial."

"If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing 'American (sic) the Beautiful' in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come—doggone we are on the road to perdition," he wrote.

Michael Patrick Leahy over at Breitbart was offended, too.

Not only did Coke use "a deeply Christian patriotic anthem whose theme is unity–in several foreign languages," but Leahy noted that the "ad also prominently features a gay couple."

The Not-Racist Butt strikes again! "I'm not racist but, This is America! We speak English!"

Why don't these people make it easy for everyone and just wear "I'm a racist" buttons? Proclaim it proudly, bigots--you know you want to!

Given that every anthem-like song is sung in English 99.99% of the time, what possible reason could you have for objecting to a one-time foreign-language version? It's not a ballot you have to pay for. It's not a button you have to press on a phone. The song literally has no effect whatsoever on your life. So what exactly is the basis for your complaint?

How is complaining about an Asian, African, European, or indigenous language any different from complaining about an Asian, African, European, or indigenous appearance? Both are different from the "norm," but neither one affects you. It's the epitome of prejudice to say, "I hate that because it's different." To say, "America is white/Christian/English and anything else is foreign."

Beck is right!

Glenn Beck: Coca-Cola Was Trying To 'Divide People' With Super Bowl Ad

Hey, Beck is right! He said:It's in your face, and if you don't like it, if you're offended by it, you're a racist. If you do like it, you're for immigration. You're for progress. That's all this is: To divide people.Like a broken clock, Beck is correct for once. The commercial does a good job of identifying who's a racist.

And separating the racists (i.e., conservatives) from non-racists (everyone else), so we can marginalize and shun the bigots, is a problem...why? I must be missing something because I'm not seeing it.

Beck seems to be saying it's inherently bad to "divide" people. Why, because we should embrace racists? Invite them over, give them a hug, and listen raptly as they spew their hate? No thanks.

If Beck wants a better country, I think he'd be glad for a clearcut test that identifies racists for further shaming and shunning. The Coca-Cola song test is as good as any. Maybe we should make it a mandatory component of citizenship.

Conservatives are racists

The following posting agrees with me:

I’ve Got a Few Words for Those Offended By Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl Commercial

By Allen CliftonIt wasn’t, as Glenn Beck tried to say, a statement to “divide” people. He tried to perpetuate this idea that this was an “in your face” statement where, as Beck said, “…if you’re offended by it, you’re a racist. If you do like it, you’re for immigration. You’re for progress. That’s all this is: to divide people.”

You know who’s offended by this commercial? Ignorant bigots. Yes, if you’re offended that an American song might be sung by an American in a different language, you are a racist and a bigot.

Why would it offend you if you weren’t? A fact doesn’t suddenly become opinion just because some conservatives don’t like the fact that it exposed the total ignorance of the average conservative voter.

You know how a commercial like the one Coca-Cola aired might not divide people? When people stop acting like bigots who wished every “American” was a straight, white Christian who speaks English.
As we've noted many times before, these conservative outbursts of racism don't just happen at random. Rather, the Republican Party has cultivated and promoted this racism for at least 45 years.

The GOP's Coke Freak-Out

By The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann ProgramSensible conservatives try to say that people like Gohmert and Stockman are just a few bad apples, but those conservatives are ignoring their party's own history.

The real agenda of the Republican Party is to serve billionaires and transnational corporations, but because that group represents such a small number of voters--they need to expand the tent.

They have done this by aggressively courting bigots and racists, along with the religious fringe, misogynistic men, and people who fetishize guns.

It started when Richard Nixon manipulated white people angry about the Civil Rights Movement in his 1968 presidential campaign, the so-called "Southern Strategy."

It was perfected when Ronald Reagan gave the first speech of his 1980 campaign for President of the United States in Philadelphia, Mississippi--the place where three civil rights activists were killed in the 1960s--and told people at a county fair that he "believed in states' rights."

Last March, RNC chairman Reince Preibus promised that his party would try to make itself more appealing to women and minorities, but a year of scandals and politically incorrect freakouts--the most recent over a Coca Cola ad of all things--shows that the Republican Party still embracing their Southern Strategy.

Conservatives fear multiculturalism

Some postings talk about how conservatives fear the changing face of America.

