Coca-Cola, Cheerios, and Why Some People Need to STFU

I’ve been commenting in various places on the interwebz regarding the latest thing that has white folks on the right1 up in arms. I apologize in advance if you have already seen some of the comments I will make here, but this has pissed me off to the point that I feel I need to vent my frustration before the bile or ichor or whichever of the body’s humors it is that is building up in my spleen erupts and kills me.

That’s right boys and girls, it’s Ranting Time.

I will start off by stating for the record that I don’t give a rat's ass about professional football. I was born and raised in Detroit and we are still waiting for a professional football team.
3 Obviously, I do not camp out on that one Sunday a year and watch the Super Bowl.4

I’m also not interested enough in the commercials to devote a portion of my Sunday to waiting for them to pop up.
5 The series of tubes which Al Gore invented allows me to watch them whenever I want. Hell, this year I actually saw a bunch of them before they were broadcast.6

Today I slept in a bit, then took care of some housekeeping. It was the middle of the morning before I finally logged into the NSA information device known as Facebook. I had to take a moment to figure out what everyone was talking about. It seems there was a Coke advert that got a lot of people pissed off. Everyone that showed up on my wall was reacting to the reactions to the ad. Most of the reactions were something along the lines of “if you feel that the ad was offensive, let me know so I can block you.”

It appeared that it was my duty as an American citizen to watch this commercial and find out what was going on.

So I watched the Coke ad.

You know what? I thought it was lovely. It sounded beautiful. My first thought was “What a beautiful way for these singers to express their love of their country and honor their heritage at the same time.”

Apparently this is not the opinion of a large segment of the population. Their reaction seemed to be more along the lines of:


Or something along those lines.




Seriously. What the fuck is wrong with these people? Why do they assume that someone who is fluent in a foreign language is an enemy of the United States? Do they not realize that the bulk of the world speaks something other than English
8, including our allies? Even countries which have English as an official language9 have a high population of people who speak something else as well.

My next argument, are the people making this complaint aboriginal Americans (by which I mean someone whose ancestry can be traced back to before the first European settlers)? If your family is of Navajo or Ojibwa or … you get what I’m driving at here. If so, then OK, you get to be pissed off about foreigners. Did your ancestors came over post-Columbus? Then shut up.

Sadly, the people who are making this argument are themselves no more than a few generations away from people who were themselves, not native to this continent and who probably did not speak English as their native tongue. By making this argument that all people should speak English if they are in this country, they are dishonoring their own families.

I can only imagine one of the turd baskets hearing their grandmother say something in German or Russian or whatever, getting all red in the face and veiny, and then exploding in the same way.

“Damn it Nana! Speak English of GTFO!”

Yeah, right. That doesn’t happen.

What we are dealing with is the depressingly pervasive notion that anything which is at all different is bad, wrong, and possibly threatens ones very way of life. It is rampant xenophobia. Down with all outsiders! If you are not part of the group then you are against the group!

There are a number of things wrong with these ideas. The first is that it is based on an unhealthy definition of the in group. These people draw a circle which in restrictively inclusive (to belong you must be white, or male, or rich, or listen to country music, or whatever).
10 A more healthy reaction would be to inscribe a circle which includes all human beings or all sentient beings on the planet or something along these lines. Of course, this would not help them further their aims.

By which I mean the protection of that which they have from someone they feel may be plotting to take it away from them. This kind of thinking could best be described as “I’ve already got mine, I don’t care if you get yours.” That is on a good day. The rest of the time it’s “I’ve already got mine and I want everything else so you get nothing.”

I remember a socio-geographical process, the name of which escapes me, which explains how cities grow over time. With each new group of immigrants, there is an outward movement away from the areas designated the poorest. With it comes an automatic revision of the views of the status of the group. For example, group A moves to the country and takes up residence in the slums. They work the menial jobs (dock work, factory work, agricultural, whatever is deemed lowest by the local population) for a generation or two. When the next group of people arrives from country B, they are viewed as the newcomers, the lowest of the low. Group A either moves away and looks down upon group B or they become threatened by group B, seeing them as competition for scarce resources (depending upon how well group A has acclimated to the new country and how well their progeny are doing at moving away from the low level work environment).

