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AZByzantium's avatar

Non-native or first generation Americans, do Americans annoy you?

Asked by AZByzantium (206 points ) February 7th, 2011

I really cannot stand to listen to classic Americans, who have never stepped over the US boarder, talk about the cultures and customs of others. It seems to me that American’s have opinions on every culture but never takes time to learn about any of them.

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25 Answers

incendiary_dan's avatar

So is your problem with Americans, or xenophobes (not that there isn’t significant overlap)?

YARNLADY's avatar

It sounds to me like you need to learn a lot more about Americans before you go judging the entire population.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Don’t worry. In 50 years or maybe less, we’ll all be complaining about the “Ugly Chinaman” instead of the “Ugly American.”

coffeenut's avatar

I hope the people in charge of the US are not like the people I’ve spoken too….

Seelix's avatar

There are people in all cultures that are closed-minded and uninformed about other cultures. It may seem that Americans are more like that than others, but really, they’re no more ignorant than any other people. Unfortunately, a lot of the portrayals we (as non-Americans) see focus on the bad rather than the good. Americans in general seem to me to be more focused on assimilating other cultures within their own country than they are on celebrating differences, but I know that most of the Americans I’ve met personally or here on Fluther don’t feel that way.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

My annoyance with people isn’t American – specific and I’m an immigrant. Stupid is stupid everywhere as is turning a blind eye to suffering.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Is this “negative generalization” day on Fluther? I must have missed the memo.
Yes, @AZByzantium , you are exactly right. 300+ million of us and we are all exactly the same. Doesn’t that just annoy the crap out of you?

Edit to add: I love the irony that people say these things about a culture that is made up of so many different other cultures.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Are you serious?

thorninmud's avatar

Could be worse. We could be French.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Interesting anecdote: I am an American and when I was 18, I went to London. This was the first time I had been outside of the country. Everywhere I went, it seemed that people were eager to tell me how awful and disgusting and loud Americans were but that I was nice. Why do you think that is? I’m thinking it’s probably because I am nice.

I would think that people who have come to the United States may not be comfortable here because it is a different culture. Would you like to hear a few cultural generalizations about the English? They have no sense of personal space. They are too quiet. They do not make their feelings known. Now, let me turn those around on Americans. Americans are cold and need personal space bubbles. We are loud. We talk too much. Is that better?

Anybody going to another country is going to be uncomfortable with the differences. It’s not fair to say that I, as an American, am causing these problems. It is simply because I am used to this culture.

I’m curious as to why first generation Americans were included in this query. Most of the first-generation Americans I know are, well, American and often get a little exasperated at their parents for trying to force the customs of another culture on them.

Kayak8's avatar

Isn’t it a wonderful thing when you have a country that welcomes people from other nations and then they bitch about us . . .

I have traveled around the world and have experienced a number of different cultures first-hand. No single culture is perfect and the US is an amalgam of so many wonderful and interesting and different people and cultures that, if one keeps an open-mind, you don’t have to leave home to learn a great deal.

sinscriven's avatar

Define “classic” American. American culture and society are not homogenized like European nations are, so to lump americans into one ball shows heavy ignorance. if anything, the US is like the EU in that each state is a sort of nation and culture in and of itself and we are united for legal/economic reasons.

People from Seattle, WA have a vastly different culture than Mobile, AL. Even with similar political cultures the societies are heavily different. New Yorkers and Northern Californians are vastly culturally different, and even sound different.

If Americans lack worldliness it’s not from a lack of desire. We’re geographically isolated from a lot of countries, we are exposed to mainly only one langauge for the great majority of our lives, our labor laws do not have mandatory vacations like Europeans do to allow us to travel freely.

If anything I think Non-Americans should actually look deeper more into Americans and American culture and instead of making assumptions and mocking us because of our politics is everyone’s business.

