Coca Cola “America the Beautiful” Ad: We’re Not a Melting Pot Anymore

Coca Cola “America the Beautiful” Ad: We’re Not a Melting Pot Anymore

Coca Cola “America the Beautiful” Ad: We’re Not a Melting Pot Anymore

For many people, the commercials are one of the highlights of the Super Bowl. But for many people, one ad struck the wrong chord. Coca Cola is considered one of the most quintessentially American brands, and they aired an ad which showed different people singing “America the Beautiful”. The controversy was because the song was sung in multiple different languages instead of just in English.

Conservatives immediately erupted in outrage on Twitter. Liberals, meanwhile, rushed to defend it. We’re a multicultural nation, they said. We’re a nation of diversity. This country was built on immigration. We’re a melting pot, remember?

And that, exactly, is the point. We’re a melting pot. That means that people from all over the world can come here… and melt. That means assimilation into the American culture, and a very large part of any country’s culture is their language. Like it or not, language affects culture — how we think, how we see things. And while it would be ridiculous to make the argument that people who immigrate to the United States should somehow miraculously forget their native tongue, it is vital that they learn English. It doesn’t actually help immigrants to wave off the necessity of learning English. Yes, we are a nation of immigrants. But the brutal fact remains that the overwhelming majority of people in the United States speak English. Most people are not fluent in 38 different languages. And an immigrant will not be able to assimilate — or, more importantly, survive — if they do not learn English. Why is this such a radical notion? No one would claim that a person could immigrate to, say, Brazil without learning Portuguese and be able to become successful there. In order to survive and be successful when immigrating to another country, a person must assimilate into that country’s culture. That applies for the United States, too, even though liberals constantly want to scream DIVERSITY!! at us. It’s typical for liberals, though — they constantly champion causes in the name of helping the downtrodden, but the things they’re championing hurt the people they claim to be fighting for. This is just another example. It does not help any immigrant, regardless of where they come from and what language they speak, to tell them that there is no need for assimilation into the American culture.

If immigrants want to survive, they have to learn English.

Coming from countries where English is not taught in public schools early enough (if at all!) and arriving largely without college degrees at a time when most jobs require some kind of post secondary education, Hispanics are confronted with a double disadvantage. Unless they remediate it soon after their arrival it impacts their ability to progress in the U.S. Low hourly rates keep them working two or three jobs which doesn’t leave much time for learning English which in turn keeps them trapped in the same low-level jobs. In addition, many Latinos live in close-knit Spanish speaking communities, which reinforces the idea that English is not really necessary to survive.

That may be true if the main goal in moving to the United States was just to survive. But for most immigrants, the reason they left everything behind was to have a better living standard and more financial opportunities. Too often Latinos don’t connect learning the language and furthering their education with better opportunities.

The problem with the ad was not that there were diverse people featured. It wasn’t that people in it were of different races, nationalities, creeds, and lifestyles. That is part of what makes America great: anyone can come here and make a life for themselves, can have a chance to be successful and live the American dream. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. But in order for that to happen, a person must assimilate. It isn’t xenophobic to insist upon assimilation. It doesn’t mean you forget the country and the culture that you come from, but it does mean that you need to accept a new country, a new language, and a new culture as your own. Theodore Roosevelt famously spoke about this very issue:

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American… There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

America is a melting pot, but the diverse people that come here must melt into the American culture. Coca Cola got caught in the multiculturalism trap, and it’s unfortunate, because the idea they presented is a lie. What makes America beautiful isn’t that people can come here from different countries, speaking their own languages and retaining their own cultures. That weakens our country. What makes America beautiful is the idea of the melting pot: that anyone, from anywhere in the world, can come here and become an American. And becoming an American, unfortunately for the multiculturalists, includes speaking English.

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  • Jen says:

    The ad would have been much more effective, and far less offensive(yes, I heard it live and was offended) had all the different cultures sung the song in English. With their accent, etc.
    But as someone pointed out in another blog, the CEO of Coca Cola is Turkish American and apparently hasn’t assimiliated either.
    Faygo, baby.
    Made in Detroit. And (unlike Chrysler, which sadly is now wholly owned by Fiat, and is therefore Italian,) is still American owned. No matter what Bob Dylan says.

  • Kit says:

    Assimilation is more than just learning English. It’s internalizing what it truly means to be an American. When I see a song that is sacred to this culture sung in Arabic, it burns my blood. Not because I hate Arabs, but because that song is part of the cultural fabric of what we are. It is not up for retooling. Just as my American birthright is not up for rebranding into some global piece of BS. It spits in the face of American exceptionalism.

  • Adam says:

    Excellent article.

  • KEVIN says:

    Is this the same Coca Cola that is a major corporate donor to the United Nations?(snicker)
    For the record I’m offended anytime I here the national anthem of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA sung sans english.

  • The happiest nations throughout history have been mono-ethnic.

    This is because ethnicity reflects the values, inclinations and abilities of our ancestors. It’s important to be compatible.

    If you look throughout history, there are no successful diverse nations. There are many nations which became more diverse as they approached internal collapse.

    Perhaps it’s time to shut the borders, restore freedom of association, and let the USA become a Western European nation again.

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