Saturday, February 16, 2008

Maybe We Aren’t Number One…

You know, I think I finally understand why the rest of the world dislikes Americans. The rest of the world dislikes Americans the same way Black people dislike White people. OK, now hear me out on this. White people can go years without ever seeing anyone who does not look like them. White people do not have to learn anything about anyone else’s culture besides their own. I mean really, who do you think diversity training curriculum is for? If you are Brown or Black, you have already had to learn about a culture other than your own. We do not really need diversity training. It is White people who more often than not know nothing about the other races and ethnic groups that inhabit the country.
The same is basically true of Americans. On the average we do not really have to know anything about any other country in the world. We are ignorant of other countries basically because we can afford to be. American culture is everywhere. English is spoken in many, many countries in the world. It is fast becoming the most international of languages. American movies play everywhere. In most international sports, (accept for rugby and soccer) Americans reign. The Olympics, Golf, Tennis, Baseball, Football, Hockey (Canadians may be really good at Hockey, but where do they come to play?), and even Basketball are all international sports ruled by America, although that has changed in recent years. Everybody knows about America, you cannot escape American culture. Basically we don’t have to know about them, but they have to know about us. That kind of situation breeds resentment, which could lead to hatred. Sometimes, and I know this is something everyone can relate to, you really hate someone in your life for no other reason than that you see them too damn much.
And that, I think, is the basis for a lot of Anti-American sentiment, even among our European allies. It does not help that Americans have this…attitude, that we have. We almost cannot help it. A lot of countries believe that they are the best in the world, but Americans know it as an undeniable fact, like gravity and the sun rising in the morning.. I have to admit to being guilty of this way of thinking myself. Americans honestly do not understand why other countries would not want to be like us. The odd part is that we are all acutely aware of the many faults with our country, yet we still encourage other peoples to be like us. It is this attitude that many White people possessed throughout the history of this country, and it is an attitude that many Americans possess today. People resent us because we are so sure of ourselves, so sure that we are right and that we are the good guys and that we will save the world, even though it is Americans who are doing the most to ruin the world. That is why people hate us, and I can understand that. But that view is wrong. We know we often end up screwing things up more than we help, and we know that our leaders are idiots, but we are trying to do the best we can, I think. On this planet it is kind of like we are driving, but we have all had one drink too many.
So what do we do about it? Try to be a little more humble? Humility is the rarest thing in America, and I do not know if you’ll find it at all. This country lives and dies by being number 1, with all of the responsibilities that entails. I guess the rest of the world will have to learn to deal with us insufferable Americans. We can help however, by reading the international section of the newspaper every now and then, and trying to not be assholes when we travel abroad. Hey, its the least we can do for the uncivilized countries of the world, i.e. everyone but us.

1 comment:

GoldenSoul said...

People, by nature, are selfish-- even the people in the 3rd world countries and countries that "hate" America. The reason they are not ignorant to the American culture and some of it's history is because a majority of people from other countries WANT to come here. They still view it as the "Land of Opportunity"- they have something to gain from America. Just like America has something to gain from Japan, it takes a slight interest in its politics & such. When it had something to gain from *ahem* Iraq- it took an interest in Iraqi politics.

Its all about self serving as***les