EUROPE: How do YOU view AMERICANS?

EUROPE: How do YOU view AMERICANS?

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“Yes WE Can! Yes we Will!”

Level 8

Since: Jul 07

Baltimore, Md.

#1 Dec 27, 2009
Recently, I started a thread entitled: "HATING EUROPE? Do White Americans DESPISE their Ancestral Homeland?"

And I stated that it often amazes me, an African-American, that there seems to be so much hostility toward Europe on the part of white Americans.

Some of my white compatriots resented this inquiry, insisting that Europeans dislike Americans more than Americans disliked Europe.

I don't know whether this is true, but I would like to know what YOU readers and posters from Europe think.
Some of the white Americans who objected to my thread were convinced that Europeans looked down on Americans as being uncouth, loud, ignorant etc.

They angrily described Europe as effete, snobbish, amoral and Communist.
I don't doubt that SOME Europeans DO dislike Americans.
But I wonder if it's really true, as many of our conservatives would have us believe, that Europe is some kind of fortress of ANTI-AMERICANISM?
I'm no expert on Europe even though I may be said to have a "Western" education. I've been to Europe, mainly France. People were generally either friendly or indiffernt, but RARELY hostile.
Indeed, during the 1980s Americans seemed to actually be quite popular and well liked, despite our having a buffoon like Ronald Reagan as Chief Executive.(Some people tell me that I'm misled because Europeans are often friendlier, or pretend to be friendlier, toward Black Americans)
But I also hear that the reputation of the USA suffered severely under George W. Bush. I sometimes wonder whether the dislike many of you feel toward our political leaders ever gets projected onto the American people as a whole.

What is your image or opinion of Americans? I noticed that many Europeans seemed SURPRISED that I was well informed rather than ignorant.
Are Americans generally seen as ignorant?

Since: Feb 09

Location hidden

#2 Dec 27, 2009
If you look on that first thread I think you will see that there were positive comments from Americans about Europe and then the first insults coming through were from Europeans toward Americans.

“Yes WE Can! Yes we Will!”

Level 8

Since: Jul 07

Baltimore, Md.

#3 Dec 27, 2009
ANOTHER QUESTION TO PEOPLE IN EUROPE

If, in your opinion, the view of Americans are very negative over there, or if you see relations between America and your countries as poor, what do you think could be done to improve it?

I'm also wondering if there are differences in perception of America among "white" Europeans compared to the growing number of Europe's Third World peoples of color.

“An American Gal Abroad”

Since: Jun 08

Location hidden

#4 Dec 27, 2009
Generally, they think we are huge insular, inbred, culturally inept, overweight ignoramuses that have no idea what goes on in the rest of the world.

When I was getting to know my Dutch colleagues/friends they were brutally honest about the perception they had of Americans.

Although, i was angered and insulted at first I gradually saw where they were coming from as the years have gone by and I came into contact with American tourists in the almost 5 years I have lived here who were all, in my experiece were rude, had a very strong superiority complex and were generally dimissive of the Dutch culture.

Since: Feb 09

Location hidden

#5 Dec 27, 2009
Le PouBelle wrote:
Generally, they think we are huge insular, inbred, culturally inept, overweight ignoramuses that have no idea what goes on in the rest of the world.
When I was getting to know my Dutch colleagues/friends they were brutally honest about the perception they had of Americans.
Although, i was angered and insulted at first I gradually saw where they were coming from as the years have gone by and I came into contact with American tourists in the almost 5 years I have lived here who were all, in my experiece were rude, had a very strong superiority complex and were generally dimissive of the Dutch culture.
In what ways did you find them rude?
Ish Tov

United States

#6 Dec 27, 2009
Le PouBelle wrote:
Generally, they think we are huge insular, inbred, culturally inept, overweight ignoramuses that have no idea what goes on in the rest of the world.
When I was getting to know my Dutch colleagues/friends they were brutally honest about the perception they had of Americans.
Although, i was angered and insulted at first I gradually saw where they were coming from as the years have gone by and I came into contact with American tourists in the almost 5 years I have lived here who were all, in my experiece were rude, had a very strong superiority complex and were generally dimissive of the Dutch culture.
Exactly! I lived in Spain and could repeat your post verbatim, only changing the country name. People often expressed to me that they liked the USA, liked Americans generally, admired the Constitution, admired our constant struggles for more civil and human rights, but at the same time saw the USA as a superpower to be scary and dangerous, run by cowboys, and as big a danger to the world as Islamicists or Stalinists.

Again, I agreed with them. The reality is that Europe and the USA both have their good points, and each side should look at those and try to benefit from them by imitation. Like the USA sure could use some UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE like Europe has!!!

When they see Americans running around renaming food "Freedom fries" and all that nonsense, of COURSE they think we're idiots!

