Unlike the majority of Americans, I worked for this country as my occupation, in the Defense Department. I have seen our govenment from the inside out for over 35 years. I've worked in the Intelligence Establishment, at the Pentagon, in the White House, at CIA, at the Department of State, in an overseas U.S. Embassy, at Gitmo, Cuba and at numerous bases around the country.
The vast majority of these people are patriots, quiet patriots. We don't brag about our country, we were not arrogant about our country, but it was our duty to make it better...and secure. We were sworn to defend the Constitution and we did so, but we were also observant enough to know that our country is far from perfect and most certainly does not have a monopoly on virtue. Every weekend in my town there is a little demonstration against the various wars we are involved in by the local Quakers (Friends). They, of course, are categorically opposed to all wars and that has been a tenet of their faith for several hundred years. They were the ones who started this town actually. And on the opposite corner is a counter protest by a rather right wing group who obstensibly say that they are "supporting our troops", something I would hope all of us would do, though if you read this groups website that is only the tip of the iceberg for their agenda. I am proud that my career, in my small way, continued to give both of these groups the right and freedom to peaceably assemble to put forth their views.
Edited by imadanseur (79325) on 2010-07-21 23:03:11 the usage of that phrase is just so inappropriate especially to people who have family members that are mentally challenged. please select different choices of words to express yourself.
Ireland for the win!:P
Honestly though.. Im proud to be Irish, because thats who i am. Its part of what makes me, well me.So what if the country is divided and kinda screwed, its my birthplace, the only one il ever have. I think its sad that some of you are not proud of where you come from because of what you see as failures on behalf of the government etc
Dudes be proud to be American because youre American. Not because you're a hugely developed country or because you had a lack luster president or whatever.
BE PROUD TO BE YOU. let the reason you are American be part of that.
I am proud to be American because while we might not be perfect, we are getting closer every day. We stand for liberty and equality, truth and justice. One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Sorry I attributed that quote to jazz_lover when it was actually Heart that wrote it. Sorry to jazz_lover!
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Removed by imadanseur (79325) on 2010-07-21 23:03:43 offensive comment removed.
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Removed by imadanseur (79325) on 2010-07-21 23:04:09 sorry...that is not what people consider light hearted or humerous at all.
Americans are the most luckiest people in the world. America is the land of plenty.
I live in New Zealand, and went to LA (and London and Paris) in 2006, on a school trip. While there, we saw a homeless child. We stopped and cried. I have never seen a homeless child in New Zealand. I don't know anyone who has.
We also saw police men carrying guns, so went up to them to ask if we could have a photo with them, because our police dont have guns. Know what they said? "Wow... we wish we didn't have to carry guns."
I work with the 'have nots' of my country, and still I have not once come across a family who lives in a tenty city. We have homeless adults, and homeless teenagers, but very rarely would you find a homeless child.
Americans are very, very lucky, yes. But they are not the luckiest in the world. The luckiest people in the world are those who are not in need, and there are people like that all over the world. Some Americans are the least lucky people in the world, because they're 5 and they live on the street and hear gun shots every night and have perhaps even witnessed shootings.
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Removed by imadanseur (79325) on 2010-07-21 23:04:41 offending comment removed.
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Removed by Odessa (22571) on 2010-07-21 14:33:53 personal attacks (and unprovoked personal attacks, at that) are not tolerated on Dance,net
My mother has flaws, does this mean that I am sickened by her? No. I love her. If we were to focus more on the positive things that happen in the U.S rather than the problems we face (and all countries face) than I think we would be happier people. This country was built on change, and whether people will admit it or not, it's a fact that America has done a lot for the world's nations.