Coke ad’s ugly, demented moral: Exposing the right’s zero-sum culture war

For “English first” nativists, the simple act of recognizing other heritages detracts from their own

By Simon Maloy
Coca-Cola’s ad was a nod to a long-standing truth about America: A country of such broad ethnic diversity is going to have whole communities that speak languages other than English. From the barrios of Los Angeles to the tenement blocks of turn-of-the-century New York to the Gullah region of the antebellum South, there have always been American communities where standard English wasn’t spoken at home. In my own family it’s not uncommon to hear conversations in English, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese. This isn’t a threat to American culture. It is American culture.

But for the conservative pundits and “English first” nativists, the simple act of recognizing other heritages somehow detracts from their own. This is the culture war, and it’s a zero-sum fight. In the eyes of the critics, Coke’s acknowledgment that English does not command 100 percent of the linguistic market was giving aid and comfort to the enemy. It’s a blatant and nasty appeal to cultural resentment and xenophobia.

This same zero-sum dynamic animates so much of the cultural discussion. We’re about to resume the debate over immigration reform, which is always colored by conservative complaints about immigrants receiving “special privileges.” The embarrassing annual spectacle of the “War on Christmas” assumes that anyone who has the temerity to say “Happy Holidays” isn’t giving Christianity its due as the true American faith. The fight over same-sex marriage is replete with conservatives arguing that recognizing the union of two men or two women will fatally undermine “traditional” marriage.

They allow no possibility for mutual benefit–if the Spanish speakers or the Kwanzaa celebrators or the gay couple down the street are winning, then English-speaking, Christmas-observing, heterosexual “real” America must be losing. There’s no real sense to it, but it’s a good way to exploit anxiety over demographic changes and stir up outrage.

The Coke ad got it right: America is beautiful, in any language

By Paul WhitefieldNow, you could see the most recent backlash as an example of the ugly anti-immigrant undercurrent in America sparked by the millions of folks living here without documents. Yes, many of those folks speak Spanish. Yes, there are more of them—legal or otherwise—living here than ever. And no, that is not going to change.

In other words, it isn’t a white man’s America anymore.

And apparently, some people can’t handle that. Or perhaps, by the time the Coke ad ran—in the second half of the game—the Bud Light was flowing more freely. Either way, the Ugly Americans beat up the Beautiful Americans about as badly as the Seahawks beat the Broncos.

Frankly, I’m getting more than a little tired of hearing from angry America. I’m also less than fond of knee-jerk America. And when you combine the two with the Internet, you too often get stupid America, which is really annoying.

Face facts, folks: A lot of people came here not speaking English. We like to think that they all quickly learned it. Some did; many didn’t. But, their kids did. And their kids speak English; many probably couldn’t speak the grandparents’ native language if they wanted to.

So get a grip: We’re not being overrun by hordes of Spanish speakers. Just like always, we’re growing a new crop of Americans. They are enriching the country. They are working hard, paying taxes. And they will create future Nobel Prize winners and future presidents and future titans of industry.

In short, they will make America beautiful.
Coca-Cola's multilingual "America" ad didn't hit any wrong notesThere are, according to statistics cited in a Huffington Post article here, http://huff.to/1nJc0Sn, 381 languages spoken in these United States. That is a potent passel of patois in which we Americans freely engage. One of those used in the commercial, Keres Pueblo, is a Native American tongue that was used in this nation before there was a hint of a nation.

We can't fathom that the argument should gather much traction here in the Lebanon Valley, steeped as we are in our Pennsylvania German traditions. Yes, our forebears learned English, but PA Dutch still gets trotted out for occasional use in church services and when watching stuffed groundhogs predict winter weather, as happened just this weekend.

There is nothing wrong with multilingualism. If anything, we don't spend nearly enough time learning at least a second language. That is both an American-centric and educational failure.

The first thing the commercial proved is that the song sounds pretty good regardless of the language in which it is sung. The second thing it proved is that there are individuals who believe in the words even if the language in which it was originally written is not the one that came first for them.

Yes, we believe those living in the United States should learn English. It is not the official language but it has been, since the nation's inception, the accepted common tongue, and it will continue to be. Our inclusive society requires some desire on the part of others to be included. Learning English is a part of that inclusivity.

But it does not mean that we are forced to unlearn those things that defined us before we came to be Americans. We can be just as patriotic, and we can act just as freely, if we sing those words in English or in any of the languages listed above and any of the others that were not.

In the final analysis, for Coca-Cola, this was money well spent. Here we are, still talking about that ad.
For more on conservative racism, see:

White men lose to demographic change
Racists hate and fear minority babies
Whites feel like a minority

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