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Old 06-23-2008, 08:35 AM
 
134 posts, read 366,607 times
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I find this thread to be highly annoying. The reason is because I lived on an island in Martha's Vinyard last year during the summer and I worked with and met many foreigners. These foreigners mostly had come to the United States in order to escape their countries, and make some money in the states. The idea was that they can make a bunch of american money and bring that money back to their homeland and have it be worth more.

In other words the circumstances for them are so horrible in THEIR country that they have to come over to the United States to make some money -- in order to get ahead. I made acquantances with many of these people and they came from Russia, Eastern Europe, and some other geographic regions.

Often and constantly they would tease or scold American society and our government and our decision making. They would often bring up politics and make critical points. I would feel compelled to explain our behavior or that we are not our government -- and would often find myself almost in the role of being scolded by a parent. I guess because they are from some place other than America that that makes them better than we are. That makes them more sophisticated, smarter, having better morals. By the end of my summer trip I had lots of great times with my foreign friends but by the end of this summer trip I also learned that these people are no better than we are. Everywhere in the world has things about it to be critical about, no country is perfect. Don't explain yourselves or feel the need to defend yourself against the anti-americanism thing. They arn't better than you, and you arn't better than them. Their accents may be more pleasing to the ears and they might have some older cities but we are all human beings here. Anti-American bs that people bring (and many do it very politely) is merely to (1) get some attention and get an american apoligizing to them almost as if our country is to blame for all of their countries problems (2) a mild form of racism.

Last edited by Mack wild; 06-23-2008 at 08:47 AM..
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:55 AM
 
9 posts, read 56,790 times
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I think some of the so called Anti- Americanism is not at all new. Part of the issue may be that Americans aren't cultured, for lack of better word, the way much of Europe has been. And to see that type of un-cultured person succeed to the point Americans have, leaves a bad taste in some peoples mouths. From what I've read, this dates at least to the revolution and probably all along.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Ireland
650 posts, read 1,161,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack wild View Post
Often and constantly they would tease or scold American society and our government and our decision making. They would often bring up politics and make critical points. I would feel compelled to explain our behavior or that we are not our government -- and would often find myself almost in the role of being scolded by a parent. I guess because they are from some place other than America that that makes them better than we are. That makes them more sophisticated, smarter, having better morals.
I think you might have run into a cultural difference there, more than any mean-spiritedness.

If you read British, Irish, well many European newspapers and blogs, you'll see that we're very open about criticising our own governments too, which I think is a healthy thing: our elected representatives SHOULD know when we're unhappy with the job they're doing. And I think a lot of Europeans are political-minded and enjoy such discussions when they have the chance to meet someone from another country.... which we don't see as antagonistic, just sharing views; I wonder (knowing I wasn't there) if your friends were simply trying to engage you in a discussion to hear your opinions and insights, that's all.

Although our family visits America every few years and love it, we NEVER talk politics with anyone, and I cringe inside if someone else brings it up. In my experience, a lot of Americans are just SO sensitive about their own country that they'll take any criticism as deeply personal, and have a patriotism that's fierce enough to be almost frightening when seen from the outside.

Just a few thoughts.
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Orlando
8,177 posts, read 17,501,260 times
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As an "average American" I for the life of me can't figure out why some feel the need to put all Americans down..it seems to be the "in" thing to do now..that might be why some are SO sensitive about our Country.
Yes I love my Country but I'm not obnoxious about it and neither is 99% of the people I know. I feel that everyone should love their Country....or leave.
As for the lack of "culture".....what is this word "culture" that people hide behind....as a country, no we don't have a history that goes back 800 years....not much we can do about it now is there? Those statements just drive me crazy for the main reason being this, everybody's definition of "culture" is different. My personal opinion is when people drop the word "culture" I think of snooty rich people with the pinky raised, sipping tea, wearing clothes that are proper and calling people "dawling", Bootsie and Biff.
These people are such a small part of ANY population.

I guess my point is this..it is impossible to lump everybody in every country in the same category. I never knew that Americans looked down on people in other countries....because it's just NOT true AND I don't believe that everybody that isn't an American looks down on Americans....because it's just NOT true.
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:08 PM
 
Location: CA
3,469 posts, read 7,663,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atl_321 View Post
I think some of the so called Anti- Americanism is not at all new. Part of the issue may be that Americans aren't cultured, for lack of better word, the way much of Europe has been. And to see that type of un-cultured person succeed to the point Americans have, leaves a bad taste in some peoples mouths. From what I've read, this dates at least to the revolution and probably all along.
See, this is anti-Americanism, and I agree that it isn't new.
I wrote that people may think of Americans as a whole as being vulgar or unsophisticated, but I don't think that is true. It's a negative stereotype.
Americans have a culture, it's simply a different one, and it varies widely between regions. Some of it's good, some of it's bad. Culture is very subjective anyway. If your country's culture were dominant, then people would resent you too. I understand some of the resentment, but at the same time American culture might not be so imposing if other countries didn't have a weird love/hate fascination with it.

