Coke’s “America the Beautiful”

On the most recent weekend, I’d heard about the so-called, “controversy,” of the Coke commercial during the Super Bowl, which involved the performance of the American patriotic song, “America the Beautiful,” in other languages. Only yesterday did I actually see the video for myself, and I am disgusted by the comments on it.

How is it that we, the United States of America, can be so divided in our beliefs on what ought to be a trivial commercial? United under English we may be (albeit for the sake of our individual functionalities in society), but to say that this song should not be sung in any other language but English is absurd and untrue to the American spirit of the virtues of life, liberty, and the right to the pursuit of happiness. It is a blow to life, where the cultural and linguistic lives of our multi-ethnic society are put in jeopardy. It is an attack upon personal liberty, where the immigrants and their descendants are discouraged from freely speaking their mother tongues and thereby forced to abandon their cultural identity and heritage. It is to abolish the right to the pursuit of happiness, to claim that when immigrants come to our country, they must speak English, abandon their own ways, assimilate into our society, and ultimately lose all sense of self, individuality, identity, and self, compromising personal happiness, such as one’s happiness upon their identity fully crystallizing and coming to terms with it.

So I ask you: If you deny the multi-ethnic nature of our society, how can you call yourself American, when you deny this important personal liberty, to speak one’s mother tongue and establish one’s cultural identity? How dare you deny liberty, a virtue that our colonial forefathers fought for!

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sr3934@nyu.edu

I'm a student studying at NYU, hoping to pursue a career in diplomatic services, and I'm obsessed with learning and teaching foreign languages. I like to practice Taekwondo, enjoy Square Enix video games, and engage in Asian-American social activism and international political activism.