Coca-Cola’s ‘America the Beautiful’ Super Bowl Ad Causes Stir
Many of those languages have survived and one was represented in the Coca-Cola ad. As Darrell Dodi Robertson pointed out when Deadspin posted its story, titled “Dumb People Mad at Multi-Lingual ‘America the Beautiful’ Coca-Cola Ad,” to Facebook, “My wife speaks Navajo. And they weren't even included in the commercial.”
Languages featured in the Coca-Cola ad were English, Spanish, Tagalog, Hebrew, Hindi, Keres, and Senegalese-French.
Keres is a language spoken by the Pueblo people and is also known as Keresan. The language is spoken by nearly 11,000 people in the American Southwest today.
By Uriel J. Garcia
But others defended the commercial, saying it represents the country’s various cultures and diverse languages.
“Unless you’re speaking Sioux, Cherokee, Navajo, or any other Native American language there is no such thing as #SpeakAmerican,” a user with the Twitter handle @MsTriniSpyce wrote.
Bird agreed with supporters of the commercial saying that the U.S. is diverse, and the company was only trying to portray a positive image of the country.
“I was overwhelmed by everyone talking negative so quickly,” she said. “I was disappointed and hurt because America isn’t just English-speaking. There’s a lot of cultures out there.”
Bird, who wants to be an actor, said a former teacher at the Santa Fe Indian School emailed her about Coca-Cola’s casting call in Santa Fe for a Super Bowl ad. After going through two rounds of auditions, she was called late last year to appear in the commercial, which is her first, she said.
It's pretty easy to rip the colonizers' insistence that we "speak American." For instance:
My view on the Coca Cola commercial
By Dana Lone Hill
See, there were many beautiful languages on this land before English was ever even spoken here. These children who were beaten for speaking their own language were our grandparents and great grandparents. Today, there are many language revitalization programs on reservations, starting with immersion daycare. It is a beautiful thing to see a 4-year-old more fluent than her parents. With hope, hard work, and determination our languages will come back after they tried to beat it out of our ancestors for so many years.
Many times people who think so narrow minded, that English should be the only language here, often forget this is not “Their America,” instead it is the land that we belong to. So when I see so many people angry over the fact that there are other languages in this country, I smile. When I see people rant over the fact that their city has 5 versions of one phone book, I know how they feel. See, these people forgot that they are not original to this land, we are. And I know how they feel, because the same anger they have for there being so many languages in America is the same anger I have for our languages almost dying off. And I am tempted to tell them the three words every Native American hates to hear:
“Get over it.”
Yep, it's pretty damn stupid to insist on speaking "American" when there's no such language. When the only languages that can claim to be authentically American are Navajo, Lakota, Cherokee, and other Native tongues.
America the gay
Finally, it's ironic that conservative racists focused on the languages. The video featured what looked like two gay men with their children. They got more airtime than anyone else. If anything in the ad was a statement, that was.
It's especially ironic considering who wrote America the Beautiful:
Smart woman! Ninety years ago, she anticipated the GOP's decline and fall. She guessed the party would fail because of its bigotry and intolerance, and that's what's happening now.