Edited by Smith (65950) on 2010-07-23 14:55:40
Edited by Smith (65950) on 2010-07-23 14:57:28
Edited by Smith (65950) on 2010-07-23 15:00:12
Whenever I mention Americans to others, I get the same kind of response. America is the "Land of excess". Too many fast food places, too many TV shows, too much money, too obsessed with celebrities, etc etc. Most people poke fun at Americans, saying that they're ignorant of everything outside of America and I'll admit, I've poked fun myself. There is also the opinion that Americans view their country as superior to all others. I've even gotten e-mails mocking Americans - videos, photographs, quotes.
Talking about excess... I remember watching an episode of Gilmore Girls and one of the characters walked out with a huge packet of chips, may have been Lays. But it was the size of the bag shocked me. It was the size of a small child and I thought to myself, "That is disgusting! Who needs a packet of chips that big??" For some reason, it really bugged me. It may seem like a small thing, but it's a lot of small things like that which lead to the negative view we tend to have of Americans.
People I speak to view America as a nation of people who don't care about other countries, except when they're being affected by outsiders. I've listened while others said that Americans only know about other cities and countries that they're interesting in bombing or invading them. Or perhaps when Angelina Jolie or some other celebrity decides to adopt a child. I've also heard President Bush being slated time and time again. Hollywood has been insulted - they steal their movie ideas from others. Remakes of French or British films. An exmaple would be "Death at a funeral". I'll admit, that personally annoyed me. The British version was perfectly fine and yet for whatever reason, Hollywood made a ridiculous version of it. I've watched Oprah shows where she introduced people and things from around the world and the audience got so excited and were so surprised while I was sitting there going, "You didn't know this?" I think one of those shows was the first time Bollywood star, Aishwarya Rai, was featured. Most people hadn't even heard of her, even though at that stage, she was one of the world's most famous actors. And again, this fed the idea that Americans care nothing about what is happening in other countries. Perhaps this particular comparison is unfair, considering that South Africa has a large group of Muslim and Indian citizens and it would therefore be understandable that we know about Bollywood.However, I am sure you get the idea of what I am trying to say. TV shows that come from American and are aired here help feed our negative views of the country.
But there is one thing that almost everyone here has made fun of and has laughed about time and time again. In fact, I think Sprite even had a tv ad campaign about it. It's when black Americans land in an African country, usually South Africa, and say things like, "I am home" or "The motherland". Now firstly, you were born in America. That's your home. Secondly, not all slaves came from Africa and chances are that their ancestors are not from here. That's definitely one of the biggest things locals laugh at.
But, sadly, if you were to speak to people here and ask them about Americans, I'm fairly certain that these are the three words you will hear the most: "Fat", "Ignorant", and "Arrogant".
Well... that's all I really have to say. Attack me, don't attack me. I'm just passing on things I've heard and seen.
Proudly South African
Edited by d4j (104724) on 2010-07-23 16:32:24 added...
America is the "Land of excess"
Talking about excess... "That is disgusting! Who needs a packet of chips that big??"
Are you seriously going to slate an ENTIRE country because of a big ole bag of chips? Frankly, I think it is more frugal to buy the bigger bag of chips. Not only do you save money, you WASTE LESS on packaging. And you don't run out as quick so that means fewer trips to the store which equals less gas, less pollution. While snacks are not exactly a green choice, at least a big bag and fewer purchases are greener choices. So how exactly is that excess?
Most people poke fun at Americans, saying that they're ignorant of everything outside of America and I'll admit, I've poked fun myself
According to this link, Americans are the second most educated people in the world (number one is Canada, go Canadians!). Hmm, I see South Africa isn't even in the top ten... When it comes to ignorance I find that the more ignorant the more likely to poke fun at others... just sayin'...
www.topix.com . . .
There is also the opinion that Americans view their country as superior to all others.
America is a young country that has become astoundingly successful in a comparatively short period of time. I think many people outside of the states mistake our thrilled pride in our successes as a stance of superiority. And, as already stated in the thread, thinking that your country is great does not automatically mean that you think other countries are bad.
People I speak to view America as a nation of people who don't care about other countries, except when they're being affected by outsiders.
