Americans know nothing about world events

@stacyv81 (5904)
United States
March 5, 2009 2:25pm CST
I was on a poker game chat room the other day and someone from another country (I'm AMerican) told me that American's are selfish, greedy, and self-centered. He said they care nothing about world events that happen anywhere else... What do you think about this statement? Do you think its true? I think that it isnt entirely true as you cant group up a bunch of people like that and say how everyone is... Please state where you live (country) when answering! Thanks~
1 person likes this
18 responses
@owlwings (41780)
• Cambridge, England
5 Mar 09
I'm from the UK. I can only say that, in general, that is the feeling one has of Americans here. I'm glad to say that some of my dearest friends (and family) are a few of the exceptions.
1 person likes this
@owlwings (41780)
• Cambridge, England
5 Mar 09
Unfortunately, it's the loudest Americans who seem to give the character to the rest and the loudest Americans seem to be the most reactionary, insular and ignorant. The same can be said, to a certain extent about other nations too. I live in the second or third most visited city in the UK and we do have standing jokes about the kind of American who 'does Europe'. To be honest, they are a little unkind and out-dated: most Americans who visit our country have long ago realised that the 'rest of the world' is real and valid and worthy of respect and no longer believe that they won the war. Now we have the Internet, the most noise seems still to be made by the most bigoted and objectionable. That is, unfortunately, often the way it is in any society, local, national or international. What has been worrying, though, is to see that at least some of those loud-mouths appear to have made it into government. That is one good reason why most of the rest of the world (as well as the majority of Americans) see hope in the election of Obama.
1 person likes this
@stacyv81 (5904)
• United States
9 Mar 09
I am not sure I agree with you that the rest of the world sees hope with Obama, I have had many people from other countries, including UK, Australia, etc...Come at me with things like "Your president wasnt even born here"...blah blah blah... I have had this on various game sites, and other sites where people are from all over.. So I think that some people just group people into a group and do not think about the fact that people are people and all are different. Some people in America think that people from the UK are loud, violent drunks who only care about football! (not me) But a lot of them do, however I realize that you cant go by what you "think" you know about people, you have do go by what you know about a person!
@owlwings (41780)
• Cambridge, England
9 Mar 09
As you perhaps noticed, I was agreeing with you that much of the reputation one hears of Americans is very generalised and based on highly biased media reports. In the UK, certainly, the feeling has been that Obama may prove to be a much welcomed breath of fresh air ... that is, until we learned of the exchange of gifts between him and Gordon Brown recently. That news seems to have taken his reputation down a peg or two (regardless of whether or not it is relevant to his effectiveness as a President or world leader). What I am saying is that it is often the loudest voices that seek to decry something or somebody while the majority of opinion is quiet.
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
5 Mar 09
I'm American also and find that statement disturbing at the least. Where do these people get the information? If we're so selfish and self-centered then how come our tax dollars go all over the world? My husband and I, my family work very hard 5, sometimes 6 days a week to fund projects we will never see in countries we will never visit. This person - where did this person come from? Does this person work and their government give their money to different countries? The answer could be yes, but how much? Probably not nearly as much as we do!
• United States
5 Mar 09
they are ungrateful for what we do give them and want more. I say sence they are so ungrateful and greedy that we should just stop giving to them at all.
@stacyv81 (5904)
• United States
5 Mar 09
Well it was about Obama, our conversation was and he was saying that Obama wasnt born in the US, blah blah blah (I wasnt for Obama from the beginning) SO I didnt really say much, but I was the only AMerican in there..lol...One was from Austraila, the other from UK and other from Germany. They were saying how every other country knows all about American politics and tries to stay up on world politics, but we dont care that America stays in our little bubble, and could care less what goes on in the rest of the world...that is what they said.. And you are right, we do we give more to other countries than we give to the people here in AMerica.....
@stacyv81 (5904)
• United States
5 Mar 09
I agree, there are some Americans who keep up with news, I am not one of them, I do not even watch local news..lol..So, yea to lump in an entire nation & make assumptions is...well...you know what happens when people assume....lol!
