Monday, February 3, 2014

Well, the Coke ad sure got people talking...

It'll rot your teeth and make you a fat obese slug in multiple languages and 200 countries.

Frankly, I'm kinda embarrassed that so many people who call themselves conservatives flooded social media with a torrent of negativity after Coke's Super Bowl ad aired. At best, you gave the Left more ammunition to use against Conservatives. Some of the comments generated were purely vile.

CLUE HAMMER: Not everyone here in this country started with English as a first language.

I'm the product of legal immigration. On my father's side, his father was conceived in Poland but born here, the last of at least ten kids. His parents asked to come over and came in legally. He married a girl from Wales during the war and brought her back in '45 after getting the proper permissions. My mother was born in Canada, and her parents asked for permission to emigrate and brought their four kids with them. Two of those kids served in the US Army as non-citizens. My mother eventually got her citizenship and I helped her study for the test.

Compared to some other folks I know whose families have been here since the 1800’s, I’m not that far removed from my immigrant roots. That said, I think it’s safe for me to sound off on immigration.

I have nothing against legal immigration. I perfectly understand the need and desire of people to come to America to build a better life for their families. Many of our immigrants come here from places with poor living conditions, civil war, wanton violence, oppression and corruption, and negligible healthcare. So hey, if you want to come here and start over, that’s great. But there’s gonna be some strings attached.

Ask. Yeah, ask if it’s okay. Apply for a visa. Get a green card. Register. Don’t sneak in here like a criminal. Don’t live under the radar, working under the table, not paying any taxes. If you want to live like an American, pay taxes like an American. Giving an inordinate amount of your hard-earned wages back to the government so they can waste it on $400.00 toilet seats is what makes our country great.

Try to assimilate into American culture. Learn the language. Like it or not, everyone, America is an English-speaking nation, and has been for the past 231 years. While I agree that more Americans should be multilingual and that it would certainly make your assimilation into our culture easier if more of us could communicate with you, don’t expect us to speak your language simply because you refuse to learn ours. I’m not saying to give up all semblance of the culture you grew up in; I celebrate aspects of my ancestral culture now and again, but I don’t live it every day. Don’t expect the United States to make Spanish our official second language just because half the country of Mexico has decided to come here looking for jobs. You could just as easily have emigrated to Spain; they have a vibrant economy too (or did until socialist policies effed it all up), and you already speak the language.

Don’t just expect to be handed American citizenship. Study a little, learn about the country, and pass the test. And when you do, I will proudly throw my arm around your shoulder and congratulate you as a fellow American citizen. My mom got her citizenship in 1993. Her only child was a US Army veteran, her husband was at the time still an officer in the US Navy, and she had spent the past 33 of her 41years living as an American, and she still had to be interviewed and pass a test before she could become a full citizen.

Perhaps we should make it a bit easier to become a citizen once you get here? I can see maybe dropping the time requirement to 3 years instead of 5 to apply for citizenship, but the rest of the criteria sound rational to me. These are the criteria, taken from

•you have lived in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least five years (with exceptions for refugees, people who get their green card through political asylum, spouses of U.S. citizens, and U.S. military personnel)
•you have been physically present in the United States for at least half of the last five years
•you have lived in the district or state where you are filing your application for at least three months
•you have not spent more than a year outside the United States
•you have not made your primary home in another country
•you are at least 18 years old
•you have good moral character
•you are able to speak, read, and write in English
•you are able to pass a test covering U.S. history and government, and
•you are willing to swear that you believe in the principles of the U.S. Constitution and will be loyal to the United States

NOTE: Serving in the US military does not grant you automatic citizenship. I think that should change. If you serve in our military, especially right now during times of war, you should be granted your citizenship automatically. People who are willing to fight for this country have proven themselves as far as I’m concerned, especially when so many of our own native-born citizens would rather occupy parks than serve the nation. And hey, it might actually boost recruiting numbers a bit. Serve at least 2 years and get citizenship. That sounds good to me. Two of my Canadian uncles served in the Vietnam War in the US Army as Canadian citizens. They weren't granted citizenship for their service. Neither of them opted to gain their citizenship afterwards, but both received full military honors at their funerals when they passed.

