Category Archives: Cultural
American patriotic song, America the beautiful is being redefined for America, based upon what is American in language? Coca Cola for the 2014 Superbowl media ad blitz ran a commercial with the song America The Beautiful being sung in multiple languages with images of people of multiple races and nationalities. Many would say how welcoming, yet there is now an outpouring of disgruntle and displeasure from those that found it offensive and reprehensibly that Coca Cola to do as they did in the commercial, even though I did notice that the song started in English and ended in English.
America does not by the way have English declared as it’s official language still to this day. It might also surprise some to know that several founding fathers were multilingual, such as Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, etc., as well as several Presidents, Martin Van Buren spoke English as a second language because of his Dutch upbringing in a Dutch speaking community, he is also technically the first President born a citizen of the United States and not a British subject.
America The Beautiful, was a poem written by Katherine Lee Bates. Bates inspiration for the poem was from a train trip she made in 1893 to Colorado Springs to teach at a college in Colorado. The poem titled Pikes Peak at the time was not published until a couple of years later by the The Congregationalist as commemoration for the fourth of July. Samuel A. Ward composed the hymn tune to the old tune of, O Mother Dear, Jerusalem, and combined the poem to his music which was originally titled as, Materna. It was in 1910 when Bates poem and Ward’s music combined that it was later published as, America the Beautiful.
Interesting fact is that Katherine Lee Bates was speculated to have been in a long term relationship with a fellow female teacher at Wesselly College, Katharine Comen. Katherine Bates also switched from being an active republican to democratic Presidential candidate supporter in 1924 because of Republican opposition to American participation in the League of Nations.
Appears that the creator of America The Beautiful was also an interestingly diverse person that was a daughter of a pastor. Perhaps then this song as it was used by Coca Cola was a spot on marketing campaign, whether that was planned based upon historical knowledge of the creator of the wording or perhaps a lucky coincidence.
Also note that: The melody of America The Beautiful is also used as Shanghai Alumni Primary School in Hong Kong and Hujiang High School in Taiwan as the melody of their school song.
So I ask, When did we become so close minded? So very homogeneous in skin tone unless it suits a purposes, as to deny the very image of Americans of all races and creeds? The very people we applaud and honor for fighting for o our freedoms in our very diverse military now and historically, are some of the same represented in a marketing campaign! From the Black Tuskegee Airmen to the Navajo code talkers to the Germans that were first detained here on American soil, and the many volunteered to fight for their new found and loved homeland America. WHEN did we become this forced monolithic view of what AMERICA looks like in appearance? Yes we want our borders closed, yes we want everyone to go through the proper channels of becoming an American citizen, and yes we want them to be upstanding citizens, succeed and contribute to the greatness of this nation. Yes we don’t want a cult or any organization that is out to destroy and overthrow our principles and constitutional laws with their violent, oppressive cult behavior & beliefs disguised as religion! But for those that were fleeing that same oppression we fight against, if they happened to have made their citizenship here, now it appears that it’s not worthy of being acknowledged in the melting pot that makes up the U.S.A?
“He has been more hurtful to the Black race than he has been helpful”~Joe Watkins/Activist
A powerful 5 minute response from some of Chicago’s most concerned and highly involved activist in the Black communities of the city. The video features Megan Kyle, Joe Watkins/founder of V.O.T.E. (Voices Of The Ex-Offender), Mark Carter of V.O.T.E., J.R. Fleming/founder of Chicago Anti-Eviction Program, and Paul McKinley of V.O.T.E. and 2013 Republican Candidate to fill Jesse Jackson Jr’s vacant seat.
“This State of the Union was the same old, same old, to give rhetoric to a dying economy…”~J.R. Fleming