@jackyzbj (21)
• France
6 Mar 09
Actually, politicians in the States usually like to be involved in the foreign affairs, so they know much about the areas outside the U.S. As for the personality of Americans, it's true they are usually arrogant and self-centered, which, I think, is a result of the greatness of their country. They are all proud of themselves, sometimes too much. There is an American guy in my lab, and every time he talks about himself, he will finish it with his so-called glories and trophies. That is really annoying. Therefore, I don't like to chat with him at all. BTW, maybe Americans are self-centered, but they are kind of frank and direct, which I love much. U don't always need to guess what they are really thinking about.
@stacyv81 (5904)
• United States
9 Mar 09
This is not true about all americans...It is funny, that people meet one or two americans and that is supposedly how they all are...funny, because I met a french girl who was so nice and loving, so they must all be huh? I met a GErman girl who hated drinking and was so loud all of the time..so they must all be that way? LMAO!! IT makes no sense, no that is how that PERSON was...NOT how EVERYONE IN HER COUNTRY IS!
• France
10 Mar 09
Don't get me wrong. It's just what I am thinking now. You are really easy to get mad. Actually, I like many American stuffs, from movies to your lifestyles. Maybe it's because I don't have an American friend, so I misunderstand my colleague in my lab. I know what you are feeling now, since we shanghainese are always blamed by counterparts of other cities in China. But I can deal with it calmly, not being irrated. Hope you have a good day.
@stacyv81 (5904)
• United States
10 Mar 09
no, I am not mad, I just had a bunch of issues with assumptions lately...It is just that it is human nature I guess. And it really does depend on where an American lives in AMerica as well, because you know different places in AMerica, people live different types of lifestyles ya know?
@cher913 (25865)
• Canada
5 Mar 09
i am canadian and i find that americans know incredibly little about us, which is pretty sad considering we are the US's biggest trading partner. quick, what is the capital of canada?
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
6 Mar 09
Buffalo! j/k I think most people would guess Toronto though just because you never seem to hear as much about Ottawa. I always think it's strange when people don't know too much about Canada. When I was in school we had to learn the 10 provinces and 3 territories at the same time that we had to learn the 50 states. Canada's really not a hard country to know about. Now that I think about it, the media NEVER talks about Canada and that's probably why most Americans don't know too much. Most people are slaves to what the media feeds them and never go out of their way to know more. Of course I've been saying that for a long time since it's how Obama got elected.
@xfahctor (14126)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
6 Mar 09
Actually, I'm an american and could probably hold my own to some degrea in a discussion on canadian politics. I spent a number of years in Ontario, not far from your nations capitol and had a girlfriend up there who was a political junkie. I would not be so arrogent as to argue with someone from there who corrected me on facts though.
• United States
6 Mar 09
Some Americans know incredibly little about themselves. That's what's sad. How could you be worldly if you don't even know whats going on in your own backyard? The media does the thinking for many people and they believe everything they hear on television, that's what scares the heck out of me. Even though we are supposed to have a free and open media (without government involvement) I believe the media projects things in certain ways to slant stories one way or another. As for why most people don't know anything about Canada, just refer to my third sentence up above. I try but I'd be the first to admit that I don't know much about the governments of other countries. But one thing I do know is that Manuel Labor isn't the President of Mexico. teehee ;0
• United States
6 Mar 09
I am American. I disagree with what that person said, we are sending billions of dollars to iraq right now to fix up their country and help them be prosperous, while we are in an economic rut, if anything I'd say that the U.S. needs to be more selfish and worry more about helping us before helping others, after a few years of us not supporting others maybe they will see the light.
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
6 Mar 09
Well all these countries seem to think we OWE them money. If we take it away, we're horrible and greedy. If we keep giving it to them, we should be giving them more. You can't win any favor by giving out handouts. You just give people the expectation of more handouts.
• United States
6 Mar 09
Well, technically, we do owe them alot of debt, Task. And I mean that literally, not in a "by our honor" BS. We sold them our debt, we borrow money from them. ...TECHNICALLY, we owe them money. However you may have a point. Maybe they're confusing generosity and our purchasing of goods with the debt, thinking that if we don't keep the deal sweet then WE'RE awful...due to them being silly in believing they could own our debt forever and everything'd be OK.