Despite our best efforts there’s always going to be people who want to come in illegally. When found, a hearing should be done to determine if they should be deported. There could be legitimate mitigating circumstances as to why this person had cause to fear authorities. But if you have no good reason for being here illegally, don’t let the doorknob hit you on the way out. And don’t expect to just apply to come back in; if you came here illegally, and we catch you, you’re banned. And I guarantee that instead of a fence along our borders, if we started sowing landmines and started shooting at people sneaking in, they’d take us a hell of a lot more seriously. Like I said, ask us if you can come over. Otherwise, you risk losing a leg or maybe more.

Yes, this sounds cold & harsh. I know I sound like a terrible person. But it’s also terrible to just let every swingin’ Richard cross into our borders at will. Lax, open immigration is why we have illegals sucking up our tax dollars, using up healthcare that causes my insurance rates to go up, and in some cases receiving scholarship grants that should go to legal immigrants and citizens. Why the hell are illegals able to get a driver's license and in-state tuition? Because unscrupulous governments and liberal learning institutions want their money. Illegals or not, it's revenue.

Am I against illegal, undocumented immigration to my country? Absolutely. Am I in favor of legal, documented immigration? You bet. I welcome you with open arms and I’ll even help you study for your citizenship test the way I helped my mother study for hers. Down the line, we all came here from somewhere else, except for the native Americans tribal nations.

But back to the Coke commercial. It was indeed weird to hear America The Beautiful being sung in languages other than English. I know that the CEO of Coke, a Muslim fellow who grew up partly in terrorist-sponsor hotspot Iran and partly in the same country as Barry Sotero (Um, I mean Barack Obama), in Indonesia, is in favor of blanket amnesty for illegals. This commercial is a blatantly political statement to gain favor with the immigrant population...or is it? It could be just a simple celebration of the Great American Melting Pot... geared to lure conservatives into making rash statements all over social media and hurt our cause.

I know full-well what it’s like to be in another country where you don’t speak the language. I lived in Germany for two years. I got by as best I could while making an honest effort to learn the language. Of course, I was there as a temporary guest of the German government and the locals made very courteous allowances for the language barrier. It really helped that most of the locals spoke excellent English. I realize that very few of us Yanqui gringoes habla Espanol. Mierda Resistente , ese.

Had I been planning on staying there in Germany as a local beyond my tour of duty, they’d have been fully within the right to expect me to spreche Deutsche and learn better German instead of expecting them to cater to my lack of fluency. So by the same token, if you’re gonna live here, make an honest effort to learn English and fit in instead of expecting all of us to just cater to you.

Of course, the Hispanic community creates that Catch-22 situation where it’s easy to skate by, having so many Spanish-language radio stations, newspapers, and TV stations that it becomes easy to slip between the cracks and maintain the underground existence.

I’m not saying you have to abandon your heritage and ancestry. Hell, look at me; I own a kilt. But face it. This is an English speaking country. That’s how we roll.

 And for you immigrants from the Muslim countries, this is also a predominantly Christian country where women can do pretty much whatever they want. We don’t do Sharia Law, we don’t wear burkas, and we don’t kill our women over perceived slights to our honor. Get over it.

And please, save the story about how the white Anglo-European invaders stole half of Mexico to make California, Arizona, and Texas, and then stole the rest of America from the native tribes. That story is a couple hundred years old now and frankly, I can’t change what people did generations before my people showed up here. This country was already well established before my people got off the boat from Poland in 1914, got off the plane from the UK in 1945, or drove here from Canada in 1960. While it's shameful what was done to the indigenous peoples of the Americas, I can't change it.

I think Coke could have avoided all the controversy by adding a simple sentence to the end of the ad. You spent four million bucks to place the ad, and who knows how much to produce the ad, and it takes me, a blue collar college dropout, to  figure out the missing piece to the puzzle. You should have added this:

The Beauty of America: We have many first languages, but only one first country.


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