The American Excuse

It’s no secret that we Americans have a bad reputation abroad. And for those of us who actually go abroad, that reputation can be pretty frustrating. The questions range from “Do you have a gun?” (Yeah, it’s under my bed, wanna see?) to “Do you they really tell you that you’ve won every war?” (We DID win every war. Thanks for helping with the White House remodel in 1812!)

But then there are some things we can’t really respond to. Like the drunk blonde in freshman year who told me how horrible we were because “Native Americans” was an offensive term for our indigenous peoples, and “First Nations” is the only acceptable term—even though it’s the preferred vocabulary in America. Or the people who start to use “American” as a synonym for rude behaviour.

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