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Coca-Cola’s ‘America the Beautiful’ Super Bowl Ad Causes Stir

ICTMN Staff
2/3/14

Toward the end of the first half of yesterday’s Super Bowl, Coca-Cola premiered an ad called “It’s Beautiful” featuring “America the Beautiful” sung in seven different languages. The ad immediately caused outrage on Twitter, hash tags like #SpeakAmerican instantly were trending and people’s ignorance about this country’s true history became glaringly evident.

Many Twitter users think that “America the Beautiful” is this country’s National Anthem and that English is this country’s national language. Neither of which is true. The “Star Spangled Banner” is in fact the National Anthem.

According to USA.gov, “There is no ‘official’ language for the United States, although some individual states list English as their official language.”

Moving on to more historic points of fact: English is of course a foreign language to this country. When the first European explorers arrived here there was not just one Native American language—another common misconception—but hundreds spoken.

Many of those languages have survived and one was represented in the Coca-Cola ad. As Darrell Dodi Robertson pointed out when Deadspin posted its story, titled “Dumb People Mad at Multi-Lingual ‘America the Beautiful’ Coca-Cola Ad,” to Facebook, “My wife speaks Navajo. And they weren't even included in the commercial.”

Languages featured in the Coca-Cola ad were English, Spanish, Tagalog, Hebrew, Hindi, Keres, and Senegalese-French.

Keres is a language spoken by the Pueblo people and is also known as Keresan. The language is spoken by nearly 11,000 people in the American Southwest today.

Many Native American languages are endangered and some tribes are working to preserve them. According to Native-Languages.org, Navajo is spoken by some 150,000 people.

Not everyone reacted so harshly to the commercial. Some like the melting pot aspect that Coca-Cola was trying to get across and even pointed out that Indigenous Peoples were here first.

As Deborah Powers said on Facebook, “I thought is was awesome!!! America is a ‘melting pot’ of so many different cultures and people. And why do you all think English is the only language we should be speaking? Aren’t the various Native Americans the original inhabitants of this country? Why are you all so intolerant? Were your ancestors all from here originally? Lighten up people. Why all the negativity????”

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Comments

Sela Freuler
Sela Freuler
Submitted by Sela Freuler on
"None were represented in the Coca-Cola ad." That's actually not accurate. Keres is a Pueblo language. Maybe do your research, ICT. It would've taken you 2 seconds to figure that out.

bullbear's picture
bullbear
Submitted by bullbear on
The outraged twitter statements remind me of writing I saw on a t-shirt, "If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy" America is a superpower because people of all races, religious belief, language, and sex helped make it so. It was not just those who spoke English who made America what it is today. God made us all different. What if we all looked alike, thought alike, spoke the same language, prayed alike, ate the same food, etc, etc. Thank you Coca-Cola for producing a tv commercial that lets the world know that it is ALL the people in the United States who make "America the Beautiful."

macaro's picture
macaro
Submitted by macaro on
A nice featurette on the Keres performer is found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lhcl0pfznoc

100IndigenousAmerican's picture
100IndigenousAm...
Submitted by 100IndigenousAm... on
Wide-scale feelings towards anyone without Euro-American English-speaking roots and assimilation is evident in many networks composed of wide spectrum participants. Look at the article and comments on an AOL story about an Archeological find in one of its premiere cities dating back 2000 years. There is a abundant hatred, denial and outright trashing of Native Americans in every aspect that it hurt my mind and spirit. As a Vietnam veteran I am angry at the lack of education in America, this includes the bungling of Indian education by BIA and BIE. Our children's intelligence must be attune to how to navigate beyond this hate without complete assimilation. Naming your children in Indigenous tongue is a start. To prevent manipulation of my opinion, I am not against Christian names and English names such as Nigel. I am only of the opinion that Native cultural values including religion and language should be raised to the highest level of Indigenous American continent.
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