Why are Americans expected to be sensitive to different cultures, but other people won't be forgiving towards us, or make an effort to understand us? Instead, people find a negative spin on most perceived common American traits. It's a double standard, and it reeks of anti-Americanism.
If Americans criticize other western countries the way the do us, then those Americans are seen as ignorant, close-minded, intolerant and full of themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyLaLa View Post
I think you might have run into a cultural difference there, more than any mean-spiritedness.

we're very open about criticising our own governments too, which I think is a healthy thing

a lot of Americans are just SO sensitive about their own country that they'll take any criticism as deeply personal, and have a patriotism that's fierce enough to be almost frightening when seen from the outside..
I think Mack Wild's point was that it is plain ridiculous for someone to "escape" their country and come here for better job opportunities and then turn around & criticize the US, as if their own country is so much better. It's like an obese person telling a slightly fat one they need to lose weight - it seems very hypocritical. Maybe they should focus on themselves first, or if they know so much, why isn't their country better off? That is where Americans roll their eyes at criticism.

Many Americans are very open about criticizing their government also. I think this foreign view that we blindly support it is propaganda. I think we're sensitive to outside criticism because of anti-Americanism. The motives behind the criticism from foreigners are questioned. Some Americans may feel that criticism comes from a resentful place & is simply a form of anti-Americanism.

And at a certain point, people just get sick of only being criticized. It's like a stranger constantly criticizing a family member of yours - you can see their faults & it's okay for you to criticize them because you love them, but when someone else points it out they are making a personal attack against your family. That's why I think some Americans get defensive against criticism from foreigners.

I'm not a big America lover, but even I can feel defensive when I hear some anti-Americanism. I don't like being negatively stereotyped or unfairly criticized anymore than the next person.
Most of the time I just laugh it off, as most anti-Americanism is unfounded and ridiculous. I also realize many people are not anti-American and I certainly don't have a paranoia about it.
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 9,533,489 times
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I don't really care what other countries think about the US. What do they think about Russia or China? What about Myanmar, who rejects humanitarian aid and tells people to go home to the ruins of their now nonexistent homes and no food or clean water. What about the warring African countries where people are in slavery continuous civil war.

The focus on America is because it is the top dog. I rarely hear criticism from critics of America who are vehement in their views of the above-mentioned countries.
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:54 PM
 
9,912 posts, read 13,135,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atl_321 View Post
I think some of the so called Anti- Americanism is not at all new. Part of the issue may be that Americans aren't cultured, for lack of better word, the way much of Europe has been. And to see that type of un-cultured person succeed to the point Americans have, leaves a bad taste in some peoples mouths. From what I've read, this dates at least to the revolution and probably all along.
Gee, I'd hate to hear what you think of Aussies then!

Oh that's right, the rest of the world barely thinks of Aussies at all because we're all descended from convicts, have bad teeth, are all uneducated drunks and racists and couldn't possibly add anything to the world stage being so backward like we are! I mean every body knows that Australians are completely uncultured but we probably don't leave a bad taste in anybody's mouth when we succeed despite our vulgarity because most people don't consider that we even exist.

I can't speak for everybody else but if not for America at the end of WW2 we'd be an outpost of Imperial Japan by now. Sure I could do without the US bases, reckon we'd have done just fine without McDonalds rocking through the door and this world obsession with celebrity that stems from America I could well do without. HOWEVER, the list of things to be thankful to America for is far longer than the things that I reject.

I guess it all depends on how you define culture doesn't it?
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Western Mass.
605 posts, read 2,289,807 times
Reputation: 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian.Pearson View Post
The focus on America is because it is the top dog.
Look back through this thread for the many other sentiments like this.

Several million Europeans say, "I rest my case".

It's all a bit of a vicious circle to be honest.
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 9,533,489 times
Reputation: 1644
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonrob View Post
Look back through this thread for the many other sentiments like this.

Several million Europeans say, "I rest my case".

It's all a bit of a vicious circle to be honest.
Many American liberals are extremely worried about how the US is perceived, and think we should do everything possible to remedy international perceptions.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:21 PM
 
6,743 posts, read 8,813,195 times
Reputation: 1854
I get very tired of our government telling us that we are the "greatest country in the world". Why do we constantly need to be reminded at how great we are? If we are so great, why does Bush need to tell us every five minutes? Anti-Americanism has been around for a long time. But in the last 8 years, it has really escalated.
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