and the Coca-Cola company. For turning over the rock, and allowing light to shine on the racism that is alive and all too
well in America.
I didn’t watch the Super Bowl, didn’t see the commercial that caused waves in our amber GMO enriched grain until this morning. If I was a gambler, I’d put money on the idea that many of the same people shitting themselves over a Coke commercial featuring people of color! language other than English! would consider me suspect, not a real American for the simple fact that I’m not a football fan, not a sports fan at all.
That’s what America’s all about, right? The Pilgrims came here so they could chase a ball and drink beer without any pesky brown people, or hearing anything other than the dulcet tones of English. Such a pure language, developed in a magical place without any influences from any other nasty, discordant languages. Mmm hmmm.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not too highbrow for football. I was annoyed there was no new episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta last night–I assume because they didn’t think they’d get enough viewers. I know, I know, RHoA, more brown people. Black women. If it makes you feel better, dear racists, I found that out after eating a slice of apple pie. My dessert, after a dinner of arroz con habichuelas.
At this point, I don’t know if I’m more angry, sad, or disgusted. I do know I wish we were a smarter country. Smart enough for everyone here to understand we are a nation built on the backs of immigrants, after stealing the land from the Native Americans already living here. Guess they didn’t count, since they didn’t speak English. Guess what? You, in your racist spouting household probably have traditional meals included in your pure American Thanksgiving dinner that are actually throwbacks to your family’s heritage. Potato salad? German. Pasta? Italian. Butter cookies? Norwegian. Corn? Beans? Squash? The three sisters are Native American, and you should stop serving all three because Native Americans certainly aren’t what you mean when you talk about real Americans. And I’ve got another little surprise for you, all the rhetoric you’re spewing, about these Mexicans/Domincans/Haitians/Koreans/fillintheblankins, you know, the crap about not learning English, not becoming American enough for your taste, their strange foods, the way they’re taking your jobs and your wimmenz…not original or new. The same tired fearful and fear mongering lines have been spouted for two centuries of immigration. I’m very sorry to tell you, the good old days weren’t what you think they were.
I wish we were smart enough to understand that we are not an isolationist nation and never were. I wish we were smart enough to understand that instead of trying to fit everyone into a cracked mold that’s a figment of stultified imaginations, we need to move forward, leave this nonsense behind. I wish we were smart enough to understand that the affordable air travel, internet and cell phones have brought us more than resort vacations, Candy Crush, and sexting. We are living in a global economy. Guess who’s going to get ahead in a global economy? Those who are able to respect cultures other than the one they grew up in; those who speak more than one language, those who aren’t terrified by the sight of someone who has different skin color, eye shape, hair texture, religious beliefs, clothing or customs than their own. Those who don’t vomit hatred because their sacred game has been tainted by nothing.
That’s right, I said it. Nothing. You’re up in arms because the ridiculously priced commercials selling shit you don’t need during a game dared to show America as it is, not your fantasy of what it should be.
I just got off of the train. On the subway I hear English, spoken with a broad number of American accents. I hear English spoken with accents from Ireland, England, New Zealand, Pakistan, Guyana, Australia, South Africa, Ghana, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Papa New Guinea. I hear Spanish, Italian, French, German, Hebrew, Arabic, Tagalog, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Tagalog, Portuguese, Hindi, Vietnamese, Yiddish, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, languages from Scandinavia and languages from Africa. I don’t know who was born here, who’s an immigrant–documented or undocumented–who’s a tourist here to pump thousands of dollars into our economy. Shocking though this might be, I don’t care. It’s beautiful to my ears, part of being an American in New York.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time in New England, including the more rural areas where it’s truly rare to see a person of color or hear a language other than English. Also beautiful, also part of America. I’ve spent time down South, where outside of the major cities you don’t hear as many different languages, but still a few, and see many people of color. Beautiful. I’ve spent time in the Southwest, where there are more Native Americans, and I heard bits of languages rarely if ever heard in NYC. Beautiful. Time in the Pacific Northwest, where I heard more Norwegian words and influences than I hear in the east, heard languages and saw faces originating from Alaskan Native cultures. Beautiful. To me, that’s what makes America. It’s vast, our population is huge and mixed, influences from all over the world are seen, heard, and felt in our in language, music, food, and clothing. My America isn’t more or less American than yours.
I want to be clear, when you say things like “I don’t mean you,” you do. You mean my children, my family, my friends, my neighbors. When my kid is chosen for a job over you or yours, it isn’t and won’t be because of looks or last name. It will be because he has always and continues to work his ass off, speaks three languages, knows how to be respectful and appreciative of all cultures and focus on commonalities in our global economy.
I’m not a politician, not a sociologist or anthropologist, not an academic, not in marketing or advertising. I’m not a mover or shaker in any circle, no impressive degrees, haven’t traveled the world, really not that smart. A plain old gal living on the fringe. But I know the commercial that prompted this latest round of bullshit has nothing to do with anything you’re whining about. It’s about the Coca-Cola company wanting to reach the broadest possible audience, so the next time you’re in front of a display in the store, choosing between Coke and Pepsi, you spend your dollars on Coke. And I will. Or I would, if I drank soda–or pop, or coke, depending on what region of the US you’re in.