An anchorwoman for Atlanta’s WXIA television station held little back in going after the right-wing rage over Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl commercial this past Sunday. The commercial featured “America the Beautiful” sung in various languages along with images of America’s great diversity — people of different ethnicities and backgrounds, including a gay family. Here’s some of what anchor Brenda Wood had to say in response:
“The fact that people are outraged over this ad is outrageous itself. People indignant that others would have the audacity to sing ‘American the Beautiful’ in a language other than English? When America was built on opening its arms to the world?
The quote on the Statue of Liberty doesn’t say: ‘Give me your English-speaking-only, Christian-believing, heterosexual masses.’ It says: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses … tempest-tossed.’
Have we forgotten that every one of us Americans, except for Native Americans, are descendants of foreigners? That the English language is from England?
What makes America different from everywhere else is that we are a melting pot. We are not homogenous. It is our diversity that built this country. How dare there be indignation over the very thing that makes us great.
And why not honor the beauty of that in song? What’s so sacrosanct about this song that it can’t be song in other languages, by other ethnicities, by those of diverse religions and diverse lifestyles?”