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Coke: The real thing

Super Bowl XLVIII was a pretty lackluster affair, especially for the Colts-fans-still-rooting-for-Peyton-Manning crowd. By most accounts, the TV commercials were equally uninspiring. But at least one got a lot of people talking.

Shortly before halftime, Coca-Cola’s commercial began with a stirring version of “America the Beautiful.” As it continued, we heard the lyrics sung in languages other than English, including Arabic and Tagalog. The intended message of tolerance and inclusion was apparently too much for some to bear.

Social media quickly lit up with angry reactions, including many who decried the defilement of our national anthem (they must have been on bathroom break during Renee Fleming’s powerful pregame rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner”). Other complaints were in the vein of the now-standard “you’re in America so you have to speak English.”

Wouldn’t it be interesting if those who got so worked up about a TV commercial were just as exercised about making sure every child has access to a public school education, thus giving them the opportunity to speak English?