Do you think American people are grossly misrepresented in how they are portrayed by the outside world?

' An Ignorant, racist, gun totting and sanctimonius people' was the over riding view of them before going there. Quite to the contrary, most, if not all were so friendly, switched on and very welcoming


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Well most of us are astoundingly ignorant in a general way. We tend to have knowledge only in areas of our work or enthusiasms, not a well rounded education. We're no more racist than average in my opinion. We do have lots of guns but most of us aren't gun nuts, still by comparison, since most other peoples or their governments don't trust themselves to have guns we are relatively gun toting. We are no more sanctimonious than anybody else. We are friendlier than average. You left out materialistic, we're more materialistic than many if not most other nations.

    I'd say overall we're no more distorted in the international media than anybody else. We're just more important to them because we could blow everybody else up. It understandably worries them that a nation of people who can't find their country on a map has such a capability.

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What Girls Said 5

  • As a Canadian, I have met more Americans who fit the stereotyped image that the world sees more often than not.

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    • It is an interesting perspective, maybe i have been lucky

    • Those kinds of people make me ashamed to have to call them americans.

    • As an American I've met more stereotypical americans than have not.

  • unfortunately stereotypes don't just "happen", there is always some truth to them. Of course not everyone is the same. But even an ignorant, gun totting racist can be otherwise "nice", especially if you are white...

    I have also mostly met nice americans. Some stopped to be nice as soon as the topics of politics, guns and religion came up. Anyone can be polite on the surface...
    I am sure this depends mostly on the area they are from, south and north are still very different in their views of everything.
    and I am very sorry to say, and I am going to get smacked here for this, the stereotype of the angry black woman is true. I did not meet many who didnt't have a shit attitude in general. They are racist and think they are friggin queens.
    The latinos in the USA also have issues. how many times did I hear stuff like "oh sabes? Juan is dating this white bitch!" not just a bitch, no, a WHITE bitch. As if that makes any goddammned difference...

    Rant over

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  • Every country has it's stereotypes. *Beware, sweeping generalisations*

    The English are all posh, tea drinking dicks.
    The Germans are efficient, Jewish-hating angry people.
    The French constantly surrender and think they are the best chefs and cheese makers in the world.
    The Afghans are all terrorists.
    The Australians are all drunk on Fosters and wrestle crocs.
    The Chinese are a male dominated, sweat shop working, mass producing ninjas.
    The Japanese are whale hunters.
    Etc etc etc etc.

    All country has these people and there will always be people who fit into those roles but the majority do not.

    Sadly, in the case of America, the majority of people I have spoken to do fit into this generalisation. And if they aren't that, they are bible-thumping close minded idiots.

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  • I have met plenty of Americans who meet the stereotypes and a few who haven't. I'm inclined to believe the stereotype, honestly.

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    • i guess i have been lucky in who i have met

    • Certainly. And the ones who travel to Europe for the first time are even worse. "GAWD JUDY. Why doesn't anyone in Italy speak American? Don't they know we're the most important country ever and should be pandered to always?"

    • Always had fun with them on the road- once more, guess i am lucky

  • I think so but its mainly through Hollywood ourselves.

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    • How is that?

    • Show All
    • Well yes there is truth to that. Many eastern countries believe what they see. You will see men from India assume (even on gag) that western women are easy. Many European countries that have American tourists do know how Americans are and many dislike them because of their pompous attitude and lack of culture.

    • @sluggognatface Im well aware a lot of us arrogant namely the men but its mainly media driven in my opinion

What Guys Said 10

  • Yes. Those portrayal of Americans are complete exaggerations. However, the one thing I can attest to is that us Americans are generally more ignorant about other nations then they are about us. I attribute this ignorance of Americans to two things.

    1) Americans are so isolated from everyone else that they feel no need to travel. Most Americans who decide to go on vacation will usually just travel to one of the other states within the nation. Very rarely will an American make the effort to go overseas to experience a vacation. This disconnection is what reinforces the ignorance.

    2) Every other country is influenced heavily by American media to where they subconsciously learn about the country simply by being exposed to the bombardment of American media. Meanwhile over here in America, we aren't influenced by any foreign country's media, because we are rarely exposed to any it. In order for us to learn about other countries, we must actively look for the information ourselves by researching it. The information doesn't come to us on a silver platter like American media does for everyone else.

    In terms of racism we are very tolerant. It's just that those few cases of intolerance is what airs on international news which in turn makes us all look bad. The same goes for those gun-totting idiots. Most Americans don't even own a gun.