Since: Apr 09

Veenendaal, Netherlands

#7 Dec 27, 2009
Europeans don't hate Americans, but they hate the stereotypical ignorance. It often seems that Americans think they know everything about the rest of the world, and that they're the leaders of everything, and they think they're better than everyone else. At least, this is how a lot of Europeans experience Americans.
Skeptic

United States

#8 Dec 27, 2009
Well, we've got a lot of so called,'Panty waist LeftWingNuts' here in the USA, they're killing us with political correctness, trying to shove a half assed social/Marxist Obmama health care bill down our throats that will create insolvency, and possibly cause us to default on our debt to China.

The Europeans look at the looney Leftwingnuts representing America and just shake their heads with wonder, I don't blame them.
sONE wrote:
If you look on that first thread I think you will see that there were positive comments from Americans about Europe and then the first insults coming through were from Europeans toward Americans.
Skeptic

United States

#9 Dec 27, 2009
You can just take a little trip here to the East coast to find some really rude Americans, try driving in Massachusetts, within a few minutes, someone will flip the bird, or do some other rude driving, doesn't take long.
sONE wrote:
<quoted text>
In what ways did you find them rude?

“Yes WE Can! Yes we Will!”

Level 8

Since: Jul 07

Baltimore, Md.

#10 Dec 27, 2009
Skeptic wrote:
Well, we've got a lot of so called,'Panty waist LeftWingNuts' here in the USA, they're killing us with political correctness, trying to shove a half assed social/Marxist Obmama health care bill down our throats that will create insolvency, and possibly cause us to default on our debt to China.
The Europeans look at the looney Leftwingnuts representing America and just shake their heads with wonder, I don't blame them.
<quoted text>
Actually, left wing thought is more widespread in Europe than here, and Obama--whom you ignorantly see as a socialist---would be moderate, maybe a little RIGHT of center in Europe.(After all, universal health care is commonplace in even the more conservative European countries, not to mention social democracies like Sweden).
By the way, do you READ or travel? Indeed, I found Europeans more often than not mocking our conservatives. During Reagan's second administration, I heard so many Reagan jokes over there than the silly Polish jokes I've heard in America.

“Yes WE Can! Yes we Will!”

Level 8

Since: Jul 07

Baltimore, Md.

#11 Dec 27, 2009
Tyheru wrote:
Europeans don't hate Americans, but they hate the stereotypical ignorance. It often seems that Americans think they know everything about the rest of the world, and that they're the leaders of everything, and they think they're better than everyone else. At least, this is how a lot of Europeans experience Americans.
I've never been to the Netherlands, but I found people in Luxemburg (short time I was there) and France generally quite friendly.
One reason may have been that I spoke French, and had even studied some French philosophy and literature.
I hear that the French are less patient with people who don't speak French.
But my French, though adequate, must have at times been a drain on the patience of les citoyens de France.
Also, I chose to be respectful of others while in their country. I was quite embarrassed by an American I heard bitching because the French spoke French instead of English! LOL! I can laugh now, but it was embarrassing then.
On the whole, I encountered little hostility.
Of course, it may have helped that a good number of French people have a love affair with American music, surtout la musique d'Amerique Noir.
And I've been told that the French (and some other Europeans) are often less hostile toward Black Americans than whites. It's hard to know whether that's true.
If I were arrogant and spoke no French I might have gotten the same chilly reception that some of my white American compatriots received.

“Yes WE Can! Yes we Will!”

Level 8

Since: Jul 07

Baltimore, Md.

#12 Dec 27, 2009
What of European Perceptions?

While I think it's cool to hear from fellow Americans, I hope more people from Europe are willing to tell us what THEY think?

Since: Feb 09

Location hidden

#13 Dec 27, 2009
Skeptic wrote:
You can just take a little trip here to the East coast to find some really rude Americans, try driving in Massachusetts, within a few minutes, someone will flip the bird, or do some other rude driving, doesn't take long.
<quoted text>
That happens here too when driving, though not that often. I just assumed it happened everywhere in certain situations. I have not been to the east coast or to Europe yet, though I have been around east coast "transplants" here and some Europeans. It's not the same as being around them in their own home countries/states though.

“Yes WE Can! Yes we Will!”

Level 8

Since: Jul 07

Baltimore, Md.

#14 Dec 27, 2009
Is LePouBelle right?

Is that how you Europeans view Americans in general?

I hear that even the relatively conservative Britishers during and shortly after World War II used to say that "The only problem with the Yanks is that they're overpaid, overSEXED and over HERE."
Is that the view of us in England, France,Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Sweden, and elsewhere?

“Yes WE Can! Yes we Will!”

Level 8

Since: Jul 07

Baltimore, Md.

