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Anti-Americanism - the gift that won't stop giving.

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posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 08:37 AM
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I've talked to people in other countries both on these boards and on many others. I've run into some deep anti-American sentiment. I'm a person who can take personal criticism - even when it hurts - when it's justified. By the same token, I can easily tolerate criticism of my nation when it's justified. However, a lot of the anti-Americanism I've run into goes far beyond justified criticism and lands itself in the pure hate camp.

As an American, this concerns me. Obviously, if the hate is for my origins alone and says nothing about me or my actions, there's absolutely nothing I can do to resolve those types of problems.

I'm the first person to criticize my government for their mistakes. I don't begrudge anyone in the world their right to do the same. What DOES trouble me is how often that sentiment goes far beyond criticism.

I guess my question is - why the growing HATE vs. justified criticism? Is there something behind it besides the actions of our government? Is there anything we, as Americans, can do to reduce or eliminate it? Or is it just the same hatreds that fuel conflict the world over?

The purpose of these boards is to 'deny ignorance.' I think that begins with our attitudes and prejudices. So - I'd like to explore the origins of the hate I've had directed at me over and over again because of my nationality.

Any thoughts?




posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 09:12 AM
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What is deemed "justified criticism" is obviously very subjective. What's justified to me might not appear so to you, and vice versa. Having said that, obvious hatred isn't so hard to define, and yes, many go beyond criticism into the rabid territory of pure hatred.

I'm not American; I was born and raised in the UK, but have lived here since 1996; I've lived "both sides", if you will.

My perception is this:

In Europe we're shown a lot more "negative" press relating to the US; there tends to be more broad coverage of certain events (those of a political nature in particular) with a little more attention being paid to whoever is on "the other side" of the situation. This makes it very difficult to blindly adopt a stance of "The US is generally in the right"; it also encourages a perception that too many Americans do support the actions of their government without question .

There's nothing sinister behind such feelings of increased criticism; perhaps a growing awareness that the American Way Of Life isn't suited to everyone on the planet is a factor?

Many people - Americans as well as non Americans - also perceive the current situation in Iraq to be one rooted in nothing more than falsehoods and bullying. Whether this perception is grounded in truth or not isn't really the factor; the point is the peception exists, and that often leads to a distrust of other foreign policies/actions committed by the US.

Obviously, resentment and anger also contribute to any negative feelings towards a nation; for example, if someone has a personal loss associated with that nation, their perspective will be much more likely to degenerate into hatred. The US isn't the only country subjected to this type of feeling; there's a lot more media attention paid though, and this serves the agendas of both anti- and pro-US feeling.

What can be done about it? Though this suggestion is often ridiculed, perhaps "Taking The Ideas Of Other Nations Into Account When Making Those Decisions" might be an idea; again there's a widely-held perception that the US either doesn't care, or doesn't want to care, about what another nation might think about a particular global issue. This is hardly the best way to garner support for a cause.

Hatred that is based purely on a person's origin, ethnicity, etc - that's a different animal. And one that's much more difficult to overcome.

The idealist in me still wants to stand up and yell "Can't we all just play nicely?!"





posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 11:24 AM
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and as suprising as that might be to many of you, I'll just bet if you looked at your own situation you wouldn't either. The point I make is this. I don't go to bed at night nor awake every morning wondering what the rest of the world thinks of me based upon my geographic location and I'll bet the rest of you don't either no matter what country your from. So, if you are a person outside the US who thinks that we have nothing better to do than worry every waking moment about whether or not you hate us, I'm afraid I have news for you.

I'm an average American and most of my attention is placed day to day on work, family, food and finance same as the rest of you. Although because of this site, I do consider myself privy to much more information than the average American so that means it probably crosses my mind once or twice a day.

Someone hates me thousands of miles away! Big deal. What am I supposed to do about it? I don't care and neither does anyone else.



posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 11:35 AM
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Perhaps there's a lot of grey in between the black and white there, astro?

Part of the problem might be that there is the common perception that America doesn't care about anyone outside of America, but more to the point, that America doesn't care about what other nations think about any action taken by this great nation. It's hardly a gesture towards global cooperation. And no, nobody is saying that the world needs to agree on everything; but it might at least show good will to take someone else's opinion into account.

If the same mindset is propogated by American citizens, then who can blame the rest of the world for thinking so?



posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by Tinkleflower
Perhaps there's a lot of grey in between the black and white there, astro?