When it comes to foreign aid, America gives more than any other country in the world. Now this is a catch-22 with your issue of 'caring'. If America gets too involved with aid to another country she is accused of meddling and being Imperialist. If she does not give enough she doesn't care. Someone is always criticizing no matter what she does.
As for individual Americans, they are THE most charitable people in the world. Hands down.
www.usatoday.com . . .
www.american.com . . .
Aishwarya Rai, was featured. Most people hadn't even heard of her, even though at that stage, she was one of the world's most famous actors.
Let me dispel a myth about at least one American: me. I am, wait for it.... a Bollywood teacher! Imagine that, an ignorant American who very much knows who Aish Rai is. Now do I think that it is terrible that most Americans do not know who she is? NOT AT ALL. Why should I? It's only been recently that our country has had more immigrants from Southeast Asia. Indian culture is still considered pretty new around here. Also, America is a gigantic place. The areas where immigrants of specific ethnicities live are very city/region-specific. If your state doesn't have a 'Little India' or a 'Little Cambodia', etc., it is not likely that you have ever come in contact with someone from those places unless you live in the cities. In my case, as a long-time Indiaphile, I am fortunate to live in an area where there are lots of Indian immigrants. But like all newcomers, it takes time to assimilate. So what if the average American doesn't know popular Indian culture? In comparison, talk to Americans about how much they know of Mexican history and culture and you'll hopefully see what I'm saying.
Now firstly, you were born in America. That's your home. Secondly, not all slaves came from Africa and chances are that their ancestors are not from here.
Oh you mean like, they were from the Caribbean? How do you think they got there? Yup, from Africa. Maybe not from SOUTH Africa, but I imagine that setting foot anywhere on the African continent is enough to give a person a sense of place and belonging and history. Why would you make fun of that? I'm truly incredulous.
But, sadly, if you were to speak to people here and ask them about Americans, I'm fairly certain that these are the three words you will hear the most: "Fat", "Ignorant", and "Arrogant".
Well, when I read this I first thought that I will never visit South Africa if that is how most people truly feel. But, I will NOT allow myself to group an entire nation, such as you have done. I'm sure that there are many wonderful people in South Africa. I'm sure they don't all constantly play the dang vuvuzela...
EDIT: And you can't complain anymore about America being the fattest nation - that distinction belongs to the Aussies. (I'd sure love to visit there, they must have some seriously good eats.)
Although there are certain aspects about America that could certainly use improvement, this country, on terms of privileges, is the best in the world and Im proud to say I am a part of it
And no, not everyone thinks you have wild animals wandering through your streets. As somebody who has been to South Africa and committed a lot of time and money (yes, some of the excess that makes me such a selfish American) I'm really offended by everything you said. Those seem more like just your opinions, not really like you're speaking for your whole country. South Africa is a beautiful country, and I absolutely love the people there and if I had never been there before and just read your post I would NEVER go visit. Just my two cents.
I think one of those shows was the first time Bollywood star, Aishwarya Rai, was featured. Most people hadn't even heard of her, even though at that stage, she was one of the world's most famous actors.
All I will say right now is that this actor as well as a few other Bollywood actors have made appearances in a goofy celebrity gossip blog that I sometimes read...and that blog is read by a LOT of people, so plenty of Americans have learned who these people are and what they're doing. No further comment on the Oprah Show...
Poverty doesn't escape any country, what does this have to do with said country being something you shouldn't be proud of?
No where in my post did I say that Americans shouldn't be proud of their country because of poverty. I was responding to the post I quoted that Americans are the luckiest people in the world. That's a huge generalisation. Not all Americans are lucky, and not all of the luckiest people in the world are American.
Edited by Smith (65950) on 2010-07-24 05:11:44
I am not saying that South Africa is the best nation in the world. We have so so many problems. Due to Apartheid, we have a generation of uneducated black people. We have political problems, and yes, we follow other nations - like America - by accepting their traditions and wanting their lifestyles. We have McDonalds, Subway etc. For everything we dislike about America, there are things we love. I for one listen to American music and watch the movies. And even though people I know insult America, when something happens they will say things like "You should see how they do it in America". Also, I don't know one person who doesn't want to go see New York City. I also agree that your patriotism does get mistaken for arrogance.
