America Speaks Asswhole

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

    Anything written, recorded, filmed, or produced, and put out for the world to see is going to generate responses.  It may be in agreement, it may be tearful, it could spark a revolution or settle a divide.  Today's media spreads to every corner of the world, including yours, and that is a gift that we internet junkies take for granted.  
While social media and online publications can provide endless entertainment and be quite amusing, they also act as a soundboard for anyone and everyone to voice their opinions.  This is one of the glorious things about the internet, and one of it's biggest pit falls, but it is nonetheless a quintessential part of media today.
This past Sunday, February 2nd, 2014, social media and the people it serves were brought together in an almost inescapable clash during Super Bowl 48.  While some people anticipate the ginormous production that brings America's favorite sports season to a close for the tackles and touchdowns and plays, others simply look forward to the chips and dip.  One thing is for certain though: nobody misses the commercials.
Commercials during the Super Bowl are recognized as some of the best all year, and for good reason; a 30 second ad this year went for the low, low price of just $4 million.  Can you blame the companies for shelling out the dough, though, when they have the chance to reach over 111.5 million viewers?  Companies bring out the big guns, and every commercial is guaranteed to do one of three things: make you laugh, make you tear up, or most importantly, make you want to wear red, white and blue, eat a hot dog, and say the Pledge of Allegiance.
This year, Coca-Cola attempted for a high score of two out of three in their commercial "It's Beautiful", but certainly did not anticipate the incredible backlash that the ad generated.
And why would they?  United States citizens singing 'America the Beautiful' while doing everyday, relatable human being things, with a few bottles of Coke thrown in here and there, should appeal to all of us.
The horrifying, unpatriotic, disgusting, jaw-dropping, stomach-twisting, absolutely appalling thing about it?  Some people were singing the song in languages other than English.
Quelle horreur!  Stop the presses!  Cover you children's eyes, plug their ears!  Throw out every tainted can of America's old favorite drink because heaven forbid you should support such blasphemy. 
God knows we only speak English here in the United States.

If Coke really wanted to represent the U.S., it seems that what they should have done was showcase frightfully illiterate and ignorant people, and their ruthless and explicit displays of downright stupidity.  Thankfully, their messages regarding the commercial were limited to 140 characters, though most people couldn't piece together that many anyway. compiled some of the most alarming and admittedly laughable comments tweeted in response to the commercial.

And my personal favorite: 

You can see the entire collection of tweets and read the post here.

I am no stranger to the ugly things people say on social media; I see thoughtless comments and blog posts about cyber bullying. And I certainly do not expect all 313.9 million of us to hold hands and sing and dance and get along all the time.
But what is appalling to me is the complete lack of respect for the fellow citizens of our country, especially given the diverse population that none but us can boast.
Yes, there are many issues surrounding immigration.
Yes, we have been wounded by countries that are represented by some populations here in the U.S.
But what gives you, an American citizen just like everyone else breathing and working and loving and hurting in this great nation, a reason to lash out?  A reason to say demeaning, hurtful, and entirely ignorant statements towards someone you have never met?
America used to be a shining beacon of hope for freedom and acceptance.  
People came from all ends of the earth to live in the United States of America because it was a place for growth, and civil rights, and democracy, and difference.
What we used to proudly proclaim as a melting pot of cultures has been reduced to an unfortunate who's who of us verses them.
I think the fine people of this country need a history lesson and a wake up call.  They need to be reminded that first and foremost, "America" is not a term that we get all to ourselves. defines America as "a landmass in the western hemisphere that consists of the continents of North and South American joined by the Isthmus of Panama.  The continent was originally inhabited by American Indians and Inuits."  Not only is America supposed to be Americas, it was a land that was inhabited before most of our ancestors ever got here.
This is something that people today overlook.  Pilgrims sailed to a foreign land and claimed it as their own because they wanted it.  Yes, we settled it and created cities and industries and lives and an incredible country.  But we still conquered and overtook and pushed people out, and for what?  So centuries later, the current inhabitants could make fools of themselves and degrade what this great nation stands for?
The very essence of the United States is that lifestyles here are built on freedom; freedom to say what you want, believe what you want, earn what you want, and fight for what you want.  
The people who tweeted their thoughts exercised their freedom, and for that I do not condemn them.
I simply wish that as a whole, our country had more patience, acceptance, and tolerance towards each other, because at the end of the day, we live in the United States of America.  Land of the free and home of the brave, where we vote for our leaders and send our children to school and spark creativity and support innovation.
You know what else we do?  Drink Coca-Cola. 
There is no official language here in the U.S., so it is absurd to think you can ridicule a company for portraying Americans, in the truest sense of the word, signing a beautiful song in multiple languages.  We do not just speak 'American' and we do not just believe in one doctrine.  We are a nation that people all over this world yearn to be a part of.  Right now, someone across the globe is dreaming of coming to the United States.
Let's make it a place worth dreaming of.

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