@cindyhxf (1447)
• China
6 Mar 09
i am chinese.i knew someone who are American here.some of them are self-centered i think.he got pain his leg here,but he didn't trust China medicine here.what a funny thing was he trust now,cause his leg feels better cause he went to see a good doctor here. i think it is important to dispel prejudices about one thing.that is a mind should to be poeple all over the world.
@cindyhxf (1447)
• China
6 Mar 09
we have to admit.every country have its proplems and have different kind people.bad or good people.but most of us used to judge by our limited sights but not have a big heart.
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
6 Mar 09
That's funny about the guy who didn't trust a Chinese doctor. I had a friend who would actually fly to China to get treated because he said the doctors there were faster, more efficient, and less expensive than in America.
• United States
5 Mar 09
Well as an American I say well so what. Countries need to stop holding their hands out the us for money and learn to take care of their own country themsleves. Also a lot of what goes on we know about but it is not our place to do anything about. What is going on in Darfur is sad and bad....but not our responsibility. All the violance going on in Mexico right now, that country is in choas. Sad once again. But we do not have the right to march into that country with our army and do something about it. WE ARE NOT THE WORLD POLICE. THE WHOLE WORLD IS NOT OUR RESPONSIBILITY. STOP WAITING FOR ANOTHER COUNTRY TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR PROBLEMS IN YOUR COUNTRY. TAKE CARE OF IT YOURSELF. Heck we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. If we do we are called bullies and hated....if we don't then we are selfish and uncaring and hated.
@stacyv81 (5904)
• United States
5 Mar 09
right! First they say mind your own business...then they say make it your business! What do they want from us!!! lol =)
• United States
5 Mar 09
they want money......lots and lots and lots of free money.
• United States
9 Mar 09
I know this might be wrong to say but I feel he might be somewhat right. i feel that we need to share more and care about people more than money and posseions. i live in the us and in ohio. I know there are good people out there no matter where there from but I feel that people have become very greedy and people are more imporant than things or cars or whatever. Nice discussion and happy mylotting.
@stacyv81 (5904)
• United States
10 Mar 09
I think that some are, and like I said before sometimes it depends on where you live in the Us, for example if someone went to NY city, theyd draw a different conclusion of America, than if they went to west virginia, you know? I mean some Americans are greedy, etc, and we often portray our country that way, but I do not want to be labeled those things just because I live here. ya know?
@Archie0 (4667)
6 Mar 09
well i am from INDIA. i always heard that americans mostly hate we people. i never had such a feeling about any human being, and i dont understand why they have it so with us. i had a friend from states named sam. he always use to hate indians, hated me too dont know for what he use to talk to me, but always said that we lie and all. when we never do, as though in this world no one among us are pure truths.. i dont have any objections or comments over anyone but just want to say.. only love can change bad things in to good and wrong things into right...what say
@stacyv81 (5904)
• United States
9 Mar 09
no, we arent all that way...That person you are speaking of is just like the person I was speaking of...you cannot group a whole country of people most of who disagree with each other on many things, and turn them into one group of people who act the same way...It makes no sense and shows their stupidity...So dont worry about that...
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
5 Mar 09
I am so beyond sick of the bigoted behavior from people like that. I'm an American and dam proud of it. This country gives more to the rest of the world than ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. George W. Bush, who they love to hate, gave more money and aid to African nations than ANY WORLD LEADER IN HISTORY. Here's another funny stat. We give more money to Palestinians than anyone else. The European Union comes in a distant second followed by Kuwait. Of course since we also give significant aid to Israel they spit on us and cheered during 9-11. Somehow that didn't stop them from accepting our money, nor did it stop our government from giving it. Every nation is self-centered to some degree. Europeans are that way as well. They just don't acknowledge it because they are so close together that the center gets blurred. Being self-centered in this country is a bit more noticeable since we only border 2 other nations, both of whose politics and economic standing we follow rather closely. If we don't care what happens anywhere else, perhaps they could explain why Americans were marching in protest of the atrocities committed by the Taliban all through the 90s? Maybe they could explain why in the last few months there have been so many marches over what is happening between the Israelis and Palestinians? Maybe they could explain why Americans have taken such an interest in Somalia, Rwanda, and Darfur over the last few decades? The Free Tibet movement is quite popular here as well. See, the people you spoke to are both bigoted and ignorant. They watch BBC, read a few articles online, and assume they know everything that happens in our country. It takes 5 seconds to find info about a presidential election. If they think knowing who Obama and McCain are makes them informed, then they need a serious reality check.
