ATLANTA — More than 300 languages are spoken in the United States, reflecting a potpourri of ethnicities, nationalities, and cultures that, for many, help make America beautiful.
But a Coca-Cola Co. ad that aired during Sunday’s Super Bowl, featuring “America the Beautiful” sung not only in English but six other languages, struck a nerve on social media.
“This commercial is a disgrace to America,” @Joe_Spurrier wrote on Twitter, following the tweet with #speakenglish.
In a blog post, former Florida Republican Rep. Allen West said, “If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing “American the Beautiful” in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come — doggone we are on the road to perdition.”
For others, however, the 60-second ad filled with snapshots of real lives, from sea to shining sea, struck a positive note.
“’America is supposed to pride itself on embracing other cultures and being a melting pot. I guess some people don’t understand what that means,” Brittany Jenkins posted on Facebook.
The outrage over the foreign languages may prove to be quite short-lived.
Based on a social media sampling, the outrage at those who were outraged appears to be much greater. And as conservative pundit Erick Erickson wrote, “People, the Coke ad was well done. This is so crazy that there is outrage over it. E Pluribus Unum isn’t in English either.”
In a statement, the company said people in the ad are Americans and “America the Beautiful” was sung by young, bilingual, American women.
“For centuries, America has opened its arms to people of many countries who have helped to build this great nation,” it said.