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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:So when I was growing up, there was a lot of talk about being "Proud to Be an American."

I'm not. In fact, I'm ashamed to be an American. I'm ashamed of my country and I'm terrified of my government. I'm not proud of who we are, what we've done, or what we stand for. When I was in England, I kept wanting to apologize. I wanted to wear a button that said "It's not my fault!" And I know a number of Americans feel that way now.

So I wonder? Are you proud of your country? I mean, no country is perfect, and bad leaders come and go (Howard? Blair?), but in general, as a citizen of your country visiting a foreign land, do you feel proud to be an emmissary of your country, or do you feel like hanging your head in shame?


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Dio


Dio

HoP Mechanical Engineer
Location: OK, USA

Total posts: 729
Posted:You know, that's a very thought-provoking issue. I actually had a friend spent a semester in Korea and came back calling his closest friends "you Americans" and constantly insulting them for stuff that other countries look down on us for. Quite an extreme view but I've really been thinking about this issue alot lately.

Am I ashamed to be an American? Absolutely not. I am glad I've grown up the way I have, with the opportunities I've had.

Am I ashamed of some of the actions our leaders may have taken? There have been decisions I considered wrong on their parts, yes, and ones that made us very unpopular. But I won't allow the actions of a person (or administration) to jade my entire view of my nationality.

If I visited a country, rather than be apologetic, I would try to be exemplary and show that I'm not a stereotype. I would absolutely not step off the plane in some sort of flag-waving-national-anthem-singing orgy of patriotism. I would be respectful and try to conduct myself in a courteous manner, leaving everyone I interacted with thinking "you know, maybe Americans aren't so bad after all."

On the other side of the token, when the original 9-11 backlash hit, we had angry rednecks in Wal-Mart harassing my Muslim friends - should they have hung their heads in shame because radicals from their nation of origin did something horrible? I treated them with as much respect and dignity as ever, because I know they were not representative of the group who had wronged us.

If you felt like you had to hang your head in shame and apologize, it's the fault of a few ignorant people making you feel bad, not your own. If all they saw was a reflection of a government who's taking actions they feel are unjustified, they aren't looking deep enough.


What hits the fan is not evenly distributed.

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poiaholic22


member


Total posts: 531
Posted:Even before 9/11 I had lost faith in the human race and am quite ashamed to even be a human being.

I still try to be the best person I can be.Hence if someone doesn't like me I would like it to be because of some part of my personality rather than the fact that I was born and raised in the United States.


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Woo!


Woo!

HCH No 2
Location: Chester, Cheshire.

Total posts: 216
Posted:I think that both Americans and British travellers have it pretty tough. Our nation's foreign policy (America's recently and British..well since we had one!) has meant that quite a few peoples are not overly welcoming to us.

As for the question, yes, I am proud to be British.

I have not done anything nasty to other peoples, and hope to have oppotunities to meet people from all over the world. If they just see me as British, and not for me, then I probably don't want to know them anyway.

It is I admit very difficult to be proud in times such as these.

*If only we kept our damn empire...*


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Aalathea
GOLD Member since Oct 2002

member
Location: Massachusetts, US, USA

Total posts: 80
Posted:I certainly feel ashamed to be an american. and while no one who knows me would call me a stereotypical american, i feel like the rest of the world would just dismiss me before i could have a chance for them to see me as an individual.

i know most americans don't see foreigners as simply representative of their governments, but i certainly feel like they see us that way. probly becasue we can't keep our hands to ourselves. i wish i could do what Dio suggests, betraying their expectations and showing them that all americans aren';t the same, but i'd probly choose the path of least resistance and put a canadian flag on my backpack or something. i just don't feel like "my" country cares about all of its citizens even, let alone those from other countries, so i just can't care for it. even though i know that logic must be flawed.


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:I've said it before, but I'm much more proud of my city than my country. I identify with it much more than I do my country. Most of my daily activity is strictly New York. Plus, there are so few Americans here it kinda makes it tough TO identify with America. (When was the last time I ate American food?!)

