i’d like to teach the world to sing (and give us lots of money)


Don’t expect anything profound here, but I wanted to make a very quick observation about the recent Coke commercial controversy. If you didn’t look at social media in the last couple days, you may have missed it. Coke did an advertisement during the Superbowl in which ‘America the Beautiful’ is sung in various languages. This caused some kind of uproar among certain true-blooded Americans. No, not native Americans, Americans whose ancestors immigrated from European counties. Many of which I presume didn’t speak “American”. Thank goodness the internet exists so that these good folk will have a way to vent the racist remarks that they have had to repress for so long. I don’t have anything to add to that conversation that would be enlightening. I’m not sure anyone does.

However, one version of the patriotic rant went something along the lines of…

“When our ancestors immigrated from the their country of origin, no one catered to them and made their life easier in America by making allowances for them to keep speaking their mother tongue. They were forced to learn English if they wanted to make their way in this new world. There was no ‘press 1’ to hear it in their own language.”

My observation doesn’t have anything to do with the truthfulness of this statement or even if it is a right thing to do or not. I simply want to register that the ‘press 1’ accommodation has absolutely nothing to do with welcoming the foreigner into our midst. It has everything to do with capitalism. People who don’t speak English are a definable target market. If ‘pressing 1’ helps a company to sell stuff to them, then you can bet that corporations will ‘welcome’ and ‘accommodate’ all day long. And in the event you were thinking that Coca-Cola was trying to create a beautiful expression of modern multi-cultural America with their insanely expensive Superbowl ad, think again. It’s all about the dolla bills y’all.

2 Replies to “i’d like to teach the world to sing (and give us lots of money)”

  1. I haven’t heard anything but a brief mention on the radio about the controversy. As I was watching the commercial Sunday night, I told myself to prepare to hear flak about it.

    Your post reminds me of why I finally hid the Facebook page of one of my friends a couple of years ago. The conversation was about those darned Muslims and something they had done to deserve our scorn (like praying to Allah or something). My friend said, “They should just go back to their country!”

    My question, left unasked: “What if this IS their country? Then where should they go?”

    Maybe I should have asked it, but I didn’t think it would make a dent and I didn’t want to get in the middle of a stupid exchange.

    Call me chicken, but I prefer not to have those conversations on social media. I don’t think any good ever comes out of them.

    1. Too true Suzy. I don’t think you’re chicken. Fighting on Facebook is pretty silly. I’d rather argue face to face 🙂

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