Irony Alert: Song about brotherhood and bringing us together has divided us

Whenever I see some conservative politician’s ad about “Real America” it always shows  a bunch of white people on a farm somewhere, even though the vast majority of Americans live in cities and suburbs, never see a farm, and are more and more not even white.  As I said in a previous post, “Real America” to me is a bustling city full of all sorts of different cultures, races and religions living together in relative peace and harmony.

So I thought the Super Bowl Coke ad was wonderful.  It showed Americans, singing “America the Beautiful,” and making its point that we are all Americans, no matter what we look like, who we love, or what our native language may be.

So here it comes.  Warning:  Irony Alert.  A lot of Irony Alert.

Some conservatives thought the ad was an insult.  They complained, often with misspelled words and poor grammar, that if you can’t speak English you shouldn’t be considered an American.

Michael Patrick Leahy over at Breitbart complained that Coke had used this song, which is about brotherhood and bringing people together, in a divisive manner.  He complained that it didn’t fit our American ideals of “e pluribus unum.”  That latin phrase literally means “out of many, one.”  Or, to use simpler words, we are stronger together than we are as individuals and no matter what we are as individuals, we are all accepted and part of the whole. 

Best were the “patriots” who whined that Coke had ruined “our National Anthem” (which is, of course, “The Star Spangled Banner”).

So yeah, I don’t get the complaints.  They think this ad is tearing us apart from what America really means when to me, it is exactly what America means.

“Real” America

One of the biggest insults politicians give is when they say they represent “real” America. Usually they say this while standing in front of a farm somewhere while a video plays showing rural Americans shopping, going to church, and watching an eagle fly by in slow motion.

They then will claim that real America loves traditional marriage and unfettered access to guns, wants to protect the rights of the unborn, and hates government involvement in health care.

And that’s just plain insulting.

The majority of Americans live in cities and suburbs, not rural farmlands. The majority supports gay marriage, thinks limits on gun ownership is a good thing, agrees with abortion rights, and actually likes the provisions of medicare, medicaid and yes, Obamacare.

It’s bad enough to claim to represent the majority when you clearly do not. But to also claim that you are “real America” — that you’re true and everyone else therefore does not support our country — well, we should all be insulted by that, even those these politicians are trying to claim as their own.

I feel patriotic when I walk down a street in Manhattan and am surrounded by people of all races, backgrounds, cultures and sexual orientation living together in relative peace. That to me is more of what America means than any bucolic rural scene. But both are “real” America, and anyone who tries to claim that it doesn’t include all of us just doesn’t understand what it means to be an American.