The point of my post was not to slate America or say that I hate that country. It was also not to paint this picture that all South Africans think poorly of America. I was just relaying opinions from many conversations I have had, tv programs I have seen, news reports that get presented. I also agree that while the same "negative" things happen in other countries, America gets highlighted. But the topic of this thread was not about other countries, it was about America. It was about whether Americans are proud to be Americans and how other countries view her.
There are two small things that I wanted to mention. I just want to include them for interest's sake.
During the World Cup that just happened in South Africa, a group of American tourists was overheard, whilst walking in a shopping centre, asking whether we had built the mall just for the world cup. Stories like those spread. Stories like those make us think that Americans are ignorant about other countries. The second story is about a South African journalist who had American friends. One of the Americans wrote an article that was published in one of our newspapers. If I remember correctly, it was a female. She wrote about unfairly she and her American friends had judged South Africa. How she thought she was entering an underdeveloped nation filled with crime and unkindness. How they were so happy to see that we actually had McDonalds. I am sure that other countries thought the same, but it is America that has the spotlight. And so, more conversations begin about America not knowing much about other countries.
Again, I want to stress that I don't hate America and that I don't believe that the ENTIRE nation is fat and ignorant and arrogant. But from what we see and what we hear, it is understandable that these kind of negative conversations surrounding America take place.
Proudly South African - problems and all.
this country (America), on terms of privileges, is the best in the world
And after pages of debate, we still have so many people saying the same thing. I know not all Americans are like this, but this debate proves a proportionate amount believe this. America is the best country in the world. What are all these apparent privileges you have that other countries don't? Cause all I'm seeing is a privilege to be arrogant and uneducated...
Great, some of you say it has the best education system? have you ever experienced another countries or even learnt about it? I personally think you're elementary-high school system is weird cause your standardized tests are really easy and designed for all to pass. I think your liberal education in college (more broader and not so pecific degrees) is an interesting idea, with one university in Australia apparentally adopting it.
Great, because everyone's better off? I believe there's great class divides there with so many people living around the poverty mark.
In conclusion, every country has faults. Your country doesn't have everything. Therefore you should travel to other places, experience their culture without judgement, and become a more open minded person. You can learn something from every country in the world I'm sure.
As for "all Americans being fat"..um. I'm not. Maybe you should get out more. Have you even BEEN here? Stop watching so much damn tv and actually travel and you'll get a better outlook on life.
And I have to agree with the above comment that there is a definite difference between being proud of your country and being a nationalist.
Oh, and to clear up all the misguided views that some Americans on here seem to have...um..not everyone thinks we're fat, lazy..blah blah blah. I was just abroad for 6 weeks and I heard a lot of:
Americans are: friendly, outgoing, generous, etc..and more, along those lines.
Sure, people are going to have different opinions..but they're perfectly allowed to.
And one more thing. It DISGUSTS me that people would try and change their nationality "Oh hey, I'm Canadian" (nothing against Canadians), when they're traveling abroad. Seriously. Wow. Move then. Bye! Unless you're going to be harmed by saying you're American, why not say you are. What if the people you're meeting think you're great? Why can't you help them change their views of Americans by showing how kind, thoughtful, and open to new cultures and experiences that you are, instead of just letting them assume you're from somewhere else?
GAH! This thread. Man.
I can't even believe I took the time to respond. But seriously..wow. How depressing you all are.
I am happy to be American!
I read much content about cultures in the United States at samplius.com . . ., which describes German Americans, national symbols, and Vietnamese communities, for example. There is a lot of interesting material, mostly about America, but there is also about Europe, so I highly recommend reading it.
Find something interesting for yourself!
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