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Old 09-12-2003, 05:06 AM   #1
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Is anti-Americanism racism?

I just came back from browsing a satire site. Among the funny articles on the message boards was a less funny anti-American article... on 9/11. Now, I don't remember any American websites posting anti-Norwegian sentiments on the anniversary of the nazi invasion, but that's beyond the point.

Needless to say, this utter bigotry just made me mad. So I just wanted to find out who agreed with me:

Is anti-Americanism racism? Can it be morally defended?

IMO, it's no better to say that all Americans suck than it is to say that all Jews suck. To anti-Americans I have only one thing to say:
You're hypocritial ignorant bigots. Unless you've actually suffered from something the USA has done to you, that is.

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Old 09-12-2003, 05:25 AM   #2
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I think its a hatred for our lifestyle and our leaders way of representing us. Lets face it, Dubyah made us out to be triggerhappy arabic haters. People hate what others have and they don't, merely because they CAN'T have it.

It can't really be defined as a moral thing. Its just ignorance on an epic level.
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Old 09-12-2003, 11:15 AM   #3
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It's more or less the same thing as racism, but I dont think it is racism, per se. America is composed of... well, just about everything. So it's not really one race.

However, saying "All Americans are stupid!" is just retarded. It's the same mentality used in such thinking as "All black people are stupid!" It's illogical on so many levels...

Even if you have suffered from something the US did to you, you still have no real right to say "All Americans are evil and stupid!" because "all Americans" did not hurt you. It was likely the US government committing the act, which, despite what it would like to say, does not always represent the people.

Dagobahn, mind posting a link to that site? Or PM it to me?

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Old 09-12-2003, 11:16 AM   #4
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I think that antiamericanism is just envy to the success of the country (well in a long term at least) and to the enormous impact on the world that it produces. Just another radical movement born out of ignorance propogaded to the people who feel themselves kicked in their lifes and having nothing to do but just to hate someone (or just perhaps that they knew nothing else than hatred). It's almost the same as nazism to me.
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Old 09-12-2003, 06:56 PM   #5
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Hating Americans is just as irrational and fallacious as hating any other nationality.

Name any nation that was formed in the last 50 or 100 years or more and you can rattle of any number of atrocities committed by its citizens or leaders. "We" have done some terrible things in our past and have made terrible mistakes in our present. So has everyone else.

Collective blame and guilt by association are VERY tenuous arguments when it comes to evaluating anything political.

I often hear people "oh well Americans are to blame because they voted for Bush." Umm... do they realize that only 25% of voting eligable Americans voted for him? Sheesh.

The US isn't a "perfect nation" by any means and I'm all for political and social reform, but just about any harsh criticism leveled at it from outside, can be just as easily applied to other nations, which is why I think it just shows ignorance and/or arrogance when people use it as an argument set-piece.

I make it a point not to judge people based solely on the pile of dirt they were born on or the piece of cloth that happened to be flying on a pole overhead at the time... and I expect others to extend to me the same courtesy.

So no, it's not racism, but it can be just as stupid. People can't choose where they are born and its not so easy to uproot yourself and move away either.

Besides, when it comes down to it, many people still consider themselves better off, despite their country's flaws, and why not say and make things better?

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Old 09-12-2003, 09:09 PM   #6
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Dagobahn, mind posting a link to that site? Or PM it to me?
Actually, the satire on the site was about christianity. The anti-Americanism was on the message boards. And the site is Norwegian-speaking.
I can however, transcript the posts and translate them for you, but I suppose you aren't interested anymore.

Being raised in a fairly anti-American country, I can tell you that Anti-Americanism is just as well about needing someone to dislike.

The USA has done many great things. So I agree that envy might be a bit of it.

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Old 09-13-2003, 07:35 AM   #7
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Do you mean "racist" as in people picking out what they think are inadequaces/problems with the country's culture, politics, legal/justice system?
Then no, that's not racist. Maybe xenophobic, but that's a different matter.
You have to realise that not one country is not perfect (well nothing is right? ) and not matter who you are, people will always criticise. But what's more important is that it's your country and you live there, and you can never really change that.

