America the Irritable

thinky face

It’s 2014. We’ve put men on the moon and I can video chat friends in other countries and poor vision can be healed via a laser eye procedure,  but bigotry is still a thing. I can ORDER A PIZZA on the internet and have it delivered to me, but racism still pervades through our culture. And unfortunately, thanks to social media, it is so accessible to all of us. This commercial aired last night.

People went nuts, and in a not good way. Xenophobia is alive and well, as evidenced by the YouTube #cokesucks and #boycottcoke hashtags on Twitter. (UGH PEOPLE SINGING OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM IN OTHER LANGUAGES! Psst. America the Beautiful isn’t the national anthem.)

America the IrritableAdd to that the outrage over last year’s and this year’s Cheerios commercials featuring an interracial couple. (I mean go ahead and boycott those brands just because you just hate Coke and Cheerios, but for this? Really?) On top of that, the outcry when Indian-American Nina Davuluri won the Miss America title last fall.

…and I am just like.. *makes motions around hair* *brain explosion noises*

I was twelve or so, sitting at my classmate’s kitchen table, and her mom explained to me, “Oh, honey, it’s not that we don’t like people that aren’t white. We love people of all races. We just think people should marry within those races.” Hey, heads up. 1) Don’t say that to a kid. 2) Don’t say that to a kid of mixed ethnicity. 3) Don’t say that.

This was in the 90s. Not the 1890s. The 1990s. O__O And this opinion is still not unpopular. Just ask Tamara Mowry.

In conclusion, great nation that I love, if you’re angry about the Coca-Cola ad, seriously. Evolve.

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  • Reply Erin @ Red Debted Stepchild February 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Some people are just stupid, as evidenced by the fact that not only are they total bigots, but they truly think America the Beautiful is our national anthem. Sadly, this bigotry continues to be passed on from generation to generation. Hate is taught and as long as there are haters having and/or teaching children, discrimination will continue. Hopefully, these kids will eventually figure out for themselves that these people were wrong.

    My husband is Arabic. When I married him, my boss at the time asked if I would still be allowed to leave the house. A friend of one of his family members asked him if he really wanted children that were half him and half me. Stupidity exists everywhere…

    • Reply Sarah February 3, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      did you get married in 1947? Because Dang. *sarcasm* *disbelieving of people’s ability to hate*

  • Reply Nicole February 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    It’s sad. I took that commercial as a beautiful tribute to America by all the people that have the opportunity to live here. It didn’t even cross my mind that it would be controversial until I heard all these crazy stories and rants online. I enjoyed my ignorant bliss last night. :/

    • Reply Anastasia February 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      I took the commercial the same as you did, Nicole.

    • Reply Mia February 6, 2014 at 8:54 am

      Ditto. I thought the ad was beautiful. The agency my sister works for produced it, so I told her so. I thought the only improvement would have been to use This Land is Your Land. But still, beautiful. And then I woke up on Monday and UGH.

  • Reply Esme February 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I was actually touched by this commercial. Thought it was so sweet, and I felt proud to live in “America the Beautiful”. People say nasty things. PS I also liked the Chrysler commercial! :) #Merica!!!

  • Reply Alicia February 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    It makes be both sad and sick to see people’s reactions. And I can’t believe a parent would say that! I thought it was cool how they had the song in so many languages because you know, America is a melting pot. I probably would have like the commercial more if they used “I’d like to buy the world a coke”, but only because I like that song/those commercials. But the message would not have been as powerful, so I guess that’s why I’m not in advertising! Also… newsflash people: there is no law that says you have to speak English in the US! I’m totally cool with boycotting coke for their use of HFCS, but not their commercials

  • Reply taylor February 3, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    This commercial made me so happy and so did the cheerios commercial, but the second they started I just knew there would be backlash. High five for Coke and Cheerios running them anyway! I was 16 years old when my Grandmother told me and my 6, 9, and 12 year old cousins that she would disown us if we ever dated outside of our race. We have spoke exactly one time since. We have come to far and done too many amazing things in the country and as citizens of earth, for this stuff to be coming up still.