Applying this idea to the current brouhaha, we have the members of group A who are so far removed from the current influx group (by this time we are immigration wave N or O) that they have no reason to be worried about competition for resources. In fact, there is the distinct possibility that group A has risen to the socio-economic point where
they are the ones who are exploiting the new group. If anything they should be happy that the newcomers are there.

All of which is a very long-winded way of saying that they people who are espousing this venomous crap are probably doing so because they want to make sure the focus is not on them. Like a magician’s wand, they are practicing legerdemain
13, making sure the audience is focused on one thing while they pull of their big trick. Make sure everyone is upset about foreigners who sing in something other than English and the rubes won’t notice that the reason that they can’t get ahead is because some other white dude is screwing them over.

Sorry, went kind of tangental there.

Let’s turn our attention back to the commercial for a moment. Specifically, let’s look at the whole “everyone in America should speak English” thing.

There is nothing in the commercial which indicates that the people singing (might I once again point out singing
beautifully) do not speak English. In fact, there are plenty of videos on-line showing the singers doing just that. The idea that the fact that someone knows how to sing in another language equates to them being unable to speak English is ridiculous.15

Once again, these are people who are AMERICANS, proud Americans, who wanted to show their pride by singing about their chosen country. I’d be willing to bet that anyone who emigrated to the US knows a Hell of a lot more about the country’s history than the douche-canoes complaining on Twitter. Let’s see one of them pass a citizenship test.

In essence, the people who are complaining about the Coke ad
16 are using false patriotism to disguise their blatant bigotry. Anyone doing so has absolutely no idea about the real idea behind this great country. By wrapping themselves in the flag so they can espouse hatred they are desecrating the flag and everything it stands for.

Oh, and you complete and total dumbasses who are calling “America the Beautiful” the National Anthem? Congratulations, you just lost your citizenship.


1 Notice, I said “on the right” and definitely not “in the right.”

2 “What time is it?”

3 What? The Detroit Lions haven’t won a championship since my mom was in grade school. They are one of four or five teams who have NEVER been to the Super Bowl. They managed to win every pre-game and LOSE every regular season game in the SAME SEASON! Yes that’s right, they had a perfect record -- of losses.

4 Although I have been known to watch the entire Puppy Bowl.

5 I do know people who only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials.

6 Which makes me question spending a gajillion dollars for Super Bowl air time.

7 I joke here, but this appeared like something upon which I should have an opinion. If I was going to have an opinion, I was going to base it on my own viewing of the commercial, not the writings of other people.

8 English. Not American. There is no “American” language you simple twatwaffles.

9 Of which the United States of America
IS NOT ONE! The US does NOT have an official language (although some states have declared English their official language).

10 Yes, I recognize the irony in this statement. I have just defined an in group which does not include these people. It would be funny if it weren’t so bleeding sad.11

11 This is part of the reason that I always check “Other” on surveys. I don’t want to be lumped in with this kind of lunk headed, sister-fucking, jingoistic people. If there is a blank I list myself as a “Canine-American.”

12 I suspect that a lot of surveys I fill out get tossed.

13 Which, I believe, is based upon a French word, so I guess I am suspect.

14 Wow, this is a pretty good rant, isn’t it?

15 Do you remember “Frere Jacques” or “Aloutte?” What about singing a verse of "Silent Night" in the original German during Candlemass on Christmas Eve? Congratulations, you are now an enemy of the State. Please report to your local Department of Homeland Security office for immediate deportation.

16 And the super cute Cheerios ad.

17 Super bonus points to General Mills for not only ignoring the flack from their earlier commercial featuring an inter-racial family, but for having the guts to return to that family and announce their new addition (plus a puppy).