Wednesday, February 05, 2014

I'd like to teach America not to be so stupid

Last week, an MSNBC employee sent out the following Tweet:
Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/biracial family.
Given the conservative freakout over a previous Cheerios commercial featuring the same family, the Tweet seems absolutely fair. But the Republican National Committee demanded that MSNBC apologize, which they did, and MSNBC went so far as to fire the Tweet manager who had sent it. This was an act of cowardice, but it's how people not of the rightwing generally behave when they think they've made a mistake.

Please note that the rightwing news network, FOX News, regularly uses far more offensive and provocative language to describe anyone they disagree with including the Pope, Sandra Fluke, Attorney General Eric Holder, Hilary Clinton and the President of the United States, Barack Obama. No Republican calls on FOX News to apologize or demands anyone be fired.

Ironically, conservatives held their ire over the Cheerios commercial as they found another target.

If you watch or read the news, you are undoubtedly aware of the "controversy" that's erupted over Coca Cola's Super Bowl ad featuring "America the Beautiful", the clear spiritual descendant of the iconic, "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" commercial. Despite being a wonderful affirmation of the diversity and promise of America, prominent conservatives from FOX News commentators to Rush Limbaugh to actual Congressmen have gotten the vapors and condemned Coke.

Here's the commercial in case you haven't seen it.

I'll make this as clear as I can.

If you find this commercial offensive because it features people singing in different languages, you are an asshole.

What's more, you are an asshole who has no real understanding of what America is. We are, and have always been, a nation of immigrants. Aside from Native Americans, ALL our families have been immigrants at some point. (And technically even the Native Americans were once immigrants.)

We are a nation composed of different nationalities brought together with the common belief in human rights, representative government, freedom and all that jazz. We are not a whites-only club that requires English to be spoken here. We are not fearful of people who are different from us. We are those people.

This isn't an agree-to-disagree type issue. You are free to dislike the ad because you don't like the music, or you found the direction distracting, or you don't like its promotion of sugary soft drinks. But if you don't like the ad because you don't think America the Beautiful should be sung in any language but "American" you are an asshole.

A HUGE asshole.


SJHoneywell said...

"If you find this commercial offensive because it features people singing in different languages, you are an asshole."

I can not improve on that statement. That's all that needs to be said.

Mary said...

Hi, I'd like to present a new point of view upon this situation. The Coca-Cola add in question used only a few of the many languages spoken within this great nation. Nitpicking which languages to actually feature is, in my opinion, discrimination in and of itself. Furthermore choosing certain languages and excluding others gives the impression that the company was making a political point, and I believe that is what angered people more than the fact that the languages were there. As an optimist, I like to hope that the majority of the American population is intelligent and that we all have common sense to a certain degree. Unfortunately, I think we lack the ability to voice our opinions in a productive way. Which leads me to my point, most of us probably feel, above all, that a soft drink company shouldn't be trying to make a political point, nor should they be trying to induce individuals to buy a product by abusing and parading around common political beliefs. I also do not believe it is productive to call your fellow Americans stupid or assholes. How can we improve ourselves and become a stronger united people if we are constantly deconstructively criticizing each other? Thank you.

Ipecac said...

Mary, thanks for the comment.

There are approximately 337 languages spoken in the United States. Are you suggesting that unless all 337 could be featured in a one minute long commercial, Coke should just have not done it? Do you really think that Polish Americans feel discriminated against because the commercial didn't use Polish? If you read the actual reactions these people had to the commercial, most of them come across as based in xenophobic racism.

What "political point" do you think Coke was making? That America is made up of people who speak different languages? That's true. That people who speak different languages can be American and that they can love America? Also true. Please clarify as to what political point you think Coke was making by showing Americans singing America the Beautiful.

Finally, if you want me to stop calling other Americans stupid and assholes, then please encourage them to stop acting like stupid assholes. When that day arrives, I will be thrilled. Because I really don't enjoy living in a country with stupid assholes who get all bent out of shape every time someone shows a positive depiction of someone different from them.