#15 Dec 27, 2009
Le PouBelle wrote:
Generally, they think we are huge insular, inbred, culturally inept, overweight ignoramuses that have no idea what goes on in the rest of the world.
When I was getting to know my Dutch colleagues/friends they were brutally honest about the perception they had of Americans.
Although, i was angered and insulted at first I gradually saw where they were coming from as the years have gone by and I came into contact with American tourists in the almost 5 years I have lived here who were all, in my experiece were rude, had a very strong superiority complex and were generally dimissive of the Dutch culture.
How long have you been over there? Do you find the Dutch becoming friendlier toward you over time?
protean

Northampton, UK

#16 Dec 27, 2009
Savant wrote:
Are Americans generally seen as ignorant?
The other thread clearly answered most of your questions
Europeans are friendlier towards Black Americans,since the power and influence are in the hands of white Americans then Black Americans are not seen as being responsible for some of the dubious decisions that the U.S has made in the past
Also Black Americans are often seen as Victims of some unfortunate circumstances
The treatment of Black Americans during hurricane Katrina was an eye opener to a lot of people,it laid emphasis on the status of Black Americans in their own country and showed the differences in treatment during disasters
Recent incidences like the Professed Gates fiasco,clearly showed that the country is still divided along racial lines
Europeans also tend to travel to the U.S for business and pleasure,they see the differences with respect to neighborhoods,life styles etc

Yes,President Obama has improved the image of the U.S significantly but the election process clearly showed that there were quite a number of people against a biracial man of African descent becoming POTUS,some did hide it behind his lack experienc(even though there was no other credible option) but there were quite a number who were more vocal with their racial slurs
All this was seen around the rest of the world

Since: Feb 09

Location hidden

#17 Dec 27, 2009
Savant wrote:
Is LePouBelle right?
Is that how you Europeans view Americans in general?
I hear that even the relatively conservative Britishers during and shortly after World War II used to say that "The only problem with the Yanks is that they're overpaid, overSEXED and over HERE."
Is that the view of us in England, France,Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Sweden, and elsewhere?
Too bad they were there dying. They should have stayed here and let the English and Russians handle it and not have died in such great numbers.

“Yes WE Can! Yes we Will!”

Level 8

Since: Jul 07

Baltimore, Md.

#18 Dec 27, 2009
sONE wrote:
<quoted text>
Too bad they were there dying. They should have stayed here and let the English and Russians handle it and not have died in such great numbers.
To be perfectly honest, many AMericans and some Europeans would have left Hitler to his madness if he had restricted his animosity to the Jews and the Communists.
The problem is that he wanted to swallow up all of Europe (which he nearly did) and America as well if he could.
Perhaps the Americans and others who went to fight Franco and the fascists in Spain were operating from basically decent and noble motives. But at the time the USA and other powers decided to take on Hitler it was late in the day--and they NO LONGER HAD A CHOICE.

Since: Feb 09

Location hidden

#19 Dec 27, 2009
Savant wrote:
<quoted text>
To be perfectly honest, many AMericans and some Europeans would have left Hitler to his madness if he had restricted his animosity to the Jews and the Communists.
The problem is that he wanted to swallow up all of Europe (which he nearly did) and America as well if he could.
Perhaps the Americans and others who went to fight Franco and the fascists in Spain were operating from basically decent and noble motives. But at the time the USA and other powers decided to take on Hitler it was late in the day--and they NO LONGER HAD A CHOICE.
But according to many Europeans the US was an unwanted group there at the time and Russia and England would have handled it. Why go at all?

“Yes WE Can! Yes we Will!”

Level 8

Since: Jul 07

Baltimore, Md.

#20 Dec 27, 2009
protean wrote:
<quoted text>
The other thread clearly answered most of your questions
Europeans are friendlier towards Black Americans,since the power and influence are in the hands of white Americans then Black Americans are not seen as being responsible for some of the dubious decisions that the U.S has made in the past
Also Black Americans are often seen as Victims of some unfortunate circumstances
The treatment of Black Americans during hurricane Katrina was an eye opener to a lot of people,it laid emphasis on the status of Black Americans in their own country and showed the differences in treatment during disasters
Recent incidences like the Professed Gates fiasco,clearly showed that the country is still divided along racial lines
Europeans also tend to travel to the U.S for business and pleasure,they see the differences with respect to neighborhoods,life styles etc
Yes,President Obama has improved the image of the U.S significantly but the election process clearly showed that there were quite a number of people against a biracial man of African descent becoming POTUS,some did hide it behind his lack experienc(even though there was no other credible option) but there were quite a number who were more vocal with their racial slurs
All this was seen around the rest of the world
This may be the reason that I didn't have so many unpleasant experiences over there as did many of my white compatriots. Here in America, I've had a number of European students who mentioned their shock and surprise at the attitudes expressed toward Blacks by many of my compatriots. Some are surprised that many white Americans are friendlier toward them than toward fellow citizens who are black. A former German philoosophy professor who once taught at a predominantly black college mentioned whites querying him "What do THOSE PEOPLE really want anyway?" To one lady he replied "Madam, THOSE PEOPLE are your FELLOW CITIZENS. Am I the one you should be asking this?"

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