A Letter from America

Hi Bloggers.

So I’m committed to not getting into posts about religion or politics. It’s just not worth it with the vast array of viewpoints and opinions. As a disclaimer, I respect other’s opinions and right to express themselves in any way they want. I don’t have to agree with them and vice versa. Wonderful. Ok, so with that out the way, I want to write about America, and more importantly Americans.

I am Canadian. Born in a Australia, still Australian, but am now Canadian, and have a passport that says so. Canadians – generally polite, moderate, friendly, welcoming, and a bunch of other things that are normally considered good. Most people in the world would agree to that – unless you have some other bias regarding religion, freedom of belief and association or whatever. I will add that Canada is a very diverse community. Really, there are ALL types in our great country.

Americans, ok. I’m going to say it, put it out there… bear with me please. Unfortunately, our American friends are  subject to prejudice from others. I know this, because being a non-American, and having been in different parts of the world, Americans get a lot of shit.

SAM_1911I am even going to say, somewhat ashamed, that I may have even personally contributed to the whole American opinion thing in conversations in the past. Ok, before you smash your computer screen or unfollow me – let me finish my rant. Why would the other citizens of the world think and talk like this? Essentially, its ignorance and a lack of experience in, well, America and Americans.

Think about this for a minute – America is projected onto the world’s media supply – good and bad, in copious amounts. Music, movies, politics, religious zealots, financial markets, big business, and a LOT of other influences. So here in lies the problem. If that is what is being projected, what are the citizens of the world supposed to think?

Let me tell you, the impression is that America is full of red-neck, gun shooting, gang affiliated, political extremists, black lives matterists, cops who shoot people, white supremacists, bat shit crazy stuff and Hollywood stars that can’t stay married or top themselves. Ok, if you are American and swearing at your monitor screen, please stick with me I am not the enemy! 

SAM_2543

Ok, this is where it’s a little unfair. I want to set the record straight. I’ve been in America literally dozens of times. I’ve never been shot. Never been car jacked. Never been mugged. Never seen a radical (or even a republican) politician up close. Never been to a political rally. Never seen anyone do any crazy weird shit that ends up on some of the tv shows that promote this stuff.

What I have seen is a lot of beautiful countryside and landmarks. The people are generally exceedingly friendly and gracious and hospitable. I can say without reservation that Americans are some of the most warm hearted friendly people on earth. What I’m saying is I think this country suffers from an image problem.

It’s not to say that some of the reputation that this country has is unwarranted, no. The reality is that there are some messed up things about America. There is a lot of poverty. A lot of the cities are run down and crime is a serious factor. There are many places that I would choose not to go. There are places that I have felt unsafe due to the people on the street. Having said that, I can guarantee you there are a lot of places I would choose not to hang around in Canada and Australia too. In America, all those elements I mentioned above, they do exist. But that’s not the full picture.

When you are in America, you will appreciate why Americans seem to lack knowledge about the wider world. This is a general statement, so please don’t shoot me down. American media is all about America. Typical ‘world’ news in America is normally about stories where America is directly represented or a major subject of the story. World news elsewhere has nothing to do with America. So if all your media exposure and education growing up was about America, you can’t be expected to know a lot about the world at large.

However, there are exceptions. I have met a lot of Americans that have travelled the world. I have met Americans with left-wing liberal politics. Some who are gay, and some who hate their current administration. Then the other side of the equation is represented too. The right wing conservative set. Depending on where you are, these types are much more widely represented.

Let me finish this rant by saying this. There is no one singular America, or American. It’s a very large country with lots of diverse lifestyles and opinions. It’s a great place to visit and if you come here you will be made feel welcome providing you respect the law and other’s rights and opinions.

As Simon and Garfunkel sang… “I’ve come to look for America….” What a beautiful concept!

 

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3 thoughts on “A Letter from America

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_de_Tocqueville#Democracy_in_America

    Alexis de Tocqueville usually gets the credit for being the first to publish about the American Way in 1835.

    Let’s put it this way, as a 13th generation American on my paternal side, I agree that in the main, America and Americans are very welcoming to visitors. The problem with the export of American culture has always been, going back at least 150 years, is that what sells overseas is not reality, but a glossy dream. There are no Grand Tours of crumbling ruins, no stately monuments to thousands of years of progress, only a non-stop build up and tear down of the past.

    I would never say America is perfect, but then no country is. Every nation has past and present problems and most people just want to be left alone by governments and institutions to live their lives the best they can. American media doesn’t talk about the rest of world—except in context of war and natural disasters, because the vast majority of Americans don’t care about what happens ‘over there’. In fact, most Americans likely think Canada is just another state somewhere in the Great White North. America Lite if you will.

    Like

    1. Yeh I’m sure its been seen that way. Best summed up by a map I saw that said something like The World According to Americans… at it was America with every other country greyed out. But hey, I’m not about reiterating stereo types, I’m saying Americans are misrepresented, and I have a lot of great American friends, and I’m sitting in an American dining setting with an American laptop owned by one of my good American friends, so clearly, I’m ok with it all..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Or if you’re a New Yorker, and the map ends at the Hudson River, with the rest of the country ‘Out There’. I appreciate your posting this essay, people are people, no matter what the nationality. It’s how you treat others that count. Enjoy your lunch.

        P.S. The best diners are in New Jersey. The best pizza in Connecticut, and the best pasta in NYC.

        Liked by 2 people

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