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Sometimes I really feel awkward being an American because recently I've noticed that a lot of people don't like us very much.
I see things all time the on the forums like "well ignorant Americans always...." or "If only Americans weren't so..." or "God I hate being an American..." or "If my parents didn't force me to live in America...".
Honestly, what's the deal with American being a curse word? Is it just a scenario where the person on top gets picked on the most, or is it something deeper than that?
How many times have we bailed entire continents out of their own troubles? Europe in WWI and WWII (Thousands of American soldiers died on Normandy for the French and they repay us with hatred?), Asia during the late 90's economic crisis (Like we'll see any of that money again), South Korea during the Korean War, Defenseless Africans who are the targets of genocidal warlords.... ect.
We use our military might and force of presence to attempt to make the world a more fair and just place to live in and the result is that everyone hates us for it. I just don't get it. Perhaps I need to hear what makes us so bad from another perspective because I just can't fathom the American hatred either from without the country or from our own citizens.
The only country I bash on a regular basis is France and that's only because they are a bunch of ungrateful people who should quite honestly be kissing our feet to even have a country right now. You'll certainly never hear me saying something like: "those ignorant English, if we were still listening to them, then he Earth would still be flat...."
-- No Americans were harmed during the typing of this thread. Lets try to keep it that way: civil.
Well I can only speak for myself, but I have absolutely no problem with Americans. Not the Amarican in the street.
It is undoubtedly an military thing. From conversations I've had in the past with people, there seems a general feeling that the American military never seem to leave once they arrive. Also, it seems that many believe they only help, or 'bail out', other nations when it suits their need.
I was reluctant to answer this topic, as I never involve myself in anti-American discussion, or any anti-anyone discussion for that matter. I answered mainly to reassure you that whilst we both know there is an anti-Amercan feeling out there, there are also plenty of us who to not subscribe to this particular train of thought.
As I say, I have no problem with the people of America whatsover.
Terminator Based Custom Chapter
I don't hate America. I think alot of people hate and blame America for alot of things because it is easy to. America is one of the largest, and arguably one of the hardest counties to run, so when something goes "wrong" then alot of people are affected. I hear alot of people saying Britain's part in the Iraq war was thanks to America, but I don't see how.
I think I used to be very anti America, but after a while, I changed my mind. I think a lot of the dislike people have is just culture shock, and people being afraid of difference.
People often complain about the right wing nature of the American government, but, as a right winger myself, I'd suggest economically we really should be learning from the way things are done in America. It's a perfect example of a freer market creating a stronger economy and enriching its citizens (many of them, at least, it's not a perfect system, and it does create its own problems, but it's still better and, I'd argue, fairer than that of France, for example.) It's also sad that the right wing has to resort to playing with social policies, as the British right wing is also in danger of doing, but again, that's just an alternate point of view.
A lot of people also think Americans are ignorant, and reel of statistics about what proportion of the American population knows where Scotland is in relation to England. Well, as a Japanese Studies student, I'd like to question how many British people know where Hokkaido is in relation to Honshu. Indeed, how many of us are really aware of the relative positions of American states. Ultimately everyone is profoundly ignorant all over the world. I don't think Americans are more so than anyone else.
Also, I think there's a perception, and this is a generalisation here, that American people tend to display a kind of self confidence and arrogance which grates on the somewhat self-effacing nature of British politeness. But again, that's a social difference.. Americans have their own codes of politeness, which don't neccesarily involve the same level of personal humility, and that's cool. I have to say, 9 times out of 10, on the (admittedly rare) occasions I've met an American person I didn't like, it's down to this one.
History means nothing to people, especially not when it comes to being grateful for events which happened 80 years ago. Most historians will tell you that, actually, the Russians were the main factor in the allied victory in Europe. Does this mean we should still be kissing their boots? No, because events which occured before my parents were born do not really motivate my current world view. I've studied French and been to France, and their reasons for disliking America are generally profoundly modern. Like Americans themselves, they're a proud country with their own culture and way of doing things.. Expecting them to bend and scrape in this day and age is a ridiculous idea, if you ask me.
It's also profoundly naive to think that American intervention in wars over the world has been based on a sudden attack of morals. A lot of American wars have, to be honest, been blatantly motivated by national self interest. While it's only realistic to expect that it will be the case, claiming self righteousness on account of wars fought to preserve American political and economic interests doesn't seem appropriate to me.
Finally, any powerful nation, regardless of how right and just it considers itself, needs to remember that its ideas about righteousness and justice are not universal. The British Empire in the last century commited what would now be considered to be appauling atrocities of exploitation and greed in the name of what was honestly believed to be 'the right way to do things.' A lot of people don't want to be ruled by an American style government, and, I'd argue, it would be far fairer to allow them not to be than to intervene. Especially militarily, since that raises more moral issues than I can care to mention.
Despite the last few points being negative, as I've said, I'm not anti-American in the slightest. I met a lot of American friends in Japan, and I feel quite politically close to the American way of doing things. However, I go to a very anti-American university, so I do have a lot of experience of the kind of dislike you refer to. It does exists. The best way to avoid it, however, is to avoid coming across as arrogant at all costs.. People hate that whole 'I'm an American, so I'm great!' thing.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; October 24th, 2005 at 17:39.
I don’t hate America, because ‘hate’ is such as strong word, and having feelings for a piece of earth is rather stupid in my opinion. It’s just dirt. It lays there and doesn’t do anything at all. How can you ‘hate’ or ‘love’ anything like that?
