Gbaji, how exactly is this a 'modern' thing?
In the context of Western Civilization, it's modern. As in "in the last 80 years" modern. History occurs (and changes) in periods longer than a decade or two.
Gosh, I remember this episode of Married with Children (everyone's parents watched THAT one) when I was a kid - Al was filling out an application for something or another and one of the questions was "language?" And he declared, "What do you mean, language? I speak American!" The preparer nodded enthusiastically and replied, "Oh, Spanish!" That was what, about twenty years back now?
20 years is also well within the period of the "modern liberal progressive movement". Multiculturalism is part of that. Getting people to think that multiculturalism is "good", is something that liberals have been working on for like 50-80 years or so. Think longer term.
It's also not news that immigrants come here and speak other languages.
Yes. Great. No one's debating that. The point is that prior to perhaps the latter half of the 20th century, it was broadly accepted that immigrants should learn the language of the country they have immigrated to, and at the very least make sure their children learn it. That was how you became a part of the new culture/nation you were joining. It was part of the process of immigration. Today? The Left pushes this idea that it's not just ok for immigrants to isolate themselves into enclaves within their new country, but it's encouraged as a sort of "all the world in one border" approach.
That's what is meant by "multiculturalism". And there are a host of very valid arguments as to why it's might just be a horrifically bad idea (one of which is that it actually encourages and perpetuates hatred and animosity between people of different ethnic origins within a nation). So yeah, when people take offense at what is clearly a multiculturalism message, they aren't saying "we hate people who speak different languages, or have different skin colors, or come from different cultures". They're saying "multiculturalism is a bad idea, and we shouldn't sneak in images of acceptance of it without some debate on the subject".
My grandparents spoke Italian (when they were alive).
Yup. And they learned English and/or made sure their children did. So today, you aren't stuck living in an immigrant enclave within your own country. The multicultural movement encourages the opposite. That's what people are complaining about.
It's just a stupid thing to be concerned about, and it shows how America just doesn't have its priorities in order. This is a nation of cowards, so afraid of anything that is different. Let's oppress it, rather than learn.
The cowards are the people who call those who disagree with them "bigots" and "racists" rather than actually addressing the issue at hand. This is not about racial/ethnic/whatever hatred. It's about addressing different ways of handling immigration. And those who are saying that the ad was offensive, do so because they believe that intentionally creating and maintaining differences between people, while sold on the "one happy world" concept, almost invariably results in more hatred and more problems.
Would your life today be better or worse if your grandparents had refused to learn English or allow their children to learn English? Seriously. Think that entire process through. Where would they live? What job opportunities would they (and your parents, and by extension you) have? They'd have to isolate themselves in a neighborhood full of other Italian immigrants who spoke a language they understood. They'd have to rely on Italian versions of the news and other forms of media. They would effectively be cutting themselves off from the larger culture around them.
Is that really a good thing to do? Multiculturalism says "yes". And that's what the ad was promoting.
You know what would have been a perfect message of "coming together"? If they'd shown the exact same ad, with the same array of people from all different ethnic and cultural backgrounds all singing "America the Beautiful", in English. Because that would send a message of all of these people joining together to form a common culture. To share something in common. And to sing in one voice the virtues of the nation they call their own. Now that would have been a positive message
. It would have been about how even though we all started out somewhere else, we've all come together to be "one nation".
By breaking the song into parts and having them sung in different languages, it sends the opposite message. It send a message of distance and separation. It says that we should celebrate what makes us different rather than what makes us the same. And that's why people took offense at it.