  • Reply michelleLG February 3, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Wait, what? For reals. I’m so “over” the way social media can amplify lame public outcry. I actually DON’T want to hear everyone’s opinion about everything all the time. How about #keepittoyourself,America, #dontspeak. And for what its worth, I adored that coke commercial with the little girl (“and a puppy…”-melt my heart!).
    Kid president for president y’all. Peace out.

  • Reply Kelly {the Centsible Life} February 3, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Thankfully I didn’t see much of those type of responses in my feed on twitter or Facebook. I suppose that means I only follow and friend people with brains. ;) I often think that these people are the exception and not the rule, but then I go online and I have to wonder do people really feel this way and just hide it in their day to day to lives? It’s sad and frustrating to see this kind of hatred disguised as pride in our country.

    Maybe we aren’t teaching history lessons well enough? Do these people seriously not know where they came from? Their ancestors most likely fled from this type of persecution overseas to create a place where they could speak/be/worship as they chose.

    I don’t drink soda or eat Cheerios, but kudos to them for making inclusive advertising.

    And I’m sorry you had that experience. That’s just brutal to hear something so degrading as a child.

  • Reply mixerella February 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    excellent post, NF. Did you notice that most of the people expressing fear, and taking offense, about anything other than English being spoken in the US, and threatening Coke commercials, barely have a command of the language anyway. Irony.

    • Reply DGSNRj February 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Mixerella…. You are brilliant.

      • Reply Arlene February 4, 2014 at 9:12 am

        Dying! Hilarious!

  • Reply Liz February 3, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    i loved this commercial. it made me tear up when i was watching it. i was proud to be an american (a wife of an american soldier) and i was proud. then, i saw hateful posts (one of my FB friends “liked” an allen west FB status and my heart sunk when i went and read the comments) coming in one after the other. i LOVED that commercial. i still do. i think it is an amazing reminder that america IS a melting pot, it has been and (almost) always was that way. we (white people from europe) were the first “invaders” of this country so seeing people spew hatred at “letting those people in our country” and “it is OUR country speak ENGLISH”……well, did all those people not take american history, do they not know that their white ancestors did not all speak english? do they not know that their white ancestors TOOK this land from others? i think this commercial is a beautiful representation of what america is and a LOVE of america is what draws many people here – a love for opportunity, a love for what she has to offer and a love for freedom. they may be from another country but they call america home and they, too, are PROUD.

  • Reply Lesley February 3, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Last year when I saw the Cheerios commercial I thought it was cute. The next day I saw all these things online about how wrong it was and I was so confused I had to look it up and watch it again to see what the problem was. I still think it is cute and I am so glad Cheerios did not cave and change.

    I saw this coke commercial last night and thought it was nice. It was soothing and made me feel peaceful. I actuall wasn’t even really watching at the time and the slow pace and beautiful music made me look up and watch the commercial. It had a hopeful feeling. Did anyone think that the Superbowl is aired all over the world and maybe Coke aired this commercial all over the world to all the Coke drinking people while giving America a nice plug? I had no idea that people took to social media to be so hateful. Grow Up!

    • Reply Kristin B. February 3, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      I am so glad I am not the only one who was oblivious to why the cheerios commercial was offensive. I had to google it…and when I read the reason why it was such a huge issue I was like really?! really?! I thought and still think the commercial is so adorable.

    • Reply Lesley February 4, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Hey other Lesley – I read your comment and had to recall if I had already posted… 100% ditto!

      I had to do the same with the Cheerios commercial, apparently there is a new one I need to look for. And I can answer the worldwide question about the Coke commercial – it was not aired on the Canadian broadcast of the game as far as I saw, then again I was just waiting for the Bruno Mars concert to start.

