This is America, Speak American!

By Richawna Cassie

During the Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, February 2nd, Coca Cola aired a controversial commercial titled “It’s beautiful.”

The ad had numerous clips of Americans doing everyday activities like dancing and watching movies with “America the Beautiful” playing in the background in multiple languages.

The Coca Cola ad was a beautiful and accurate depiction of America. However, many people were outraged because they felt that such a patriotic song should only be sung in English. Critics continuously used the phrase “This is America, we speak American.”

First of all, there is no such language as American. What exactly does it mean to be American? What makes America different from most countries?

Immigration is the largest factor contributing to our population growth, adding.25 million people to the nation each year.  According to Hess and Frohlich (2013), more than 45 million immigrants live in the U.S., which is more than four times as many as any other nation, making it the country with the most immigrants in the world.

I remember sitting in my American Literature class during my junior year of high school,  My teacher asked the class to brainstorm a list of what comes to mind when we hear the word “America.”  Many people included the terms “diversity”, “immigrants,” and “land of the free” among others.  My teacher also asked us to raise our hands if any of us were immigrants or had immigrant parents or grandparents—the majority of the class raised their hands. Most of my classmates do not even speak English at home. Does this make them “un-American”?

Wasn’t the man who “discovered” this nation from Italy? The first people who came to America, besides the Native Americans, were from France, Britain, and Spain.

Saying that the inclusion of “America the Beautiful” in languages other than English is “un-American” is ignorant. America isn’t just one culture. It is a blend of all the different people who live here, all the different traditions practiced here, and all the languages spoken here. That is what makes America American.

 

 

 

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