I'll admit, there's been things on the news and stuff like that about America when I might crack off the old "stupid yanks" remark. Is that a bad thing? I'm pretty sure "stupid jocks" has been uttered many a time.
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Old 09-13-2003, 04:05 PM   #8
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You say that we "envy" the USA, but what is there to envy? It has a high crime rate, it spends a lot of its money on its armies, and you have a President who is a complete trigger-happy moron. But, I am not anti-american, I know that most americans are intelligent and not ignorant fools like people like to think they are. But having a President lead his country for war for no real, good reason does not help your country's popularity.
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Old 09-13-2003, 05:31 PM   #9
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What is there to envy? Well, weaker nations envy our military might... and there is a common perception of Americans (to some people) as being rich and lazy.

Who wouldn't want to be rich and lazy and powerful?

That is what I think he means.

I mean yes, we have our share of poor people in the US. But their standard of living is much higher than the poor people in most other nations throughout the world.

I think some of the perception of Americans as being lazy and rich comes from people in other nations (especially Europe) getting bad impressions from tourists.

Of course tourists are usually from certain circles.. they have the money and/or leisure to travel to foreign lands for entertainment or education, so that then might give off that impression (when viewed negatively). On the other hand, they might be envied positively as having been successful and having earned the right to have their vacations.

In fundamentalist Islamic countries there is a perception of America as being Anti-Muslim. Part of this is due to our past military actions in the Middle East (due of course primarily to oil).

It is also due in part to the perception of Americans as hedonists.

They see stuff (or hear about it second hand) like Baywatch and Melrose Place (in the 90's), or MTV (Madonna, Britney Spears, etc) and they see people like Hugh Hefner, etc. Hollywood... they see us as exploiting our women, bragging about our wealth, having sex all the time and not treating it with respect, wasting food and other resources, being materialistic, gossiping, etc. In short, we're unapologetically immoral.

These are the folks who call us "The Great Satan."

They also see our support for Israel and think it's a Christian-Jewish conspiracy (Osama Bin Laden called us a "Crusader" nation).

Then there's people who project onto an entire nation the persona of the leader. They percieve GW Bush to be a moron, so all Americans are morons. They percieve Bush to be a warmonger, so all Americans are warmongers. They see Bush as a "cowboy" so all Americans are cowboys.... etc.

Sort of like how some people caricatured all Afgahnis as Taliban or all Iraqis as little Saddams.

A hundred years ago immigrants saw America as the "land of opportunity." Streets paved with gold, easy to get good jobs, clean, no crime, cheap land, etc. It was a false perception, but it existed.

And hundreds if not thousands of people still risk their lives to get here for a "better life" even if there is none to be found.

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Old 09-13-2003, 07:17 PM   #10
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You are right, most American TV is really all about sex and violence(Just watch FOX). And the people in the Middle East see this and hate it. America objectifies women, they keep them covered up(in some countries). what sickened me is when 9/11 happened they showed footage in Afganhistan that showed the people parading in the streets, little kids shooting guns into the air, and basically everyone was celebrating. They see the American Pop Culture and think that everyone in the USA is like that. Its disgusting. Do they think that we celebrate when Bush kills their people? No, atleast here in Canada we dont.
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Old 09-15-2003, 02:24 PM   #11
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I don't see Anti-americanism as racism per-se, but it's still just as preduduce (as far as assuming an individuals attitudes, outlooks and mentality solely on their nationality), and as far as I am concerned is simply wrong in a very basic manner.

However, it does need to be said that many Americans see ANY critism of their nation as 'anti-americanism'. I'm not saying all, or even most. But I know they exist - both personally and through the media.

Now of course all countries have their - what I would call - overly-patriotic components, but I think it's fair to say that America is maybe a bit more loud and outspoken in this respect.

