Can I get an amen for Atlanta-based NBC 11’s Brenda Wood?
After the “outrage” of some xenophobes who were offended that Coca-Cola would produce a commercial that featured “America the Beautiful” sung in different languages and included (gasp!) a brief glimpse of a gay couple with their daughter, Brenda Woods addresses the issue head on.
Here’s just an excerpt of her “Last Word” on the subject:
“The fact that people are outraged over this ad is outrageous itself. People indignant that others have the audacity to sing “America the Beautiful” in a language other than English, when America was built on opening our arms to the world?
“The quote on the Statue of Liberty doesn’t say “Give me your English-speaking only Christian believing heterosexual masses!” It says “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, tempest tossed!”
“Have we forgotten that every one of us “Americans,” except for Native Americans, are descendants of foreigners? That the English language is from England?
“What makes America difference from everywhere else is that we are melting pot! We are not homogenous! It is our diversity that built this country! How dare there be indignation over the very thing that makes is great?
“And why not honor the beauty of that in song? What is so sacrosanct about this song that it can’t be sang in other languages? By other ethnicities? By those of diverse religions and other lifestyles? A relevant question, considering that the words of America the Beautiful what penned by a gay woman! Katharine Lee Bates, in 1895, an English professor at Wellesley, who also wrote lovingly about her long time committed relationship to another woman!
“America the Beautiful, by any other language, is still America beautiful!”
I’m liking Ms. Wood. Bravo!