Wednesday, February 5, 2014

With Liberty and Justice For All

On Sunday I did something I never do. I sat my butt down on a couch, turned on the TV and watched football.

I’m definitely not a sports fan. Honestly, if American corporations really wanted to market to me, they would invest in commercial time during the Tony Awards. I’d rather be dead than miss that spectacle of entertainment.

This year the Seattle Seahawks were in the SuperBowl, and being from Washington, I did feel a bit of an obligation to watch. Throughout the hours of the broadcast, I mostly devoted my attention to unimportant thoughts about the game, such as “The Seahawks have cool gloves!” and “I wonder who paints the grass?” My attention mostly stayed elsewhere…until the commercials came on.

Like most years, the Super Bowl commercials were comprised of a mix of silly, stupid, and freaking hilarious (Those Doritos commercials get me every time!) But there was one commercial in particular that I really loved. This commercial by Coca Cola:



Even as I watched with enjoyment, in the back of my mind I knew that some people were going to be really pissed about it. And I was right. Twitter blew up with people's public disapproval of the commercial. Many people decided to make "patriotic" statements of their own.

A few examples courtesy of Tumblr

The backlash of Coke’s bold choice of a commercial was like a repeat of last year’s crowning of Miss America. In case you missed it, people were in an uproar because an "Arab girl" was crowned with the title. Really.

I would consider myself to be just as proud to be an American as anyone else, but I think that some people have a very warped view of what an "American" really is.

We are all here in America because our ancestors immigrated here at one point in time. Whether it was 200 years ago or one year ago shouldn't matter. America has always been and always will be a melting pot. We are comprised of hundreds of different cultures, languages and customs.

And that is just the way I like it.

Without having to use words, Coke said that you don't have to have fair skin, a pickup truck and a cold six-pack in the fridge to be an "American." If you are an American citizen, whether you are white, black, yellow, red or purple...you are still red, white and blue.

When we lay our hands over our hearts and say, "With liberty and justice for all," I hope we remember that "for all" even means people who may be different from us.

I applaud you Coca Cola for your commercial. Well done.

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