@stacyv81 (5904)
• United States
9 Mar 09
Well put as always Taskr! And I agree! =)
• United States
5 Mar 09
I am an American and I am self centered. But my Husband is also American and he is none of thise things. I have a friend in Iraq that cares very much about world events, and his greedy parents want him home but understand why he is gone. I think that anyone who wants to can make assumtions about another person, but it takes true arrogance to make a blanket statement and belive that it is true. If I were you I wouldn't let it get to me. worse things could happen today. You have a great one.
@stacyv81 (5904)
• United States
5 Mar 09
yea I didnt really let it get to me, I just wanted others views, I know there are a lot ofpeople on here from other countries, and I was curious if everyone felt this way...or a lot of people did...and I wanted AMericans views on the statements as well.... =)
@naka75 (796)
• Singapore
6 Mar 09
I'm a Singaporean, that is a Singapore citizen, and a Chinese Singaporean at that. I think this statement was made probably because most Americans do not have a good understanding of the oriental culture, which is largely represented by China. However it doesn't mean Asia is only China and nothing else, which I always have the impression of the Americans. There's also Hong Kong, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Macau. There ARE chinese people in these countries, and there're sub-cultures and behaviours, and are definitely not the same type of Chinese you see in China. That's the uniqueness of Asia's culture. I believe when we try to understand more about another country's culture, we'd become more embracing and less self-centred, after all no man is an island.
@balasri (26549)
• India
6 Mar 09
Can this someone tell me a country where there is no selfish, greedy, and self-centered people are living.America is in hate list because if many reasons.People are jealous,ignorant,primitive and very close minded I think.You just cannot judge any country that simply for that matter without any through knowledge.I am from India.
@jshekhar (1562)
• India
6 Mar 09
I do not think it is wise to generalize one person's statement and impose it on the whole country. We cannot conclude the thinking of an entire nation by that statement. Even here in India there are so many people who would be busy in their work all the time and they would not know a thing about what is going on in the rest of the world. That does not mean all Indians are selfish and self centered, does it?
@faith210 (11233)
• Philippines
6 Mar 09
Hi stacyv! I am from the Philippines and I do not think that way with Americans. I don't think you can make a general statement in judging one country's population just because you happen to know a few of them. I do think that there will always be certain people, maybe more or less in each country around the world who cares about nothing and I am sure that there will be more that who really cares of what is happening around the world. We can never pass judgment on the greater population just because one or two groups are considered as bad eggs. Just my thoughts dear! Take care and have a great day! lovelots..faith
@rodney850 (2145)
• United States
5 Mar 09
Stacy, My opinion? What you need to do is get back on that poker chat room and tell this obvious fool: The next time his country has a disaster, call Russia, or Iran, or anyone but America. The next time some tyrant decides to take advantage of poor disadvantaged people and kill them just because they are of the wrong ethnic background, don't call us, we'll call you. America has always been there to defend the defenseless to feed the hungry and help the oppressed. OUR soldiers have shed their blood so other countries can have the opportunity to be free! So, if this person or persons believe America is selfish and greedy, let them call someone who is not so selfish and greedy the next time they need help! That was the nice version!
@irisheyes (4372)
• United States
5 Mar 09
I'm an American and sadly I would have to say that there is some truth to that statement. I've been trying to learn a little more about news events in other countries. I visit the BBC news site several times a week and that is helping a little bit. It least I now know the names of the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of Mexico. I'm ashamed to say I did not know those names six months ago. I think that part of the ignorance is due to the fact that we were long isolated from the rest of the world and learned to fend for ourselves. We also have a pretty interesting political setup here right now and one way or another we seem to be fascinated with it. Never before have so many of us voted, debated and followed the doings of our politics and politicians.
@xfahctor (14126)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
5 Mar 09
I find this fascinating, since I see endless comments right here in this very forum from outside the united states that demonstrate a complete lack of our understanding about political system, our constitution, our structure and function of government and our history. As for us being "greedy selfish and self centered" hmmmm, not even going to touch it, it's a laughable and pathetic statement at best.