    Like all stereotypes, they are just over exaggerations from just a few observable incidents.

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  • Well, I'd say any stereotype has a true core (I also think that is the case about my own country) but that doesn't mean that everyone can be thrown into the same pot. One very beautiful thing about the US is that it's an incredibly diverse country. I've lived in America for some time and I've met lots of very nice, friendly, kind and certainly more welcoming, warm-hearted and obliging people than here in central Europe (Europeans tend to be rather distant and a little cold). On the other hand, I've also met a few weirdos and a few gun-totting creeps (I know many Americans think that's something cool but most foreigners including myself find this passion about guns rather creepy). In other words: I've met some Americans of each kind (though I didn't meet any racists or outright jerks) and I certainly met more nice, sweet, caring people than stupid ones. There are people in America to whom this clichées fit perfectly but there are also many who are very different. It was certainly a good thing for me to live in America because I now understand the country and its people so much better than people do who only watch Hollywood movies or read about America in the papers. Educating and living in foreign countries educates you immensely. This is not only true for America but for all countries. For example I have a Korean girlfriend and I've also lived in South Korea for some time and now that I have this experience, I suddenly realize and see all the silly prejudices many of my countrymen have about east Asians and Koreans in particular. Just one example: many people in Switzerland still mess up South Korea with North Korea. One time when my girlfriend was still living in Seoul and I wanted to send her a box with yummy Swiss chocolate, I brought it to the post office and asked the clerk if my box would arrive because I wasn't sure if I had put enough stamps on it. The clerk misunderstood me and interpreted the question to be political, rather than financial. So she ignorantly replied "How would I know. I mean, they have gulags and randomly kill people over there, how would I know if your box will reach its correct destiny?" I had to explain to her that South Korea is a democratic country and that she was talking about its northern neighbor, to which she simply shrugged her shoulder as though she wanted to say "c'mon, they're all the same". People like me who've lived over there would NEVER make such a stupid mistake cuz there are worlds between these countries.

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    • Thanks for making me think of Swiss chocolate- mmmmmmm mocha :)

      As well as an awesome reply :)

  • I am an American and I think it stands true enough that I don't care people make these assumptions about me, even though I fit none of these. While Traveling, I used to pretend I was either German or English (I know German and lived in England long enough for a passable accent)- American travelers are the WORST and I can understand how people who interact with us abroad hate us so much. Not all the time clearly, but enough or close to half to be justified somewhat I think.

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    • I have never had an issues, and travelled a great deal

    • I theorize this is because many don't travel abroad often, and don't get enough exposure to foreign cultures and languages- this creates self entitlement in my opinion, such as in Berlin. I have been there a few times and almost every time I hear someone complaining about the lack of English... meanwhile every sign has English under it and almost all staff speak passable English if not fluent. I also had an American guy argue with a tour guide in Iceland about how they are lying about the glaciers melting, or saying how everyone in the world deserves to be invaded because they don't have guns...

      Maybe I am just unlucky and you are lucky in traveling, but I have yet to have a travel without one American being an A-hole enough that I pretend not to be American.

  • Yes I think we are, but then again that's the media and internet for you, they do an o so wonderful job of it. But I mean yes there are going to be some weirdo's here and there but that's the same with any country.

    As you said we are generally a pretty friendly and welcoming bunch of people, it's only in some areas that anything negative you said at first would really be applicable.

    And well we do have a lot of guns around here but the mass majority of gun owners are actually quite responsible individuals, very few of them are the crazy people the world thinks they all are.

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  • I'd say that's true of a lot of nationalities and their stereotypes.

    Germans are humourless. Not true!
    English people are prim and proper. NOT true!
    French people are rude! Not true!

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  • I'll just say that there are regions of this country... frightenly large regions... where many people fit that stereotype. I do my best to avoid those regions and their inhabitants.

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    • i have travelled extensively and always had positive experiences. Guess I was lucky?

    • Yeah, most of those places aren't really travel destinations unless you have family there, haha. Individually, people from those areas can be quite charming and hospitable, whereas people from the New York-Philly-Boston region where I'm from are often seen as rude and aloof. It's more about the backwards ass views on society that bother me about "Scary America", haha.

  • yes we are

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  • Yeah, we really are

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  • Not really although we do have some kind, cultured and respectful people here. The south, Texas and Midwest sure has many people that would be terribly disliked overseas but even there we have some educated good people.

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  • Yeah that description is how most southern white Americans are. Most other Americans are not like that.

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