There are many times that I feel the need to complain about Pacific University. This, however, is not one of those times.
Like many Americans, I watched Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday. So like most Americans, I saw an ad for Coca-Cola called “It’s Beautiful.”
The ad featured a wide array of Americans going through scenes of everyday life (at least for them) while “America the Beautiful” played over the background.
The catch? The song was sung in many different languages, keeping with the culturally diverse images in the commercial. Within hours, angry reactions to the ad were trending on Twitter. Among the worst of the appalling reactions included Twitter user tylerwyckoff24’s “Nice to see that coke likes to sing an AMERICAN song in the terrorist’s language. Way to go coke. You can leave America.” and DevvMitchell11’s “Dear Coke commercial…. DO NOT sing my Country’s song of Freedom in a different language. ????”
I can barely find words for how revolted I am by this behavior. It is hard to believe that people still equate all non-white anglo-saxon protestants (WASP) to terrorists in the year 2014, or that people would use the word “freedom” to deny others a right to sing in their own language.
I would say this is xenophobia, which in its own right is terrible, but these are legitimate American citizens. Do these people not remember that we are a nation of immigrants?
As shocked as I was though, I was incredibly happy to learn that out of everyone I talked to since then (and believe me, there were a lot), not a single person agreed with the outburst of prejudice.
Everyone around me shared in my disgust at what can only be described as a barbarian reaction. As Boxers, we are no strangers to different cultures. There are many factors that in years gone by would have separated us; race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, economic status and many other elements of our overall personal upbringing that would have served as intolerant dividers.
And don’t get me wrong, we are still far from perfect and have a long way to go. Yet, no doubt, we are making progress. Pacific is a place where we tear down barriers and everyone contributes in their own unique way. No two of us are the same, but this is no issue, because everyone can find a place to pursue their passions.
Most of us probably even take these values for granted, which in itself is wonderful. Why would we not look past these archaic, monolithic worldviews? We all have too much to offer to simply write off entire sections of the population.
There are many reasons to dislike Pacific, and I am frequently very open about them. But I think there are even more reasons to like it here and our ability to rise above this all-too-stupid backlash against a great commercial shows what a positive place this is.