  • Reply Anonymous February 3, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    This was just one of the commercials that prompted stupid and negative comments from my husband last night. I didn’t even get to see the Cheerios commercial. I ran to the bathroom real quick and asked what I missed when I got back. He said, “Another Cheerios one with that biracial couple. I fast forwarded through it, and don’t even ask me to back it up because I’m not. I’m not watching that.” He also made a comment after the Axe one about “make love, not war” or something similar.

    Of course, the football game kinda stunk unless you are a Seahawks fan, but seriously every. word. out of his mouth last night was negative. The game, the commercials, Bruno Mars. I went to bed so mad last night, and he just couldn’t comprehend why. We are currently in the middle of year 2 of bible study, reading through Luke right now, and I truly don’t understand how his compassion for people has not grown. Instead, it seems to have shrunk. It saddens and angers me. At one point, I yelled/asked for him to please join me in this century.

    • Reply Rebecca February 3, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      So sorry that you’re going through this. I feel like you may need to have a real heart-to-heart with him about why what he says is offensive to you. Or pray that his heart really and truly begins to open. :-(

      • Reply Anonymous February 3, 2014 at 4:17 pm

        Leave him before it is too later.. seriously

  • Reply Leah February 3, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    SO MUCH THIS, Roo. So much this.

    I got goosebumps during the Coke commercial last night — I thought it was absolutely beautiful, both in the way it was produced and the message it portrayed. And my husband and I agreed that the Cheerios commercial was one of the best of the night (“…and a puppy.” Seriously, who can resist that?!)

    It’s infuriating and terribly sad to me that so many people get hung up on the wrong things. It didn’t even occur to me that there would be backlash, but it was all over my social media feeds this morning. It’s just depressing and unfortunate. Thank you for saying something!

    • Reply Emily February 3, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      People suck, Roo wins the internet. Right?

  • Reply Katie February 3, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    SERIOUSLY?!?! We are going to spend our 140 characters/time/breath/heart/passion/outrage/cry for justice on THIS?! How about spending it on something that is ACTUALLY “negative”, “harmful”, “wrong” etc etc etc … How about the fact that the Superbowl is the LARGEST SINGLE HUMAN TRAFFICKING EVENT IN THE COUNTRY or the Superbowl ads that undermine women as HUMAN BEINGS and objectify them?! Or even the Superbowl itself in all of its “pay athletes millions of dollars a year to do nothing – I’m talking about 2nd and 3rd stringers here – and allow them to get away with drug and prostitution HABITS … oh yes, and then teach our children to glorify them and look up to them as role models” … No? I KNOW that is not asking too much …. end rant. … for now.

  • Reply Meg February 3, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I thought the coke commercial was beautiful. And the cheerios was one of the few that made me laugh. Sadly there was a second when I realized it was an interracial couple (we don’t have TV in our house….so I don’t see most commercials, hadn’t seen the prior one) that I thought “wow, that’s brave of cheerios, yay them!” as opposed to it not having to register at all. If we ate processed food, I’d totally buy coke and cheerios today.

    And I’ll be honest, as a white girl w/ zero diversity in my own background, I sometimes wonder if I’m doing/saying the right things to teach my children to see diversity as a good, natural part of humanity as opposed to a divisive identifier. I don’t care who they marry, as long as they love them and are loved. I don’t care who they’re friends with, as long as they are good influences for each other. I don’t care who they pray to, so long as they seek to do good in the world. Some people have brown/blonde hair, or brown/blue eyes, or brown/white skin, that’s just how they were made, etc. ANY suggestions on that conversation would be greatly appreciated!

    • Reply Kristin February 3, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      I am 1/2 of an interracial couple (I’m white & my man is Salvadorean who was born there) and I love that you want to be sure your children understand diversity. Living in Southern California I was exposed to all different kids of races and it never crossed my mind that I would specifically look for a white man. After looking back on my childhood I realized I was always more attracted to Hispanic guys and wouldn’t change my man for anything! I am constantly reminded of our different skin colors when we go into Hispanic places and the majority of the people cannot help but stare at me with all kinds of expressions – I just hold his hand tighter and smile because I want them to know that love can be colorful and I am not intimidated by their watchful eyes. I think as long as you talk positively about different races and explain to them that love really doesn’t see “colors” they will be just fine.

