A new advertisement that Coca-Cola unveiled during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb 2 has sparked quite a controversy.
Named 'It's beautiful', the ad depicts US' diversity by showing people of different immigrant communities singing "America the Beautiful" in seven different languages, including Hindi.
Individuals featured in the footage represented the melting pot that is the US. One of the vignettes also depicted what are said to be the first gay parents shown in a Super Bowl ad.
The classic song plays throughout the advertisement in English, Spanish, Hindi, Keres, Tagalog, Senegalese French and Hebrew.
The New York Daily News reported:
"The commercial spot dredged up multiple hot-button issues for right wingers -- the ongoing debate over the codification of English as the primary language in the US, immigration reform and the acceptance of same sex relationships in mainstream media."
Allen West, a former Republican House member, wrote in a blog post:
"The last thing any of us should want to see is a balkanised America. Furthermore, it has to be of concern that we have Americans who lack the resolve to take a stand for our borders, language, and culture... If you truly want to show a diverse commitment to service, sacrifice, and honour that enables us to live in 'America the Beautiful' that would have been rated the best commercial advertisement of the Super Bowl."
On Twitter, the hashtag #SpeakAmerican began trending as more and more people joined the debate. Many questioned why an officially English-speaking country should advertise in other languages:
However others pointed out America's multi-culturalism and pointed out that it was beyond the racists to realise that America was a multi-lingual expanse, which did not even know English, before the so-called pilgrim fathers and settlers usurped the land. When they established themselves, many of the country's Founding Fathers themselves were multi-lingual, and over time, America became a land of immigrants, attracting people from all over the world.
To those angry at the coke commercial, you do realize English was a foreign language here as well until 1776. " #SpeakAmerican "— Garrett Guevara (@GarrettGuev) February 4, 2014
Unless you're speaking Sioux, Cherokee, Navajo, or any other Native American language there is no such thing as "#speakamerican "smh.— Ayanna A (@MsTriniSpyce) February 3, 2014
Apparently Americans are unaware "American" is a melting pot of all other languages invented before them. How presumptuous! #SpeakAmerican— laura slagle (@lauragslagle) February 4, 2014