Editor’s Note: Coachella Unincorporated is not supporting Coca Cola products, simply expressing one point of view regarding the content of its recent television commercial.
NATALIA CERVANTES/Coachella Uninc
When I saw Coca Cola’s “America the Beautiful” commercial during the Super Bowl, I knew there would be immediate criticism.
I knew the images of Americans – of different races, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations — with “America the Beautiful” in different languages would spark controversy.
Almost immediately #boycottCoke and #wespeakAmerican began to trend on Twitter.
The ad (aside from trying to sell sugary beverages to ALL of us) was showcasing the differences and similarities in the daily lives of Americans. I have found that throughout history, “different” is scary. Not everyone is so eager to accept change. Is this the core of criticism and ridicule that was sent out via social media after the ad aired?
Because we are free to speak what we want, often without consequences, it is easy to only think of ourselves. Why is it that we feel our own words are important, yet we criticize others when they speak their mind?
Our country was founded by people who wanted to be free and pursue happiness. People continue to come here from all over the world for the same reasons; we are a melting pot.
It should not be shocking when we see Mexicans in the grocery store buying the same food. Or an Indian family sitting in the booth next to you, enjoying a dinner, speaking Hindi. Or a group of South Africans dancing next to you in the style of their people. That’s the focal point of our lives as Americans; diversity. It is our establishment, it is who we are.
Everyone in this country can trace their roots to a foreign country and revel in the beauty that their bloodline goes past the borders of America. Yet, why is it that when people from those countries come here, whatever we consider “foreign” stops being beautiful?
Youth Can End Intolerance and Hate
It seems to me that most of the criticism was coming from an older generation — not young people. The older generation of Americans seems so keen on judging quickly and not very open to change. It would seem, the closer you are to the generation that immigrated to America, the more open you would be to immigrants.
Amongst the criticism there was positive feedback for the commercial from Americans who celebrate the beauty of diversity and accept the changing face of our country.
I believe the younger generation is more open minded and that, in time, we can bring an end to intolerance and hate. When we watched this commercial at a recent Coachella Unincorporated meeting, we all had the same positive reaction to message. We found it hard to believe that it spurred so much hate.
To me, to be a true American is to be proud of our diversity – racially, ethnically, sexually and socially.
This is what makes America beautiful.