June 18, 2019 | 72° F

Coca-Cola commercial sheds light on bigotry

Letter to the Editor

Of the many noteworthy Super Bowl commercials, Coca-Cola’s “America the Beautiful” has received the lion’s share of attention. In the commercial, the song “America the Beautiful” is sung in eight different languages to depict the melting pot of ethnicities in the United States. This act of singing in multiple languages has caused uproar on Twitter and Facebook, where many found it difficult to comprehend that a patriotic song could be sung in a language other than English. But not only has the bigoted sector of our society come out against this commercial, but I too have come out against this commercial. I, unlike the bigots, have little or no interest with the language aspect of the commercial, I simply disagree with the message “America the Beautiful” portrays. I believe America is not beautiful, and there are statistics to back my claim. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, the U.S. is ranked 34th out of the 35 most developed nations in the world in terms of child poverty. The Program for International Student Assessment, based on math, reading and science test scores, ranks the United States’ student body in comparison to the student bodies of all other nations as the 36th. According to the Palma ratio, the U.S. is ranked 44th out of 86 nations in terms of income inequality, making it much worse than the rest of the world’s developed nations as well as many underdeveloped nations, such as Nigeria. However, America doesn’t lag behind in all areas. According to the IHS Jane’s Defence Budgets, we account for 58 percent of the total defense dollars paid out by the world’s top 10 military powers. These numbers and many more are ugly — thus singing “America the Beautiful” does not make this nation beautiful. We, collectively, have a long way to go before we can even begin discussing beauty.

Shabbir A. Abbas is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in exercise science and sport studies and religion, with a minor in Middle Eastern studies and African, Middle Eastern and South Asian languages and literatures.

Shabbir A. Abbas

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