The Super Bowl Coke commercial has rubbed many people the wrong way, myself included. In this reactionary climate where everyone cries foul or racism or sexism over the smallest comment many have lost the ability to look at issues in an intellectual and non-blaming manner. Many have lost the ability to explain why something bothers them without getting into divisive two party arguments. Before jumping on the left or right bandwagon take time to read and think about this essay, please do not just react to it.
I have an idea of why the commercial bothered many people. The Coke commercials use of different languages singing America the Beautiful perpetuates a recent change in social engineering. A change that many of us feel uncomfortable with but do not really know why.
The answer is actually quite simple. The current social climate is built upon the premise that every aspect of our lives needs to be fair. Therefore if all languages are not used the playing field is not fair. This recent push for every aspect of life to be fair sets us all up to fail. Life is not fair and it never will be. We all come into this world with different physical and intellectual abilities. In other words we all cannot and will not be tall or rich or geniuses.
The only equality we have are our differences. Those differences allow scientists to make new discoveries, writers and artists to share beautiful images with others. If we were all the same there would be no progress. Fairness and equality are not the same thing. That is the point where many have become confused.
For the past 200 plus years when immigrants came to America they viewed and employed English as equalizing and uniting factors. To learn and speak English was one of the corner stones that made immigrants into Americans. Speaking English assimilated cultures it did not exclude them. It united those from different cultures and put them on equal footing with each other. To understand each other and have the ability to communicate effectively enabled even the poorest immigrant an equal chance to succeed.
This new trend for everything to be fair divides cultures, it isolates them and it keeps non English speakers from equality. This trend for fairness rather than equality has begotten a generation of people who feel entitled and blame rather than strive to change or better themselves. I committed a crime because I’m poor and that isn’t fair. I am Korean or Sudanese and I cannot understand English therefore I cannot succeed and that isn’t fair. Keep in mind the next time someone claims things are not fair; Bill Gates, Dr. Ben Carson and Supreme Court Justice Sotomayer did not have a fair chance at succeeding in the United States of America they had an EQUAL chance of succeeding.
Perhaps we should all spend some time contemplating the difference between the concepts of fairness and equality. From the time of our countries inception until approximately two decades ago fair and equal were not synonyms. They still are not.