Many conservatives lashed out at Coca-Cola for their Super Bowl advertisement featuring a multilingual rendition of “America the Beautiful.” Fox contributor Allen West declared that America is “on the road to perdition,” Fox host Eric Bolling complained that it was wrong to use America the Beautiful, and someone at Breitbart News even wrote that the ad shows America is “no longer a nation ruled by the Constitution.” And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
But anchorwoman Brenda Wood of WXIA in Atlanta demolished these myths in her segment 'Brenda's Last Word.' Wood explained how diversity is what America is built on, citing Emma Lazarus' sonnet 'The New Colossus' on the Statue of Liberty. Wood also touched on the absurdity of nativists rallying around a language from another country, and she pointed out the identity of the woman who wrote the words to 'America the Beautiful.'
BRENDA WOOD: But the fact that people are outraged over this ad is outrageous itself. People indignant that others would have the audacity to sing 'America the Beautiful' in a language other than English, when America was built on opening its arms to the world? The quote on the Statue of Liberty doesn't say 'give me your English-speaking only, Christian-believing, heterosexual masses.' It says 'give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, tempest-tost.'
Have we forgotten that every one of us 'Americans' except for Native Americans, are descendants of foreigners?
That the English language is from England?
What makes America different from everywhere else is that we are a melting pot. We are not homogenous. It is our diversity that built this country.
How dare there be indignation over the very thing that makes us great.
And why not honor the beauty of that in song? What's so sacrosanct about this song that it can't be sung in other languages by other ethnicities, by those of diverse religions and diverse lifestyles?
A relevant question considering the words of 'America the Beautiful' were penned by a gay woman, Katharine Lee Bates, in 1895, an English professor at Wellesley who also wrote lovingly of her longtime committed relationship with another woman.