  • Reply Jen February 3, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Ugh, haters gonna hate.

    It’s frustrating though that the most narrow-minded seem to be the loudest.

  • Reply Leslie February 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Roo- completely agree. I was sitting there watching the commercial thinking two things: 1) “Wow- America really is beautiful with so many wonderfully diverse cultures”. and 2) “Those white male politicians certainly can benefit from this reminder of what their constituents look like…”

  • Reply Lynds February 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Love this Roo! I was shocked people were protesting it, it made me want to START drinking coke! Thanks for writing this.

  • Reply sasafrassy February 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Hey Roo Roo…..I absolutely loved this commercial last night….my favorite actually. If you loved it…watch the other girls singing and explaining the reason behind why the song was done the way it was. IMO this is the future, this young girls understanding why it is beautiful to sing the song in this way. They shall fight the good fight. Here is the link for the Hebrew version…go to youtube and they are all there!

  • Reply Tiffany February 3, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I had to stop reading all the asinine comments about this commercial last night. It’s completely baffling how far we’ve come, yet how far we evidently have to go.

    #cokesucks ? Really, people? You know was sucks? Smallmindedness. Hate. Ignorance. Bad breath.

    • Reply Liz February 3, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      lol. <3

  • Reply Jackie February 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    love this post, well said! i still get surprised when i see reactions like this – really people?!? i can only imagine how much hate/anger people like this have in their lives.

  • Reply Jess February 3, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    This and the Cheerios commercial were my favorites. I also had no idea they had sparked such outrage. I guess I should consider myself lucky I don’t have a bunch of jerks on my Facebook and Twitter feeds.

    Now I want to go out and buy Coke and Cheerios.

  • Reply ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com February 3, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    it’s sad to see hatred still alive in this country. as part of the lgbt community – I see it all of the time. but to think that racism – especially racism that glorifies our differences and why the USA is a true melting pot of race, religions and backgrounds – still makes me sick.

    • Reply ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com February 3, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      and i’m not sure if my statement made sense – but what i meant is that the Coke commercial was a statement of what the USA is about – racism in light of that is disgusting and those “boycotting coke” because of the commercial should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Reply Amanda February 3, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    You’d think we’d become more accepting as the population becomes more diverse, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I just saw this commercial as a visual of all the different cultures/countries represented in America, and that despite all of our differences, we all (or should) have one common love, the country we live in. The amount of hate surrounding this ad (and ignorance regarding the national anthem) is disheartening and disappointing.

    I cheered loudly for the interracial couple commercial. Love is love. If you don’t like interracial relationships, don’t have one. It’s that simple.

  • Reply MissCaron February 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    3) Don’t say that.

    FOR REALS. OhMyGoodness. I actually got teary-eyed watching the Coca Cola commercial. I used to sing that song with my mommy when I was a kid. Remember the commercial with all the people around the world singing and holding hands? WTH is wrong with people to make that sort of thing “bad”? I just don’t get that kind of close-mindedness. Ugh.

    However, I do not like the Cheerios commercial because basically it makes it like siblings are terrible and we’re giving you a consolation prize. Also, kids don’t get to bargain like that. Dumb. I agree with the mom’s face in that commercial. Um, NO. We’re not getting a dang dog that I’m going to have to take care of because you’re being selfish. I didn’t even pay attention to the fact that they were inter-racial. I was more concerned with the parenting. HAHA. That’s pretty typical for me though. I completely miss the things that so much of America bitches about.

    • Reply Janine February 3, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      LOL my husband and I totally said the same thing. Negotiating for a puppy? I don’t think so lovey!

      • Reply Chrissy February 3, 2014 at 6:29 pm

        I thought the same thing…but her little eyebrow quirk killed me. Too cute.

