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America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful

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If a photograph could encompass every single student of Emporia State, the pride we have in our diverse population would stand out.

You can see intelligent students from all nations and languages conversing with each other and getting along, not caring where one another comes from or what languages they speak. Sadly, the students at ESU are not a reflection of the general population’s thoughts and actions. Many people have a tendency to overreact to changes in the “American Way” – an idealistic national ethos that promotes individualism and the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. At the same time we have proudly taken on the mantle of being ‘a melting pot’ because our nation has been built on immigrant populations blending together.

The Coca-Cola Company produced an ad for the Super Bowl called “America is Beautiful” that featured citizens singing “America the Beautiful” in a plethora of languages. For some reason, which I cannot begin to understand, some Americans began a rampage against the ad. They were outraged by the fact that one of our most patriotic songs was presented this way. There were tweets claiming the ad, “ruined the national anthem,” and that our national anthem “should only be sung in English because it’s America’s national language.”

First, “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key is our national anthem. “America the Beautiful” is a patriotic song written by Katharine Bates and composed by Samuel Ward. If you’re going to argue that Coke ruined a significant part of our national history, at least make sure you have your facts straight.

Second, English is not our national language. We don’t have an official language. A survey provided by the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that the number of citizens who speak a language other than English is steadily rising. The survey shows a rise in citizens speaking other languages from 17.9 percent of citizens in 2000, to 20.8 percent in 2011. In the future, English may become a minority American language.

So why are we going crazy over Coca-Cola trying to show diversity in America? I thought it was a great commercial. It showed just how diverse America is and how many languages represent our country.

America was and is built on diversity. Ignorance of all other cultures and a single-minded focus on conforming to one set of behaviors is not what it means to be American.

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The student news site of Emporia State University.
America the Beautiful