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Outrage over Coke ad misplaced

By Fred McKissack

Conservatives shouldnt be having a fit over
Coca-Colas Super Bowl ad.
Conservative commentators and bloggers would
have you believe that the Coca-Cola Co. is spitting on
the graves of our forefathers and plotting to burn
down American civilization. The ad is called Its
beautiful, and it features America the Beautiful
being sung in different languages, as images of
modern America flicker by.
The Coca-Cola Co. and its creative partner have
managed to unhinge conservatives who see a plot.
Its in your face, and if you dont like it, if youre
offended by it, youre a racist, says Glenn Beck, who
claims the commercial is an attempt to divide
people. Beck sounds mild compared to some people
on Twitter.
Nice to see that Coke likes to sing an American
song in the terrorists language, one concerned
citizen tweeted. Others were even uglier, slurring
What exactly did this commercial do to offend
conservatives? Coke didnt imply that this countrys
immigration strategy is flawed, and Congress should
fling open the borders to ragtag masses yearning to
be free. Coke didnt suggest that English should be
a secondary language in the United States.
No, it exalted America, saying its for everyone.
Just like Coca-Cola, were supposed to conclude.
Coca-Cola wants everyone to buy its products. It
doesnt care about your political philosophy. Thats
another reason why the conservatives who are
clamoring for a boycott of Coca-Cola are so off-base.
This wasnt an ideological ad. It, like other Coke ads
in the past, was a sell job.
Coca-Colas brand achieved universal status with
aspirational campaigns. Its ads from World War II
suggest the drink brought a taste of home to the
troops and united potential allies. Post-Vietnam, Coke
was the real thing that healed rather than divided.
Coke can be seen in films ranging from King Kong
and Its A Wonderful Life to E.T. and The Road.
Even as conservatives froth at the mouth
condemning the ad, liberals shouldnt applaud it.
Last year, Coca-Cola, despite noting that it
had profit growth during uncertainty in the global
economy, announced it was cutting 1 percent of its
work force 750 jobs. Im sure those who lost their
jobs are reassured that their former employer
believes in Americas diversity.
Coca-Cola Enterprises, a bottler that sold its
North American operations to Coca-Cola, pulled jobs
out of its Tampa, Fla., and Dallas offices to a third-
party center in Guatemala. Its called nearshoring
and its a benefit Coca-Cola continues to reap, but
what does nomenclature and financial strategy
matter to an employee who is given a pink slip? And
no amount of cheerleading for America can hide the
fact that Coca-Cola, along with other soft drink
companies, has played a big role in our obesity
We should be upset about the duping of
America, not the diversity of America.

Fred McKissack is a writer for Progressive Media
Project, a source of liberal commentary on domestic
and international issues; it is affiliated with The
Progressive magazine. Readers may write to the
author at: Progressive Media Project, 409
East Main Street, Madison, Wis. 53703;
Web site:
For information on PMPs funding, please visit
This article was prepared for The Progressive Media

2014, Fred McKissack. 2-6-14.
Distributed by MCT Information Services

How does the
author's use of
imagery enhance
the idea that Coca-
Cola is ruining
American society?
The word
means ---
What is the purpose of
paragraph 8?
What is the
meaning of the
word "exalted"?
What tone does
the author set in
this quotation?
What is one conclusion the reader can infer
from paragraphs 9-11?
What does the word
"duping" mean?
Why did the author include this type evidence?
What was the author's purpose in this selection?
Name: English Teacher: 3/6/14
What is the
of the
phrase to
be "given a
pink slip"?
The word "misplace" means ---
What text
evidence supports
the conlustion that
the Coca-Cola
Company belives
America and Coke
are universally
good for all
people regardless
of race?