        As for racism/xenophobia…eh…I think most people have something they don’t like about some other group of people. It might be race, it might be religion, it might be anger at people who aren’t as open minded…as if being open minded is some kind of requirement for being human. We are all flawed. They can be all into keeping things the way they think they once were…lol…if that makes sense. I don’t care…i do me, you do you. I am over here married to my sexy Pakistani guy, you hang out over there married to whomever you like. No skin off my nose. Just TALKING about disagreeing isn’t a bad thing. It is, at least, honest. Violence is bad, trying to wreck someone’s life because of a difference is bad. Saying, “Hey…I don’t like that.” is just having an opinion. Not a very fun, let’s all be besties opinion, but life is never going to be rainbows and unicorns. If I want anyone to learn to be accepting, I might as well start with being accepting….

  • Reply Lisa February 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    I loved this commercial.

    The thing I love most about the “That song should be in English!” argument is that the dissenters seem to forget where *their* families came from. Oh, what’s that? You’re not 100% Native American?!


  • Reply Ammie February 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    I liked both commercials, the Cheerios one being my favorite of the whole game, but what I cannot wrap my head around is how these bigoted, hypocritical people seem to think that English speaking white people just magically appeared here in America. For them not to consider that their ancestors IMMIGRATED here all those years ago, making themselves descendants of immigrants like so many other people in America, just drives me crazy!

  • Reply Anne February 3, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Sadly, xenophobia goes both ways. As an Indian American myself who broke tradition and married a caucasian man, I have felt this racism from both outside AND inside my family. I’ve had strangers either say they are Indian, too, then name the tribe of their ancestry, and then proceed to get agitated when I explain that I am “dot, not feather.” Or they’ll ask for the name of my tribe. At the same time, I have extended family whisper to others in the family, “Anne married an American.” Come on! Say what you want to say: “Anne married a white guy.” *I’m* an American. It’s not so scandalous to whisper, “One American married another American.” Sad. So very, very sad.

    I was deeply saddened to have the joy of Nena’s crowning shadowed with the stupid comments on social media. She totally rocked her platform, her performance, her everything. And the Coke commercial moved me and was so beautiful and it’s a sad Monday to wake up to ugliness. :/

    As a mother to biracial children, I love sharing and teaching the kids to embrace who they are – to celebrate their differences and to learn about their heritage. They are proud to be biracial Americans who enjoy mango lassis with their cheeseburgers. God Bless and Namaste, right? :D

  • Reply Emily February 3, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    As someone that has been in an interracial relationship that ended because his parents didn’t want him with a white girl, I just have to say amen. People suck, everyone needs to get over themselves and EVOLVE. MOVE ON. STOP BEING IGNORANT.

    Also, I was overjoyed to see that Cheerios used the same family in that ad, I wish I liked cereal more because I would literally buy stock in their company and eat all the Cheerios everywhere.

  • Reply kirby February 3, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    America needs to GROW UP! That was the most beautiful Ad I have seen in a long time. I actually don’t watch TV b/c of the horrible commercials they have on there. People are offended by this, really? THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is a MELTING POT of different races, cultures, languages and i think it is beautifully sung in all those languages and rightfully so since they are all found in the country I call my home. Having dealt with racism face on, fine people have your views but don’t force them upon your children and keep them to yourself b/c then you just sound hateful and that….that is UGLY!

  • Reply Dalton February 3, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    I love that I’m not afraid to read the comments section on this blog. High-five to all the NeonFresh readers for being both smart and compassionate!

  • Reply Missy February 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Ugh, seriously. These are the kinds of things that make me hate social media so hard. Loved both those commercials. I might just drink a Coke and eat some Cheerios. And then post a picture of myself doing it on Instagram. Woah.

    • Reply Shamiran February 3, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      We should trend that!!

  • Reply Caitlin @ {walker whimsy} February 3, 2014 at 1:41 pm


    And the whole “Speak American” thing? “AMERICAN” is not a language, you asinine fools.

    So sad/infuriating.