If the same mindset is propogated by American citizens, then who can blame the rest of the world for thinking so?


And how does the rest of the world expect every one in another country to meet every expectation and address every concern they have? Can we agree that no matter what action any given county takes globally including no action at all, somewhere someone is going to have an issue with it?

Its not really that we don't care its just that we don't have time to worry that much about it. Do you? Does anyone else here spend more than an hour or so a day wondering if the rest fo the world hates them and if so, why? What is it you think you can do if this were true?

The truth is to even attempt to please every Tom, Dick, and Harry here there and in between, plus supply our families with food and shelter, we have to pretty much stay at it all the time. No one I know gets 10 weeks of holiday a year and most of us would love to stop at a 40 hour work week. I just squeezed out 5 days back in May that was my first week long vacation in 13 years of working since college alone not to mention the jobs I had to work my way through there.

The issue here may not be that we are apathetic (to which I admit that I am because I just can't spare what it takes to please you all) but it may be that we just don't have the kind of time people in other countries do.

Tell you what, when I take my forst 10 week holiday, I'll be sure and set aside some time to think about what I can do to make everyone love me. Until then, I'm 8 minutes over my lunch break so I gotta go.



posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 12:31 PM
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Move to Europe.

10 weeks vacation/year isn't unheard of there


But to address the post...

That's my point - it doesn't have to be that black and white. I doubt anyone is suggesting every nation has to agree on every decision made by anyone else. But there's an awful lot of room to ponder, surely, between that suggestion and "agreeing to nothing at all"?



posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 01:59 PM
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I do care about the way the world persive us Americans and American, due to the fact that it will damage our safety while abroad.

What many people doesn't understand is that US is not the only nation in this earth, we are many countries and many nations and everybody has their own ways of expresing themselves.

US is not targeting a major country right now or another super power, US is look at as the bully that is targeting one group and one race, in third world countries.

That worries me and make me sad as an American.



posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 02:18 PM
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lol, I have the best of both worlds being that I am an American and a French citizen, So I get to deal with the most cliche of french jokes here in the states, and when im in Europe, I kinda get poked at for the american thing (not as much though). But what I have found though is the people who usually have nasty things to say about either side, usually dont know much about it at all. Most people who are educated know that you cant label a nationality as "good" "bad" "tough" "cool" "wimps" or whatever, because all types of folks (good and bad) live in every country on this planet.



posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 02:24 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
I do care about the way the world persive us Americans and American, due to the fact that it will damage our safety while abroad.


That worries me and make me sad as an American.


Case and point. Those who still try and worry about pleasing every self-righteous person with an opinion will utterly end up depressed and anxious.

If the people of every other country can go to bed at night without wondering if the Americans approve of or hate them , why then must we worry about their opinion? Most of us don't.

Now, seeing as I said I usually spend a couple minutes per day thinking about it and I have spent prolly 20 minutes today writing about it, I probably won't wonder if anyone hates me because of where I live for oh..10 days. I'll probably make it two weeks for good measure but I'm just not a sensitive person, I reckon.



posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 03:10 PM
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I'm (again) failing to see where anyone is saying "we" (or anyone else for that matter) must try to appease everyone. Am I simply missing where it IS so black and white?

There seems to be an enormous space between "everyone" and "no-one"....surely that leaves it possible for a society to be responsible enough to consider the feelings of others, without spiralling down into a sewer of doubt and self-hatred?

Also, many people around the world are concerned about hostilities towards their (or any other) nation. I'm not sure I can flippantly say "most of us do", or "most of us don't". There seems to be enough sentiment on both sides of that coin.



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by Infamous Zordak9
what I have found though is the people who usually have nasty things to say about either side, usually dont know much about it at all. Most people who are educated know that you cant label a nationality as "good" "bad" "corrupt" "arrogant" "wimps" or whatever, because all types of folks (good and bad) live in every country on this planet.



Amen...It's all too easy to jump on the bandwagon after being injected with bias, since when does that make you a know it all? I thought it made you a know nothing?



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 02:07 PM
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Those who hate America are usually the first to ask for our help and money.

Maybe it is time to really pick who we help with great care. Let's start by giving the U.N. what they give us. Very little to nothing at all. It's a start which might just get us on the right track internationally.

If we get nothing but ignorant hate we should just stand on the sidelines for a while and watch the world turn until the hands come out for our help. Then we can decide who deserves what.

No respect deserves no respect.



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