However, this is probably also why I find American patriotism so annoying. What is it that is so great about the USA that no one else has? Certainly not the religion, the economy, the people, the politics, the technology, the knowledge, the food, the history or the military? The USA is just about the most unoriginal country in the world, yet most Americans seem to be so proud of being Americans and are very quick to condemn other nationalities. You do it yourself, H0urg1ass. You say that the French are ungrateful and that without the USA they wouldn’t even have a nation. I seem to recall something called the War of Independence and the French rescuing your behinds from the enemy. They even gave you a great big statue to congratulate your newly won freedom. And they certainly aren’t rubbing your nose in it, as you seem to be doing. Talk about ungrateful people. :rolleyes:
If you really want to make the world a better and more just place to live, it seems obvious to me that the first step would be to agree with the rest of the world on a plan of action rather than just doing whatever you feel like at the time, because honestly, might doesn’t make right. Would it be so bad to sit down with the UN or EU councils and have a chat before sending out the infantry?
And would it really cost you much to be a little more respectful of other countries? Claiming that you’re the best in every way possible strikes me as being very impolite. Just today I saw you claim that the USA has the best colleges in the world, which is all good and fine except that a rather large percentage of your fellow Americans never attend these universities. And yet I am left feeling inferior because I ‘only’ have access to the University of Copenhagen. It might not be as fancy and as expensive as Harvard, but at least I can attend classes there in spite of my pedigree and economy, and doesn’t that count for something too?
To cut short this rant, I would just like to make something clear: I think you’ve misunderstood something, H0urg1ass; people don’t hate America, the country, or indeed America, the people. But what most people really dislike is America, the attitude. If you weren’t acting so superior to the rest of us all the time, I doubt you’d have such a massive inferiority complex to nurture in the first place.
Last edited by Grephaun; October 24th, 2005 at 17:17.
"Girls are nice and cuddly on the outside, and freaky on the inside." ~ Lost Nemesis.
What America shares with an earlier Britain is that insufferable sense of mission, the conviction that it is a force for good in world affairs. Any force for change, good or bad, presents a challenge to an existing order, and resentment comes with it. That would be enough to raise hackles. But America, more so than even Britain, represents a special type of challenge to the world. That challenge has been recognized, feared, resented and finally hated. The triumph of American economic expansion and military power, the success of what is now the world's sole superpower has caused anti-American resentment to become a perverse ideal. Anyway, the above is from a book that I read recently and I agree with that point of view.
MEAT IS MURDER
Ohhhh, come on. "The French loss also was small, but it was more than twice that of the American army, and consisted of fifty-two killed and one hundred and thirty-four wounded" (Writings of Washington, Sparks's ed., viii, 181.) It sure wasn't the bloodbath that Normandy was, so it's a sad sad comparison. And, hey, if they want the statue back, they can have the ugly thing.I seem to recall something called the War of Independence and the French rescuing your behinds from the enemy. They even gave you a great big statue to congratulate your newly won freedom. And they certainly arenâ€™t rubbing your nose in it, as you seem to be doing. Talk about ungrateful people.Aha! But I only pointed out that we have the best colleges in the world after you made a very Anti American statement about how geographically ignorant we all are. You can dish it out but you can't take it back? Touche.Just today I saw you claim that the USA has the best colleges in the world, which is all good and fine except that a rather large percentage of your fellow Americans never attend these universities.
That's exactly why people don't like Americans.Originally Posted by H0urg1ass
I don't know many Russians, but my brother knows a good few from school and they don't bother telling me or him how I should respect their country because they lost more men than all the other allies combined throughout in the entire war, European and Pacific.
WW2 was a long time ago.. If you can find any more relevant reasons why the French should automatically respect you, I'd be pleased to hear them. Otherwise, you're not being very convincing.
As I said, I'm generally opposed to anti American feeling, but I don't see why it's worth defending you here if you're going to live up to the stereotype by arrogantly suggesting the world should automatically love your country. People are entitled to their own opinions on that.
In short, you have a right not to be victimised on account of national origins. Sometimes that gets violated, and I'm sorry about that. I wish it didn't happen. However, you don't have a right to demand respect on account of your national origins either.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; October 24th, 2005 at 23:41.
Shoe, meet mouth, mouth, meet shoe, insert here
Ahhh, now that I have that out of the way and don't have to worry about it. Hourglass, I have to agree with a lot of people on this one. I have met a LARGE number of Americans, and most of them I don't have an issue with, (the ones I do, I would probably have issues with anyway). What most people have an issue with is the egocentricity, (if that is a real word). Not neccessarily about the USA, but, about their "home". I have met people from the South who knew next to nothing about the Northern states, I have met people from the North who had no clue about the Southern states, etc. Yes, the American forces came in and saved the Allies butts in WWII, but, y'all missed the opening parts and hadn't been through the meat grinder, yet. Some people in the States have no clue about what is going on outside their area, (I know, this happens everywhere, but, it SEEMS more common in the States).
True story, when I was in the army, we were doing a combined exercise in Alabama, (I think, long time past). We had most of the American soldiers convinced that our barracks were igloos, our APCs were dogsleds and our mascots were polar bears.:yes:
So in closing we don't hate Americans, we may hate Bush, we may hate some of your dogmas, we may hate some of your ideologies or attitutdes, but, we don't hate Americans, for the most part.
A little pain never hurt anyone - Larry
Please tell me these were infantry grunts that you got all confused. I would hate to think that any of my beloved corps of Military Intel would fall for that. It's a good one though. :tongue:True story, when I was in the army, we were doing a combined exercise in Alabama, (I think, long time past). We had most of the American soldiers convinced that our barracks were igloos, our APCs were dogsleds and our mascots were polar bears.
Hey, I'm from the south and I know next to nothing about northern states. Doesn't make me a bad person, though, I just don't have much interest in freezing my buttocks off in Maine. oooooohhhh, I hate the cold.