  • Reply Shamiran February 3, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    As a mixed person (my mom is white and my dad is Iraqi) and being in an interracial marriage (my husband has black skin with Indian, Spanish and Jewish ancestry), hearing these things makes my literally sick to my stomach. Because I look white, I didn’t face any discrimination growing up but I am concerned for our son. Will he face discrimination for being mixed? Although my husband and I raise him to love who he is and be accepting of everyone, will others show him the same tolerance? It’s a messed up world we live in. One that I can only hope and pray will start to evolve (as you so nicely put it) so our children don’t have to grow up thinking they are better or worse than anyone else.

  • Reply Brittany D February 3, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I’m not on Facebook or Twitter (had to quit it), but as soon as that commercial aired…I knew it would be a firestorm against Coca-Cola on social media. It is an incredibly sad, yet predictable reaction.

  • Reply Virginia D February 3, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    I am white and married to a Puerto Rican (from the island not NYC). His family speaks no English. We got married in LA ( Lower Alabama or the FL Panhandle) 11.5 years ago. When buying some things for our reception I was asked in a “stage whisper” if my family was ok with this (I am from IL so they had no business asking). My husbands grandmother REFUSED to acknowledge my presence or our marriage and barely acknowledged our son (she raised my husband so it hurt him deeply) up until the day she died. Now I will say that it’s not just the US that is racist; other countries are more racist than we are here. Traveling in Turkey we would sometimes get stared at (along with our biracial kids) long and hard because seeing two races is not common there. We teach our kids tolerance and when my kids (DS9.5 and DD8.5) are harassed because of their race or beliefs they stand up and say “it’s a free country and I believe what I believe and love who I am.”

  • Reply Lauren @ Faith and Macaroni February 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Other things:
    a. Go coke for making a beautiful ad and *also* for making an ad with a family that has 2 dads. :) I’m pretty sure it was the first Super Bowl commercial to do so.
    b. I loved the Cheerios commercial. I’m glad they stuck to their guns and made another one with the same family.
    c. I’m really just surprised that more people aren’t outraged that the NFL is a non-profit… yeah. Let’s all ponder that for a minute. Completely insane.
    Thanks for creating a place on the internet that always has good comments and where you always call it like you see it.

  • Reply Mandi February 3, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Relevant: https://xkcd.com/84/

    Also, I had an infuriating conversation with my husband’s grandmother Saturday (while stuck in a car with her, so no escape) about how she believes that interracial marriage is unbiblical. I don’t think she and I are reading the same Bible. I just looked at her and asked, “Do you have Cherokee in your blood?” (trick question. I knew the answer.) Her: “yes.” Me: “Exact same thing. Don’t even pretend it’s not.”

    It just astounds me that people can be so “proud” of their heritages, and in the same instance so unaccepting of others’.

    An English, French, Scottish, Cherokee woman.

  • Reply Amelinda February 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I LOVED that commercial! And it makes me all the more ignorant that it never even occured to me that anyone would think anything against it…literally didn’t cross my mind. And I’m even more sheltered because I didn’t know there were any negative reactions to it until your post! Maybe I’m just really good at surrounding myself with people who accept diversity? Not sure…but I love your post, even though it made me sad to know there is so many people out there who make me go “grrrrr”

  • Reply Cassie February 3, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    My mother in law is raising our niece and has said, “I don’t mind black people, but I don’t think people should have babies with different races because of diseases and things.” We tried to get her to clarify (because surely that’s not what she meant to say) for our young niece’s sake, but no… that’s what she meant, and she doesn’t understand why we were upset. She’s also said things like, “I don’t care if you’re gay; I’ve allowed my daughter’s *insert lesbian slur that starts with a D here* to come over for birthday parties.”

    Ugh, don’t you get it?

