Last night, America was witness to a series of Super Bowl commercials that stressed the role of immigrants, and a performance by Lady Gaga that was all about the diversity Donald Trump bashes on a daily basis.
MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin took note of the Coke commercial:
Here’s the Coke ad that ran tonight—it’s basically one big subtweet of Trump. pic.twitter.com/a6CYdTSnsw
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 5, 2017
And as our own Sarah Jones observed,
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 5, 2017
Before the game, the NFL honored black players now enshrined forever in the Football Hall of Fame, who came from predominantly black colleges. Naturally, Trump’s supporters were all saying “What about white players?” But it was precisely the right time for the NFL to do this.
The Hill claimed, “Lady Gaga shocks with no anti-Trump statement in #SuperBowl performance,” but on the contrary, her whole performance was an anti-Trump statement and we are only left to wonder what the folks at The Hill were watching.
Others saw it along with us. We witnessed a halftime show by Lady Gaga, who, as CNN put it, “brought a message of inclusion to her #SuperBowl halftime show,” – It scarce needs be added this was right in Donald Trump’s exclusive face.
The New York Times described what we saw as “one big, glittering, diverse party”:
Lady Gaga went for one big, glittering, diverse party with her Super Bowl halftime show. “We’re here to make you feel good,” she declared mid-set. At her N.F.L. news conference, she had promised a statement of “inclusion,” an upbeat and uncontroversial stance, and she made good on it as she began her set, singing a few lines each of “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land” and reciting the “one nation indivisible” conclusion of the Pledge of Allegiance.
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) February 6, 2017
Some expected Gaga to go off on a politcal riff during half-time show. Instead, she let her music send message of unity. She was spectacular
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) February 6, 2017
George Takei noticed as well, and took obvious delight in tweeting,
Lady Gaga: “…with liberty, and justice, for ALL.”
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) February 6, 2017
In a word, as Huffington Post contributor Johnny Taylor put it,
Lady Gaga made the most political statement you could make. She was positive about America. That’s about as Anti-Trump as you can get.
— Johnny Taylor, Jr. (@hipsterocracy) February 6, 2017
You can talk about the game and its outcome all you want. Yes, the Patriots with Trump fans Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the team of choice of Nazis like Richard Spencer and Donald Trump, won the game.
None of that matters as much as the underlying message of diversity that took center stage at Super Bowl LI last night by the corporations Donald Trump pretends to champion.
It doesn’t matter who won, because as Lady Gaga sang last night,
No matter gay, straight, or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to be brave, baby
I was born to be brave
This about it: as the Times observed,
“It was doubtless the first time the word ‘transgendered’ had been sung at a Super Bowl halftime show. Dozens of dancers of multiple skin tones and genders joined her, matching her moves in exultant line dances and embodying her message of empowerment as a shared celebration.”
#boycottbudwiser may be the most right wing thing ever to happen: 1) Misspelled 2) So xenophobic they are boycotting their own ancestors.
— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) February 6, 2017
This and no mindless worship of Donald Trump is what America is about. Our so-called president wasn’t there to witness it, but Mike Pence was, and the NFL had a message for him as well, trotting out the cast of Hamilton – Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Jasmine Cephas Jones, the Broadway musical’s three original “Schuyler Sisters,” to sing “America the Beautiful” – and oh, by the way, adding “Sisterhood” to “Brotherhood.”
Last night was not about the ugliness of Donald Trump. It was about the beauty of a diverse America. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Photo: Screen capture Twitter @NFL