Sunday, May 1, 2011

We Know Better Than You, or Ethnocentrism as Racism

As Americans, many of us believe that our way is the best way. After all, we DO live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. How could anything other than what we do be right? It's preposterous!

Maybe I'm not a good American, but it always turns my stomach a little when I hear the chant of "USA! USA! USA!" at a political rally or in rebuttal to something very "anti" American like attempting to speak your mind. I don't mind the chant at the Olympics, since everyone to cheering on their team/country, but then again, some Americans even take that a little too far.

If America happens to lose the hockey game, then it must be because Russia or Canada cheated or didn't get a penalty called against them. It couldn't possibly be because the US just got out played. AMERICA CAN'T WIN EVERYTHING.

And it's not just sporting events. Many Americans are under the assumption that if it's not American, it's not as good. When France decided to not participate in the war with Iraq, people started dumping French wine down the sewer. Many diners renamed French Fries "freedom fries" in protest. You couldn't order French Toast-- it was Freedom Toast now!

Forget the fact that there wouldn't even be a United States of America if it wasn't for France! And that little ol' statue that greets you as you arrive in Ellis Island? Yeah, the FRENCH built the Statue of Liberty and gave it to us as a gift.

A big thing that Americans seem to look down on is the Muslim woman's veil. For some reason this religious garb is looked at as a symbol of their oppression. Americans can't understand why a woman would purposely wear something like this. What many Americans don't know is that this garb is not a form of female oppression. The first people to veil themselves was the elite Greco-Roman woman. This occurred in B. C. Before there was a Islamic or Muslim religion. And the practice of veiling was not a form of oppression but a firm of secluding. If a woman was veiled in front of a man, it meant he was below her or unmarried. It was a protection for the woman. She didn't want to subject herself to his eyes.

But Americans see a woman in a veil and think she should just take it off.

"You're in America now. You don't have to wear that anymore!"

Many Feminist Middle Easterners wear the veil to show their strength. It is how they rebel. Not against Americans, but against those Muslims who are trying to be more "modern." Another Word For "modern" is "Western."

If I tell you that the only baseball team that matters is the Yankees, then I am also implying that you're wrong if you have a Red Sox hat on. That who you cheer for is wrong unless it's the New York Yankees. Now change "Yankees" and "Red Sox" to "American born" and "born outside America." What do we have?

It sounds like racism to be.

Part of what makes America great is the idea that people can be who they want and wear what they want and love who they want.

No matter what.
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  1. Great post, Chaz. I admire your openness and honesty on this topic.

  2. Thank you.

    It seems as though my timing was almost perfect, since there was a lot of "USA! USA! USA!" chants after the news of Osama bin Laden's death came a couple hours after I published this blog!