  • Reply Natasha February 3, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    ‘Bangs head on table bangs head on table repeat repeat repeat’
    And some days, people make me cry. Idiots. We are lucky enough to live in a generally diverse area, our kids are not the only mixed race ones at the bus stop. But still, sometimes, it just smacks you in the face.
    When my oldest was about 18 mos, one of my mother’s friends said ‘oh, she’s so light skinned and has green eyes, she can pass for white, so she can date white guys, so she’s lucky’
    So much incoherent rage. There are other instances, one recently that I almost lost my mind at on a 9yo kid but remembered racism and ignorance is taught at home by the parents, and lost my mind on the parents instead.
    On the other hand people surprise me in a good way. Both sets of elderly white great grandparents, raised in rural South Dakota, adore our beautiful biracial babies and think my Vietnamese hubs is the coolest thing since sliced bread and have never made any sort of remark that sets off my rage sensor.
    So, balance? I don’t know. ‘Mericuh, you make me cry sometimes.

  • Reply meg February 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    i *loved* this commercial. love. i just watched it again for funsies.

    something i noted last night and have yet to see much rage over yet is the :45–:48 bit of two beautiful men and their beautiful daughter having a beautiful time at the skating rink.

    …i guess ‘MURKA can only hate one thing at a time?

    (p.s. when you read/hear/witness yucky comments en masse, kid president is a pretty great palate cleanser. here’s his latest bout of awesomeness: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5-EwrhsMzY)

  • Reply Cheri @ Overactive Blogger February 3, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    When I was like 10 or 11, my best friend at the time was my complete opposite. She was a white girl whose father wasn’t super educated and smoked in the house all the time. I am black, and my parents are super educated and we’re the total opposite, but because we were kids and you don’t see that stuff when you’re a kid, we were friends. Well, one night we were on the phone, and she straight up told me that she wasn’t allowed to ever date/marry a black guy because her dad said it was wrong and that she agreed with him. OUCH considering that I’m black. What did that mean about me going over there? Fast forward a few years, we are no longer friends since that enlightening talk, and I’m marrying the (white) man of my dreams. I’m sure she doesn’t appreciate it, but like you said, EVOLVE!

  • Reply Megan February 3, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I was pretty distracted during the Super Bowl, what with stuffing my face with various lovely dips and putting my little kids to bed, but I did see this commercial and I thought it was really nice. It never even occurred to me people would be upset over it (I am extremely naive and optimistic about humanity). Actually, the only thought I had was ‘wow they used a song with the word “God” in it?’ which is fine with me because I believe in God, but it seems un-pc to acknowledge God anymore.

    I have a inter-racially adopted brother and a Mexican-American sister-in-law and love them both dearly. I’m proud of my family. Shame on the haters. Glad I don’t spend much time on this thing called the ‘internet’ anymore because I can’t take that kind of negativity.

  • Reply Julie February 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Preach. We were watching with some friends from church and one lady said, “So is that commercial saying that if you live in America you don’t even have to speak English?” And then she laughed and laughed. My husband and I did the blank stare. In your emoji words: O__O

    I can’t believe people don’t see the racism. Because I guarantee the people making those statements would assert whole heartedly that they are not racist.

  • Reply Kristi C February 3, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    I really liked both commercials. Not that I think kids get to negotiate with parents via Cheerios, but still.

    What’s kind of sad is that I am engaged to a Dominican/Puerto Rican man, and as a white woman, it never until now really sank in that people would disapprove of this and feel like it’s ok to tell me so. I guess I better prepare myself with a witty retort of some sort…

  • Reply Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run. February 3, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    The VERY minute that ad ended last night, I turned to my wife and said – “oh that’s gonna raise hell!!”. Guess that was pretty accurate. Not only about the different languages, but the gay dads in the ad, too. It’s pretty sad we think like that. STILL.

  • Reply Karen Nazzy February 3, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    *swaying with my lighter in the air.

    I’m mixed-race and my kids are even more mixed-race, and all I can say is Amen and I had to google xenophobia just to be positive about what it meant, but I was more upset about the way the Broncos played than my feelings about these million dollar ads that raised some eyebrows. The Coca-Cola commercial was.just.beautiful.

  • Reply Nat February 3, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Thank you for this Roo!

