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Understanding Anti-Americanism Around the World
At 18 the young man had traveled the globe.
The man in France walks into grocery store and speaks his best French.
The store owner will not speak French with him and quickly chastise him for being American. The year is 1975. Just about 30 years since Americans help liberate the French from Nazi powers.
The man goes about business. He is in the country under false pretenses and he understands the French mindset of hating Americans as a past time. He reckons he could take off his sheepskin lined Levi jacket, his stetson and his Tony Llama boots. But then thinks it better to establish a cover. You see the man wants to be considered the American.
In a foreign country nobody much notices
The strange American is noticed only for that -- being a strange American.
However if you wear the goatee, a proper hat and wear local clothes that are a bit worn and waive your hand so and so you are french. keep your French to curt and short and you have credentials.
You must walk with a pomp or with an artesion flair.
Oh my the man goes to Central America and Mexico.
There is not doubt that in the street he is one of them. Reasonable literacy in their language. Clothes tailored nearby. Pretending to be half drunk at all times. But he must remember at all times his reason for being there is not pure.
In fact he is there for one reason, money. So he plays the part of a local. The kind nobody notices. He is a wallflower.
Now in both these scenarios the man is American.
There is one time where he wants to be known as an American. And one where he does not. This mans' motives are different than most peoples but it illustrates a point of Anti-American sentiment.
If American travelers act pompous about who they are then they will be treated like someone who is pompous. The American part of it is secondary. However so many who travel think they should be treated better because they are American. This leads to flaunting their Americanism and that is just plain ugly.
And so it is that in a country that is much like America/western, Americans fit in better.
The other factor is how we trash each other. In our national public arena we really air each others dirty laundry. This is in deep contrast to our acting all self righteous in other places.
I think it important not to blame things like international policies. The reason for that is that people everywhere know the difference between a government and it's people.