Although I missed the Super Bowl on Sunday, the Seahawks’ big swoop-of-a-win over the Broncos quickly became big news, as it should have. The only NFL franchise team in the Pacific Northwest dominated 43-8 in its first NFL championship win. Regardless of what sport or team you cheer for, this was big news. You would think that these sort of games bring us together, pull us towards some common cause to win, unites us and makes us proud of the city we cheer for or the country we play in. We all remember that sentiment we felt during Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Olympics and how proud we were to be a part of Canada when Crosby scored that winning goal in OT against Team USA, a feeling I’m sure many are feeling in Sochi. Seattle’s big win should have made headlines, but Coca-Cola’s ad during commercial break shouldn’t have for the reasons that it did.
For those of you who, like me, missed the game and didn’t happen to flip through the TV during commercial time, here is Coke’s “America the Beautiful” ad.
Rather than uphold and celebrate that vision, a flood of outraged Twitter responses gave us reason to believe #AmericaIsNotBeautiful. The insensitive racist backlash targeted the different languages used in the songs, which somehow made drinking Coke seem “un-American” too. Public Shaming shared some great tweets and comedic insight.
According to data from the 2013 population census, 63% of USA’s population is classified as “White” and the other 37% is made up of other ethnicities. 37% is not a small percentage. And while 80% of Americans speaks English at home, we cannot simply ignore the other 20% that speak other languages. What baffles me the most is the ignorance of some to the rapidly growing multicultural and multilingual world, and how quickly and swiftly these ignorant people came to denounce the brand of Coca-Cola, going as far to say they won’t ever drink Coke or any of its beverages anymore. To these people I say: it’s going to be hard to avoid one of the world’s largest suppliers of carbonated soft drinks when your country is notoriously known for its soft-drink addiction, just like it’s going to be hard to avoid the growing 37% of “non-White” people in your country.
You don’t need to know who won the Super Bowl on Sunday, but this kind of obliviousness to the current modern world we live in is something I cannot accept.