    I remember sitting in class in elementary school and learning about when the United States was founded we were considered the “melting pot” (exact term from social studies books). All persons from different countries and background coming together for a new Amercia.

    People are so backwards these days… it makes me sad…

  • Reply Catherine February 3, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I wish Coke were a product worth buying because I’d go out and buy case after case of it in support of this commercial. There are plenty of reasons to #boycottcoke but xenophobia and racism aren’t among them.

  • Reply Catherine February 3, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    It is disheartening isn’t it? It is so hard to believe how entrenched these ideas are in people’s minds and it shocks us when we don’t think that way. That sort of thing isn’t limited to here though, if that makes you feel any better. We lived in Malaysia for awhile and I used to get rude comments about our children not ‘matching’ (one looks more asian like her mixed race Dad, the other looks more northern european after my heritage). Lots of people from all ethnic backgrounds are not too keen on inter racial marriage and not keen on the ‘melting pot’ of their countries (I mean, really, what countries aren’t ‘melting pots’ to some degree now?). Ugh, it is all just so stupid.

  • Reply Terry C February 3, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Consider his comment a standing ovation… Your post deserves it.

  • Reply Terry C February 3, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Argh! *This* comment, I meant to say!

  • Reply Katie @ Domestiphobia February 4, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Ahhh THANK YOU! Just. Thank you. Whenever people complain about the melting pot of languages, colors, and religion in our country, I kindly remind them that those are the very foundations upon which this country was built — the supposed safety in being who you are without the fear of persecution. Also. It wasn’t too long ago when that person’s ancestors (maybe even as recently as their parent’s parent’s parent’s) came here as immigrants. It’s 2014. Like you said — evolve. (Though, unfortunately, that’s apparently a dirty word too that can’t co-exist with spirituality for some logicless reason. Yes, logicless. I’m going with it.)

  • Reply Trude February 4, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Amen sister! It still baffles me that a nation founded by immigrants has such a short memory.

  • Reply Natalie Bergen February 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    You hit the nail on the head with this one. It’s sad that when I saw the Coke commercial for the first time, I had to wonder what everyone around me was thinking as they viewed it, too.

    Love your blog – just stumbled upon it recently and I’m so happy I did. Great stuff.

  • Reply Chicken’s Choice — Neon Fresh | the organized chicken February 5, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    […] a read along, so I figured it was worth a post over here. Roo, who blogs over at Neon Fresh, posted “America the Irritable” – go read […]

  • Reply Nikki Kelly February 5, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Did you hear this lady’s response to the Cheerios commercial? http://wzakcleveland.com/3597315/racist-woman-complains-about-cheerios-ad-on-the-d-l-hughley-show/ it’s pretty cray! She’s part of the Society of Concerned Cereal Eaters.

  • Reply Jen February 6, 2014 at 8:55 am


    I was so completely confused when I saw people hating on Coke and that it had to do with the Superbowl ad. I half expected the Cheerio haters after last year’s (ridiculous) outrage, but I couldn’t understand what got people angry about the Coke commercial until some ignoramus started posting nonstop about how IT’S AMERICA. SPEAK THE LANGUAGE.

    Really fools? Because last time I checked, AMERICA is made up of people who were originally from all corners of the world FLEEING PERSECUTION from ridiculous haters like yourself. To me, that’s the beauty (and, uh, the point) of America. Not that we all speak the same language.

  • Reply Alicia February 7, 2014 at 11:42 am

    On my way into work this morning I heard this story on NPR and I thought of this post. Thought you might be interested! http://www.npr.org/2014/02/07/272932706/coke-ad-sparks-cries-on-social-media-to-speak-english

  • Reply Weekend Link Love: February 7, 2014 | February 7, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    […] America the Irritable at Neon Fresh – This one had me saying, “Sing it, sister!” If you wanted something of the more funny, less political statement-y variety, try Making Parent Friends is Just Like Dating – an oldie, but a goodie that makes me say, “OMG, I know, right??” […]

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