Coke's Superbowl "America The Multilingual" Dream: The Costs

Multinational corporation Coca-Cola advertised its product during the Superbowl with people singing "America The Beautiful" in foreign languages. Message: we're here! We're American, whether you like it or not! We're taking over!.

Of course people objected. A Tumblr blog which refers to all these immigrant foreigners as "American people" doing "American things"

If you’re a human being you might say to yourself “that was a decent commercial, what’s the big deal?” But if you’re a vile monster void of emotion and compassion you might have realized that America the Beautiful was sung in MULTIPLE LANGUAGES. DEAR GOD, NO.

Speak English!: Racist Revolt As Coca-Cola Airs Multilingual ‘America the Beautiful’ SuperBowl Ad

Calling it racist is stupid, of course—people of any race can speak English.What the grassroots objection to bilingualism is about is first, the symbolism, second, the costs of bilingualism.

I did a post on bilingual political  speeches. There are two kinds. One, given by a man called Jamie Contreras in 2006, involved

a boring process where he says everything twice. Once in English, and once in Spanish. If this catches on, it's going to cause a lot of pain for those of who have to listen to political speeches. A similar procedure has been in place in Canada for years, and drives people nuts.

A second kind, made by John Ralston Saul, an Anglo-Canadian who is bilingual, was announced as a speech that would "alternate between French and English with no simultaneous translation", leaving out everyone in the audience who couldn't speak both languages.

This applies to songs, too, either twice as long or leaving people out.

But the public choice cost involved in official or even de facto bilingualism is much higher than that, it involves freezing the monolingual Americans—which is most of America's native speakers of English, out of any job that can be declared bilingual.  See Beware Bilingualism! The Catastrophic Canadian Case and The Real Face Of Bilingualism, in which I point out that

Of course, when you have a major language and a minor language, it's members of the minority who are more likely to be bilingual. That makes makes Canada's bilingualism a huge jobs program for French-Canadians, who dominate the Canadian Federal Civil Service, and what would do the same for Hispanics in the United States

under official bilingualism.