The fact is that ALL goverments have some skeletons in their closets.
ALL goverments are made up of human beings.
And all human beings have varying degrees of moral integrity, and differing views on what is right and wrong in the first place.
This means that ALL goverments have their corrupt elements. I don't care which goverment you care to name - their is no way your going to convince me that there is not ONE corrupt politician amongst them.
However, ALL goverments also have people who want to common good - not only for their nation, but for all nations.

The main thing which sets America apart (certainly from any other western power) is that it is currently the most powerful nation (militarily, financially and politically) on the planet at this point in time. This means that any 'corrupt' elements in the goverment get emphasised and their effect is multiplied.
In contrast, I'm sure the goverment of Belgium has it's corrupt elements, but ... well ... who cares?! It's belgium!!
(Sorry if anybody from Belgium is reading these forums! Just trying to make a point!)

To put things in perspective, I think America is in many ways, overall, doing a better job than we British did when we were the dominant power. But there are still more lessons I think you could learn from our history. And the most important one is this:

'Might does not make right'.

I do have a specific grievence with you Americans...

I hear that Tom Cruise is going to be involved in a film which portrayes an American pilot as the main hero of the Battle Of Britain!!

This also reminds me of the film U-571. It was actually the British who secured the Enigma device refered to in the film, but instead the film decided to make out it was an American unit!!

ANd what was the reason given for these blatent re-writes of history?! American audiences won't accept non-American heroes!!
(I think the people who say this might need to be reminded of the popularity of the James Bond series...!)

...I mean, come on. Of course the Americans were central and invaluable to the war effort. But this tendancy to place yourselves at the center of EVERYTHING is - well - sometimes it's just a bit funny. But at other times it can get slightly sinister and worrying...

Last edited by CloseTheBlastDo; 09-15-2003 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 10-01-2003, 12:24 AM   #12
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I'm originally from Canada, I moved down to the US about 2 years ago. Before I moved I had the preconception that Americans were mostly ignorant about the rest of the world, were uninformed yet very opinionated, and ultimately just plain *******s. And the majority of Americans I had met up until that point were.

I have determined from my observation from the "outside" and "inside" that the tendancy to tout one's oponion is a social need to assert one's self. Everyone must have something to say about every subject whether they know something or not, else they're looked at as shy or stupid. I've experienced people just rephrase the last thing I said in order to make sure I acknowledge they exist. In my old social circles in Canada, if you didn't know what the hell poeple were talking about, you didn't talk, else you're looked at as stupid.

As far as ignorance about the rest of the world, most people I've met are. Entirely. They don't care, and they're certain there are people in place to deal with those "other people". In spite of this they are ready and willing to share their stereotypes. Take France for example. More specifically "Freedom Toast". People here were so quick to judge on some 20 second ABC news spot, and so quick to forget that France basically won the American revolution.

If you want to get on the topic of rascism, America is a good place to start. I live in Texas currently, and I have never been so apalled by the lack of respect for poeple who are different in my life. It's ****ing disgusting. A friend of mine and I went to an amusement park type place, and when we left, he uttered this bile, "Man, there were so many blacks in there, it was sick."

To say that I hold these opinions out of envy is, well, stereotypical. I don't envy a country with an idiot leader. I don't envy a country with trillions of dallars of debt. I don't envy a country that spends more on prisons than education. I don't envy a country that spends more money on armies of destruction than on foriegn aid. I'd rather worry about someone invading Canada (hah) than worry about whether I'm going to get treatment if I cut my arm off or someone shoots me if I give them "a look" in traffic.

I of course can not say that all poeple in America are this way, I have not met all people in America. I have also met a plethora of very intelligent people who know about things beyond thier county and who don't hate poeple and hold stereotypes.

You will find stupid ignorant *******s anywhere you go, it is not something unique ot America.

I have found that the people of America are just people. Products of thier environment. Just like everywhere else. To take offense if someone calls all Americans ignorant *******s is stupid. Are you going to prosecute someone for saying this? What the hell is the point in making this an issue? You know it's not true. They don't know all Americans and neither do you. What this is is pride, something I can't stand. The assumption that national rasicm is any more valid than that based on race is stupid. Any form or racism is illogical and ultimately just wrong.

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