Let’s set things straight once and for all. There are many misconceptions about Americans with two of the most controversial and prevalent in the media being “Americans are xenophobic” (xenophobic meaning they distrust or dislike everyone else) and “everyone who is not from America, dislikes Americans”.
If you are an American citizen or resident, I’m sure you’ve come across these fallacies more than once in your life. Even if you live outside of “the States”, I’m sure you’ve encountered these statements more than once.
So let’s dive right in. Are Americans Xenophobic? Hmm…well, ask yourself, are you Xenophobic? I’m sure most if not all of us would agree with me when I respond with a big fat NO.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog regarding the differences between northerners and southerners, America was founded on principles of liberty and we have grown to become a huge ‘melting pot’ of cultures, nationalities, ethnicities, and various other characteristics.
We do not fear immigrants or other countries. In fact a BBC poll on the influence of 22 countries actually revealed that Americans (with the exception of only four cases), were more likely to have an optimistic and positive opinion of the other 21 countries as opposed to itself.
We are a nation made up of diverse nationalities coming from all over the globe so logically, it wouldn’t make sense for Americans to dislike everyone else when we are the epitome of a “melting pot” of different nationalities.
When looking at the opposite side of the coin, we also find that everyone else DOES NOT dislike Americans, as many seem to assume. Well, at least following the end of Bush’s presidency and the end to the “War on Terrorism”.
A 2011 Gallup Leadership Poll showed that the majority (46%) of people (across 136 countries) approve of America’s leadership role in comparison to the 26% that disapprove.
However, these numbers do not disprove the existence of Anti-Americanism, which consistently fluctuates (as you can imagine it rose during the most recent Government Shutdown).
Now I know these statistics do not define everyone, as everyone is entitled to their own opinion; however, these polls do show that these statements are not true across the board. I feel the main reason they resonate longer in our minds and hearts is because they are negative and we tend to hold onto negatives longer as a society.
I’ll just leave you with this comment, don’t let Negative Nancy’s ruin your day; enjoy each moment!