BY ABBY GRAY, ‘18
The Super Bowl is watched by around one hundred million people each year. Besides screaming at players on a TV screen and binge eating, viewers wait to see what commercials will make them chuckle from the comfort of their food coma positions. But this year viewers, including me, picked up on a pattern. While a couple of comedy commercials left a positive impression on me, what stuck the most was the significant amount of commercials promoting acceptance.
One of these commercials was by Budweiser, and was titled “Born the Hard Way.” It recounted the story of how Budweiser’s founder, Adolphus Busch, emigrated from Germany, and described the struggles he had to overcome as an immigrant living in a new country before he ever achieved success with his beer company. I found that the company made a statement in showing the hardships of struggling to be accepted into American society as an immigrant in order to shed light on the way many immigrants have felt outcast by recent political events.
Another ad that stuck with me was made by Coca-Cola. The commercial was called “America is Beautiful” and showed many different cultural scenes in America, as the song “America the Beautiful” was sung in the background, switching from language to language as it went on. The simplicity of the commercial reminded me of this: America is known as a melting pot. I know this from the School House Rock song we had to sing for choir in sixth grade that was in fact titled “The Great American Melting Pot.” All of us (besides Native Americans) have ancestors from somewhere other than here, and I think that we often forget this even though our eclectiveness is such a large part of what makes America unique to other countries.
The final one was by the online hospitality service “AirBnB” and was titled “We Accept.” The commercial flashed the faces of people from different ethnicities, races and religions, and ended by saying, “the world is more beautiful the more you accept.”
We’re at a time as a nation where we are deeply divided by politics. Of course politics are important. Different people being able to exercise and speak out about their differing opinions is the foundation of our first amendment rights. But individuals are so much bigger than politics. Whether that be an immigrant struggling to find work or a natural born citizen who lost their job because their company moved production overseas, they are worth more than political ideologies.
Let’s start treating each other like valued individuals who have stories and pasts. Individuals who have likes and dislikes, goals, dreams, struggles and triumphs. We are each so much bigger than our political labels. So as this year’s Super Bowl commercials conveyed clearly, let’s be better at accepting each other. As the AirBnB Super Bowl ad said, “No matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love or who you worship, we all belong.”