DancingMind's avatar

As an American:
Those people you describe are not “classic American,” they’re ignorant, and they annoy other “Americans” as well you.
Or, they’re people who, because they’ve been exposed to many different cultures growing up, even if those cultures are “American” versions of the original culture, may feel comfortable talking about the cultures because they (at least feel that they) know a bit about them.
Or, they’re people who have been told what to believe, and so believe that, regardless.
Or, they’ve got opinions that they’re sharing to start up a conversation, and possibly get some feedback from others, to learn more.
Or countless other reasons to be talking about cultures they have no “right” to because they don’t “know.”

Thing is, they’re all still people, first, before being “American”—whatever that word is supposed to mean in this supposed-meltingpot-turned-supposed-saladbowl-mishmash,—and all of those things happen in all countries. (At least, I assume they do, but since I haven’t been to all countries yet, I guess I can’t say so… whoops I guess I’m doing it now haha ; )

I’ve got a circle of friends that are tons of different cultures and mixes of cultures. We talk about culture all the time, because it’s relevant in our lives and how we view the world. By sharing those viewpoints with each other, we help each other sort out our own true beliefs and identities from what we’ve simply absorbed from others.

But, as others have pointed out, to group all Americans, or all “classic” Americans into a group of ignorant talk-a-lots… isn’t that doing to the “them” sort of in a way what you feel the “them” do to other cultures?
Not saying all Americans are perfect angels, or all Americans don’t judge people by culture: some do and it sucks. The US and the people in it aren’t all bad.. no country or culture or group of people is all bad.

JLeslie's avatar

This question made me LOL.

@AZByzantium So you live in America? Is that correct?

bkcunningham's avatar

Uh oh @AZByzantium . Is it boyfriend problems?

JLeslie's avatar

I always mention how awful Ameroians can be when Americans go on and on about the French. But, everyone above is right that we are a country of many people. Let alone that fluther is generally more enlightened then the average person in my opnion, so most Americans here won’t feel like they fit into your stereotype about Amercians.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

Actually, I have come to find that I know more about some of my friends countries of origin than they do. I am American and I have always had an interest in cultures other than my own.
You would honestly be best served not to assume too much about Americans. We are many and varied. I think the ignorance tag you applied to this question was the only tag it truly needed. For that is what it reflects.

ucme's avatar

Well of course some do, but that’s going to be true of any nationality. On the whole those yanks aren’t a bad bunch. In fact i’d go as far as to say those yankee bandidos are typically warm, too cool for school, kick arse friendly folk, which is okay in my book.

tedd's avatar

Multiple friends of mine who have visited multiple parts of Europe reported to me that no one had any concept that Americans could be from places other than New York City and Texas. Despite explaining to them thoroughly that they lived in Ohio, which is 12–13 hours from New York City, and a full day away from Texas… They simply couldn’t process more than those two basic stereotypes, and my friends were all eventually resigned to start just saying they were from New York (since it was closer).

I don’t think many people outside the United States understand the VAST cultural differences from one region of this country to the other, or the VAST range of “types” of people we have.

Leanne1986's avatar

My opinion of American people really changed after my visit to the States last year. Now, I never disliked Americans but I did have an opinion of them that was basically formed from what I saw/heard in the media and it wasn’t always a positive one (loud, obnoxious etc). When I was there I came to realise that, in actual fact, American people are some of the politest and friendliest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They really welcomed me to their country and helped make my trip one of the best experiences of my life and I can’t wait to go back.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@tedd: Interestingly enough, when I visited London, the people I met there were so excited to introduce me to a couple of guys from Cali and I had to explain to them that California is almost as far away from where I live as England is I live in CT.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I wonder if @AZByzantium has even bothered to check back on this Q. I’d be curious about his/her input.

JLeslie's avatar

@Leanne1986 Excellent. Very nice to hear.

Linda_Owl's avatar

It sounds as if you have been talking to self-centered individuals – not all “Americans” are of this stripe, most of us are quite curious about other cultures & a lot of us make the effort to learn about other cultures/countries. Personally, I find people to be quite fascinating & this includes the cultures/countries from which they come.

blackhorse's avatar

American.well I had no other choice but to be called native American.yes I’m native but I do not conceded my self American .I’m Sioux of the blackhorse klan of the lakota .pine ridge south Dakota.so to me an American is not us natives but people that came to are country and labeled this land as America.

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