You know, I'm a pretty non-confrontational person. I prefer the biggest drama of my day to be based around some reality television show elimination, as opposed to a real life controversy or argument. I, also, am not some blanket patriot who overwhelming throws around my Americanism or boast about how I think that I am from the best country in the world. Generally, I do it subtly by wearing American flag underwear and quietly chanting the anthem on the hour, every hour. However, I passively sat through a conversation the other day in which my Motherland was mocked and I am chastising myself thoroughly for it tonight.
(I'm letting freedom ring! Ding Dong! Ding Dong!)
It seems that everyone from every other country has an opinion on the US and that's fine. Personally, I didn't know that other countries existed until 4 years ago but that's ok, I'm still learning.
You see, I take no personal offense when someone disputes American policy, questions a government action or makes fun of our affinity for delicious fried foods. I get it - they've never experienced the joy of eating Wal-Mart chicken wings dipped in delectable ranch dressing while tossing fried okra into their mouths. So, how would they know any better?
For me though, the line is crossed when an American is present and you start throwing around stereotypes with the intent of hate. If I make fun of America, it's ok - it's my hood. If you make fun of America, well then, we've got some fighting words!
When it comes to stereotypes though, I've heard them all; we're fat, we're dumb, we don't travel, we're loud, we're cocky, we're incredibly well hung and granted, all of those are true but sometimes it's tough being the only nation full of males who don't need a rope in order to win a double dutch competition.
And, in all fairness, we Americans can sometimes come off as a 300 million strong hot mess. We make the Kardashians richer each day, remain blissfully unaware of most political proclamations and couldn't find Cambodia on a map if we tried. But, of course, we won't try because who wants to go there anyway?
(Jumping for joy! It's what Americans do!)
If the same conversations were occurring but they were placing stereotypes onto a race or religion, we'd never allow someone to sit there and openly bash them, especially not when someone of that group is present. So then why, my dear friends, are Americans exempt? Why are we then meant to take the brunt of the hate and keep a smile on our perfectly white teeth?
I'm not looking for sympathy, I can hold my own but just think about it for a second. If I were at a party and an Iranian woman walked in and I suddenly started making jokes about her bur-kini, I'd be crucified. Or, if a Jehovah's Witness beat on the door, offered me a pamphlet and then came inside for a drink of water, I'd look like a jerk if I kept making "knock knock" jokes. It's just not fair.
"Jesus! I told you to take the wheel, not knock on the door! Now quit looking at my burkini through the peephole!"
In those moments of anti-Americanism, it places me or any other American, in quite a unique position. Obviously, I could just walk away and let you continue your chat about how stupid we are but then that let's you win and goes against my inherent pride. Or, I could try to argue back and fumble through a pre-determined bullet pointed list of why you're wrong but that will then prove that I am one of the arrogant, cocky bastards that you proclaimed us all to be anyways. So, what do I do? My hands are tied and I am being water boarded by your calls of unnecessary hatred.
Americans aren't bad people. In fact, many of us possess very similar traits to those of people from other countries. So, why can't we just call a truce. You quit hating on my country and I will keep maintaining the status quo and never fully understand where your country is on a map. Then, we can continue to live in harmony and peace until your country finds a hidden source of oil and my country decides to make it its' own.
(Have some respect, @$$hole! The least you could do is burn the right flag!)