There’s clearly an unlimited amount of RAM inside the far-right outrage machine. Just a cursory peek at the conservative blogosphere and Twitter reveals seething rage at a Coca-Cola Super Bowl commercial of all things.
Evidently the folks at Coke decided to stir up controversy by — shock, horror — airing a multi-lingual rendition of the patriotic classic “America the Beautiful.” Insane, I know.
Allen West said it “balkanized” the United States. Ironic, considering the far-right’s threats of secession. Glenn Beck said it “divides” us. Breitbart.com called it “offensive.” Some falsely referred to “America the Beautiful” as the National Anthem (it’s not). Others complained that it contained “the terrorist’s language,” whatever that means. Would that be Timothy McVeigh’s language or Dzokar Tsarnaev’s language?
In the commercial, the lyrics are sung in various languages as an obvious, on-the-nose way to honor America’s ethnic diversity. Because, yes, America is a diverse nation made up of not one ethnic group like so many other nations, but of multiple ethnic groups seeking our special brand of liberty and opportunity.
However, in the hive mind of too many xenophobes and racists, this is a bad thing. The notion of an American melting pot is now considered controversial at best and an anti-American atrocity at worst. The far-right has chosen to become outraged by an illustration of cultural diversity and it’s really not a surprise. So much for that outreach effort.
Look, if you’re so desperately attached to the idea of an ethnically homogeneous nation, you’re in the wrong country. We do not, and should never have an official language in the United States. If this is unacceptable to you, you’re in the wrong country. From the “The New Colossus” at the base of the Statue of Liberty to the self-evident truth that America was indeed populated and built by people of all races, cultures and languages, this is who we are, and if you’re so nearsighted and so confused about our origins and composition as a nation, you’re in the wrong country.
Our diversity is something to be celebrated. Not shouted down. And it’s certainly not a point of controversy. Other than our Constitution, it best represents why the United States stands out as a great nation, and what makes it, at least in terms of these examples, exceptional.
I think the MSNBC social media tech who was fired last week is owed an apology.