We are all Americans

February 12, 2014

This letter is in response to John McNamara’s letter in Sunday’s newspaper, “Coca-Cola ad Disgusting�,” about the commercial during the Super Bowl that had renditions of� “America the Beautiful�” in languages other than English.

I am an avid listener of conservative talk radio during the day and I have heard the negative responses to this ad by extreme right-wing commentators. Many cite the Middle Easterner wearing a kufi cap in one scene�.

Coca-Cola is an American company, an icon globally, found everywhere� representing America. I am a military veteran and have been to several countries. In many, I encountered foreigners fluently speaking the English language better than I could comprehend their language. In the Middle East, I drank Coca-Cola.� The bottle had the Coca-Cola logo in both English and Arabic�. While in Haiti in the mid-1990s, I drank Coca-Cola that I purchased on the streets of Port-au-Prince.

People come here for many reasons. My people came here to dig coal. Some came here to avoid religious or political persecution. Today, whether it’s the convenience store clerk from India, the Mexican picking the crops for your dinner table, the Latvian serving you at your restaurant table or the Asian repairing your electronic device, we are all Americans.

McNamara was mistaken when he asked, “You really don’t get it do you?” They got it right with Emma Lazarus’s poem emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty at Ellis Island:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.�”

Eric Garland


We are all Americans


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