This Coke Ad Offends You? Really?

Apparently Xenophobia isn’t reserved for Paul Broun’s opinions on who should be subjected to TSA checks at the airport anymore. Now it’s for people that are offended that “America The Beautiful” isn’t reserved for people that speak English. Because, you know, the great melting pot of our country and what we stand for to others must only apply to those others that look and talk like us.

Because, you know, all these songs we learned to sing about our country were about ourselves. Somewhere, Woody Guthrie is spinning in his grave.

This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.


    • John Vestal says:

      It has recently come to my attention that foreign languages that aren’t English are actually being taught to some of our red-blooded, blue-eyed, blond-haired ‘Murican kiddoes at so-called “institutions of higher education”. How long has this been going on??

    • Daniel N. Adams says:

      I just tried to reverse translate my comment… not even close to what I meant for it to say. Ha!

  1. Jawgadude says:

    Yes it offended me. Now if Coke had these immigrants sing in English with their heavy accents, that would have been OK… it would have promoted assimilation.

      • seenbetrdayz says:

        As much as the ad *doesn’t* offend me, I think the native American argument is a bit of a red herring whenever it comes up. No one ever stops to consider that the Native Americans lost their lands to a bunch of immigrants, and that unchecked immigration eventually led to the demise of their societies. There’s a lesson in there that’s lost on many people. Now, I doubt that the native Americans could have actually prevented mass immigration given how tribal differences would have made it impossible to come up with a unified response to mass immigration. Well, the more I type, the more it sounds *exactly* like what is happening today. We’re simply witnessing history repeat itself as it often does.

        So, I don’t think Navajo speakers would have been offensive, but I wonder what the Navajo would have to say about immigration.

    • Daniel N. Adams says:

      But, but.. but, but Charlie said you were upset because they didn’t look and sound like you.

    • Ellynn says:

      Who says their immigrants?

      My grandmother’s first langague was German. He parents, grandparents and the rest of her family spoke German. She learned English (from her parents) at 5 years of age before she started school. She was third generation American, born the 1910’s. One of her grandparents was born in Prussia in 1853 and arrived in New York 6 days after the end of the civil war. The other three were born in Wisconsin in the late 1860’s but have older siblings born in Prussia. My grandmother spoke German more often then English when I was a child. My mother is fluent in German, but she learned English first… She was born just before WWII.

      My 6 year old 2nd cousin speaks fluent French. She is 2nd generation American on her mother side. She has NO French background. Her mother just like Paris.

  2. ricstewart says:

    Thanks for this dose of common sense, Charlie.
    Many forget that Spanish-speakers were the first Europeans to set foot in what is now Georgia, and the Spanish settlement at Guale pre-dates the English settlement at Savannah.

    These English-only controversies also overlook the fact that it’s not just about immigrants. People whose ancestors have lived in the United States for generations still speak non-English dialects that have deep roots in our country. In Georgia and South Carolina, Gullah/Geechee; in Louisiana, French and Creole; in Amish country, German dialects; in Hawaii, Hawaiian, and in the U.S. territories, Spanish, Samoan, Chamorro, and Carolinian.

    Now queue Harry to deliver Lou Dobbs talking points 🙂

  3. drjay says:

    to be “offended” by this commercial is to have a 1st world problem for sure…if one felt compelled to be offended by any of the commercials last night, surely there are much more offensive options to choose from (rainbows out of german engineers butts, beckham naked…)

  4. Hardly says:

    Charlie, are you REALLY surprised some people of your political bent/party took issue with that ad? Really?

    • Charlie says:

      About the only thing more sad than people who would be offended by the above ad are those who willfully decide to project those feelings on another political party out of the misguided belief they those who agree with them are pure, or worse, to deliberately use it to profit from it via political means.

      • Hardly says:

        For the record, I did say “some people” not “all”, “most” or even “many”. If “some” is out of bounds, then I guess there’s no way to use English to ask if you were genuinely surprised at the reaction. (Maybe one of the other languages in the commercial is better suited to threading that linguistic needle.)

        Or are you pretending that of the total number of people offended by the ad, the proportion that is conservative/Republican is something other than overwhelming?

