America Is Beautiful

I loved the CocaCola ad.  I love the diversity that makes up the melting pot which is our nation.  Everyone in the ad was singing about this country of ours, blessed by God and crowned with brotherhood or sisterhood or peoples united together by love and liberty whatever you want to call it.  And why, WHY does everybody here have to speak English all the time?  This wasn’t the National Anthem, this was a song celebrating America, sung by people celebrating America and oh, by the way drinking cokes.

Would that we could see everyone in this country as a part of who we are, as our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters.  Would that we were big enough to embrace those who love freedom even when they don’t look just like me or happen to speak a language other than English.  I was shocked when I read the reactions to this ad.  Believe it or not I didn’t expect it, I really thought everybody would see that this was one of the best ads in the Super Bowl.

And I know that Super Bowl ads aren’t the measure of all things, but the comments that followed are a measure of some things and they made my sad after I got over being shocked.  Actually I thought the ads this year were the best in many years, that they were positive, that they showed an America were we are and have Best Buds, where We ride together down the road to a cure for cancer and where we all see that America Is Beautiful! That it can be, that it should be.

I don’t want everybody here to be just like me, and of course they aren’t.  I have nine children.  Kind of puts me out of the mainstream right there.  I am bilingual.  So are my children, except for the daughter who is trilingual and the son who speaks four languages.  Speaking more than one language is a GOOD thing.  Especially if we want to foster understanding in this world.

I have a daughter in law who is Navajo. She speaks English.  But English was a second language for her grandmother, Grandma Betty.  Is anybody going to  complain about the Native Americans speaking languages other than English?  I have a daughter in law who is Korean and a student at  Columbia University studying for her Master’s Degree in ENGLISH.  And she loves America. I have a son in law from Israel.  He runs a successful business and he loves America.  I have a biracial grandson whose father is African-American.  They are American.  They love America.  And I have a Hispanic granddaughter and she and her beautiful mother are Americans. Oh, and they are also bilingual, and they love America.

Today I live five miles from the border with Mexico.  But I have lived and worked in California, Utah, Colorado, Florida, and New York.  I have also lived in Chile and Mexico and and Panama and England.  And after everything is said and done, I love America! There is nowhere else I would rather be.

America Is Beautiful. (Thank you Coca Cola.)

About Karen Hopkins

Karen Hopkins (1949-) was born in Los Angeles and raised in Martinez, California. At seventeen she moved to Talcahuano, Chile. After completing her university degree she worked in London, England for Pan American Airlines and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, and India. For twenty-six years Karen taught Spanish and English as a Second Language in a variety of settings including a private school in Panama, the "most remote school in the United States" in Ticaboo, Utah, the Navajo Reservation, and a teacher exchange in Hermosillo, Mexico. Karen and her husband traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Central America, spending many summers in the highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala . Karen currently lives in Southern Arizona, near the Mexican border.
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