Why Coca Cola's Multicultural 'America the Beautiful' Ad Was Offensive
Executives at Coca Cola thought it was a good idea to run a 60 second Super Bowl ad featuring children singing "America the Beautiful" – a deeply Christian patriotic anthem whose theme is unity – in several foreign languages. The ad also prominently features a gay couple.
Conservatives instantly lit up social media with objections, with many vowing to boycott the soda company's products.
“If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing 'American 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," said former GOP Rep. Allen West.
The lyrics of the song, written in 1893 by Wellesley College Professor Katherine Lee Bates, ask God to grant America “brotherhood / From sea to shining sea.”
As far as the executives at Coca Cola are concerned, however, the United States of America is no longer a nation ruled by the Constitution and American traditions in which English is the language of government. It is not a nation governed in the Anglo-American tradition of liberty. It is instead a nation governed by some all inclusive multi-cultural synthesis of the various forms of government in the world, as expressed by the multiple languages used in the Super Bowl ad to sing a uniquely American hymn that celebrates our heritage.
“We don't get to pick and chose whether America should be diverse or not,” says one of the women featured in the ad on a behind-the-scenes video posted by Coca Cola, “It is diverse.....We need to celebrate all the different diversities.”
The old “America the Beautiful” is beautiful because of the blessings God had heaped on it and because its government offers “liberty in law,” while aspiring for togetherness. Coca Cola's America is beautiful because of the differences in its people. When 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, it's no wonder conservatives were outraged.