Being in the place I’m in and doing the things that I’ve done has led me to viewpoints from the tame to the extreme. On campus here for example, I’m constantly challenged by historical readings published by authors from outside of my own sphere of continental knowledge. It’s stimulating and interesting to say the least. Let me also add that these readings are not just the ignorant ramblings of an arrogant outsider, these arguments are being made by academics with Oxford University and similar schools of thought.
Sadly though, interacting with people on the world wide web – that very entity that was designed to connect us has been just the opposite. Where you find academic integrity in the books off of the Oxford Press that are careful to indicate their stereotypical aspects to American extremists and the government, you find arrogant and uneducated stereotypes against simply “the Americans” on the net.
The most common matters are the discussion that Americans are uneducated, ignorant of the world and suffer from an addiction to be complicated. That’s simply not true, and can honestly be classified in the same group as the Nazi’s. I know that probably sounds extreme, so for the “sensitive” person we’ll compare it to African Americans as well (especially from 1892 to 1937). Sadly though, my example will be picking on the Nazi’s a bit. So if you’re one of the guilty people who blindly argue that Americans are ignorant – be prepared to be akin to the most extreme group to come out of Germany in the 20th Century.
To do this, lets have a quick reality check. During the warring years (and possibly as many as two years before) the Nazi regime generated it’s Pro-Aryan Race campaign. This postulated that if you were not of the Aryan race – that is essentially of decent from Northern Europe – you were an inferior being. Who would that count out? Why the people of Africa, the Jewish, the Arabic populations, even the Italians whom Hitler “allied” himself with.
The idea was essentially that the Aryans were the more intelligent, stronger, faster, more adept, thoughtful, and righteous human beings. Everything else was obsolete, the result of faulted Survival of the Fittest – and in the process of decay. The “brilliant” idea then came along to the likes of the Nazi regime to exterminate everything else. Of course, if the Aryan was so perfect – what do you need the lesser for? Not to mention the fact regardless of whether a Nazi officer was religious or an agnostic, there is no such thing as a “true Aryan” race of people. Anyone who has taken either class: creationism or evolution in biology knows that the human species began in what is the modern day Middle East and the eastern portions of Africa. Not Northern Europe – and not even close within a thousand miles.
So how is this the same as some of you reading?
Well, for some of you it isn’t. I’m going to return the stereotype just a bit here, but I will be careful and academic in my doing so. The most outrageous offenders of this rule are generally…well, North Europeans. Not every person in each country can be bothered to insinuate they know what is going on in America – so I don’t mean those individuals. However, the abundance of that public – as in, not in government or associated with the government – comes from assorted countries in the Northern tier of Europe. The next region that touts it’s “ignorant American” comments comes from the Southwest half of the same continent.
Again, I have to say. If you in good faith have never rolled your eyes at an American comment, or make comments that are ignorant to your own knowledge – then this post is not for you.
The ironic fact about the regions which tend to have this type of citizen is that these are the same regions that America was involved with helping during and after World War II. Harry S. Truman had passed legislation giving European countries food and extra expenses and resources to rebuild after the war. A helping hand if you will – with the only string being to “avoid communism.” Countries were devastated after the war – I can recall some pictures I had seen of some crop fields in Germany which expanded beyond the view of the camera. These fields were pitch black – scorched and dead. It was a harrowing feeling.
My point is, that America itself has not exerted any ill will towards Europe or her countries in the last century. There were times where people in power in Europe were targeted, but not before other European powers had done it first.
In this day of social media and internet technology, our worlds tend to be a bit clouded by perception based on what we see online. I will admit, I am basing this post based on that as such which is why I’ve gone to a great extent to ensure I am not discussing people as a whole. I have encountered so many inconsiderate, rude and snobby people online who have reacted that way because I am an American or live in America. If that’s not sheer racism, I really don’t know what is.
I am aware that the laws in my country may not be logical to you. Not all of them are to me either – please don’t assume they are. I am aware we use an imperial base count system instead of metric – I’m sorry I was raised to read inches and Fahrenheit. I know that “this doesn’t happen in Europe” – some of the insane things that happen in Europe don’t happen in America either. I am sorry that the five guys sitting next to me were subjected to poor public school education where they were just happy to be done with school. But don’t assume because they did not go on to college that I am not. Do not also assume that because they did not go on to college that they are stupid.
Before you open your mouth or hit the enter key. Ask yourself three very important questions: Do I really know what’s going on over there? Do I really know what I’m talking about? Can I offer anything informative to their way of thinking? If the answer is no to any of these, keep your mouth shut or use the backspace button. Shoving names and labels on American is not becoming of someone with integrity, it is not a sign of intelligence nor is it anyway to educate and resolve the issues that you claim to have. Your accusations of stupidity are en exercise in stupidity.
I’m an American. I live in America. If this story offends you, then perhaps you should read a history book.