        • Charlie says:

          For the record, you’re trolling and I choose not to play.

          Should you choose to continue, I’d suggest you choose your words carefully, because they’re very likely to be your last here.

      • Daniel N. Adams says:

        With this comment you truly hit the nail on the head. Observationally speaking, I found that there were people across the political spectrum that were somewhat offended by this ad. Also, and even though I think the whole thing was blown out of proportion (Coke may have shot pass their celebrating “melting pot” intent),… and again just speaking of what I’ve seen… and an angle I haven’t seen reported or blogged on… are the English speaking immigrants that were also upset with this ad… very similar to when we see legal immigrants upset at illegals for not following “the rules.”

  5. James Fannin says:

    A more honest add would have shown mountains of empty plastic Coke products in the background floating in our streams which really does add a beautiful dash of color to those otherwise boring scenes of nature.

  6. Mrs. Adam Kornstein says:

    I think some folks may be forgetting that this isn’t really about “America”, Coke was one of the first corporations to offer a global product and is the most recognizable brand on earth.

    Besides, the folks who are represented in this commercial could be our citizens, but you know they don’t really have to be. The visual works either way, which is what I used to admire about the “I’d like to teach the world to sing” commercials. It really didn’t matter what country it was shown it, most people got it.

  7. Engineer says:

    Honestly, it was a bit of a forgetful commercial, not because I didn’t approve of the language stuff, but because it just really didn’t stand out. Especially compared to the two great Budweiser commercials.

  8. South Fulton Guy says:

    Face it folks Paul Broun is a space cadet who will say anything to get elected. If you want a democrat US Senator to replace Saxby Chambliss, continue to support Paul Broun as a candidate….

  9. Baker says:

    I was on a plane last night until about 10:00 and even when I got home wasn’t really active on social media, you don’t have to name them or whatever, but who was offended by this? I thought it was awesome.

  10. Will Durant says:

    This was just Coke’s marketing guys trying to recreate the magic of the original I’d Like to Teach The World to Sing commercial. Same place, different time, and lightning very rarely strikes twice in the same place. But I’m sure it is tough to come up with new ways to market the sugar water.

    I still think America The Beautiful makes for a better national anthem.

  11. Robin Wheeler says:

    When it got to the surfers, I got all choked up and lost my breath. Absolutely beautiful.

    Bravo Charlie, Bravo.

    Get a life people. And learn how to love your neighbor. Geesh.

  12. Jon Lester says:

    I appreciate the message just fine, but my health has improved in the three years since I stopped consuming carbonated soft drinks, and I wish more people, from all walks of life, across multicultural America, would think about that, too, for the benefit of our national well-being.

  13. saltycracker says:

    It was a good commercial using a great song moving between languages and proudly reflecting a global reach. All folks should be proud of their heritage but can’t isolate themselves with it or they might find it harder to pursue the dream in a diverse U.S. workplace. But let’s not get tied up in what we mistakenly think is sensitivity.

    The most harmful thing we could do to those seeking a better life in America is to lead folks on that if they want to keep their language they can. Communicating clearly in English is the path to a better life in the U.S. and being multi- lingual a big asset.

    Keep that “identity” lingo and you are left in a pocket, that includes colloquial English.

  14. becauseisaidso says:

    Reminded of the old joke-
    What did Native Americans call the US before we got here?
    English is not a native language to North America if you are true to the expression. It is the language of the winners. The Spaniards went south, or were pushed there. The French went north. The human beings searching for a better life are here now, in every language. It’s a big tent folks, that’s what I heard.

  15. Mrs. Adam Kornstein says:

    Fun Fact:

    The woman who wrote the song, Katharine Lee Bates had a relationship with Katharine Coman whom she lived with for 25 years, until Coman died. Often referred to as a “Boston Marriage”.
    The second irony here is that the song writer left the Republican party in 1924, due to the growing xenophobia within its ranks.

    Its the same song that greeted Nixon when he arrived in China, and has had three somewhat different versions.

    I think most people like it better because it’s a hellava lot easier to sing successfully than our national anthem.

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