Remember in the fifth grade when we learned about The United States of America’s early history? And we discovered that immigrants made this country what it is? And we were proud to call ourselves the Melting Pot because we were accepting of other races and cultures?
What happened to that mindset?
Some people are outraged by Coca-Cola’s most recent Super Bowl commercial. Somehow singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages is apparently unpatriotic and disrespectful, because to them America=English and everything else is foreign.
So I would like to pose an honest question to anyone who is upset about this commercial: Where are you from? Sure, you were probably born in this country, and maybe your parents and grandparents were, too. But where are your ancestors from? Did they speak English when they immigrated here? Did they completely abandon their culture when they arrived? Did they choose not to teach your grandparents and great-grandparents about their heritage? Probably not. But do you (and your ancestors) still call yourself American? Of course.
Now I would like to suggest some food for thought. Imagine you are moving to another country to start a new life. Pick a country, any country, where the standard language is not English and the culture is vastly different. How would you like to be welcomed? With open arms by people who are happy to see new citizens coming because it shows that people want to live in their great country? Or with disrespect because you don’t look or talk or dress or act like them?
It makes me sad when I hear people say things like America is being overrun by foreigners. Because, in reality, America is a country of foreigners. That’s how we started and that’s how we still are. Whether you are a first or a tenth-generation American, you can still call yourself American. We are a melting pot. And in a melting pot, the cultures are supposed to melt together and blend seamlessly to make a whole that is greater than its parts. America is beautiful, but only when we, as individual ingredients, choose to work together to make a final product that’s better than any of us alone.