As for proud, it depends. I can think of many American activities and traditions that I'm proud of. Especially having traveled and being able to compare it to other countries. But there seem to be more and more things I'm ashamed of as well.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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ivan..


ivan..

member
Location: Halifax, NS

Total posts: 165
Posted:i'm proud to be canadaian

better water, better lumber, better oil better grain ,better talent , we're bigger , cleaner and friendlier ... not as stuck up as the french, not as prim as the british, not a gun/drug/crime infested colony as the neighbours to the south...but with qualities of them all
at times i'm amused/appalled at how the US consideres itself to be the center of the world.. Canada is more concerned with fixing the problems inside it's own borders than forcing other countries to live according to our rules ...
as a matter of fact .. whenever the states start to screw around canada gets flooded with americans who want to go someplace better ...

when i was travelling i met plenty of americans who were proud to be canadians ( they all had canadian flags on their bags )

Canada is a strong and stable country a country where you can be a government critic without fear for your saftey .. a country that offers freedom without fanaticism, secruity without being a police state , diversity without (too much ) predjudice, though not perfect by far we are a good country .. and while i see and hear so many Americans talk about how proud they are of their nation .. they often cast a longing eye north of the border ... and joke about making us a state.. ( the kind of joke a fox makes about the henhouse )

i am proud to be canadian .. and proud of the way we carved a powerful and wonderful country out of some of the widest wildest land on the earth..

canada has not always done the right thing but somehow we are the ones trying the hardest ...
our peace keepers with the UN actually do keep the peace and offer aid and comfort to the victims of war ....

i'm proud and most of my friends are proud but becuae they are canadian they probably won't say anything

oooooh thats kinda long.. sorry


thats right i look like an albino ape that has had a bad day.. go ahead say something stupid... i dare ya !

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plantgirlll


member
Location: Sydney Australia

Total posts: 150
Posted:Many of us Aussies are also less than impressed, embarassed & shamed by our "alleged" leaders & we like to let them know what we think!

Yesterday, one of the the Sydney Opera house sails was climbed & 2 protesters graffitied "NO WAR" in red paving paint.

Inner city graffiti..."Howard licks Bush"

What things of this sort are going on in other cities around the world? Examples?



People take different roads seeking fulfillment & happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.-H. Jackson Browne

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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road, United Kingdom

Total posts: 15965
Posted:I'm going to stick with being a fraggle. You silly creatures are wa-ay too silly for me.

The Gorgs throw their weight around but they would never presume to throw the whole world into tumultuous war.

Although, that said, they have no standing army and/or any populace to speak of. But I stand by my statement.


"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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Woo!


Woo!

HCH No 2
Location: Chester, Cheshire.

Total posts: 216
Posted:As America and Australia were both colonies of the British empire, it's all our fault.

Everything, we controled half the globe, and boy did we ever f*ck it up. Now we can't run our own country and are merely 'A Rat on an Elephants back'.

We have to stick with our bigger offspring, as we know they could crush us like a fly, so in addition to the earlier post, perhaps being proud to be British makes me proud of a nation that screwed up the world? I dunno.


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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:Am I proud to be Australian? Well proud is not the word that often springs in there. I am very happy to be living here, I love the country and I love the people, even though I whinge about them and get angry at them. I love this place in which I live with all its faults, and it is because I love it that I care enough to try and do something about the problems.

Am I proud to be English (cos I am both)? Once again, proud only springs into the mind when we win sporting events, so that ain't often. But that is the land that I came from, where most of my family still lives. I love it in the same way that you love dear family who you don't see often. Sometimes nostalgia makes it out to be a better place than it is, but I still like the faults, grit and grime too.

A country is more than its government.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere..., ...

Total posts: 2790
Posted:I'm ashamed of my country.

However...

"You gave me my birth
Then you made me pay
What is it worth
Cast me away
You've really done it now
Dying in my arms
You stand here with nothing
But you've still got English charm

Oh England, you're my home
My heart's heart
Crashing thunder of love
You're a place of the poor
Open wound
The lost rites of love

You cut your own throat
Then you let it bleed
Misleading your people
From what they all need
Roots forgotten
That's what we all say
But what does it matter
You're the USA

Why is it England
I feel like rubbish on your streets
Why is it when I care
If feel incomplete
Why does our future seem
Such a feat
When will our consciousness
Finally meet

Oh, whatever happened to
My green and pleasant land?"

The Levellers


"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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Woo!


Woo!

HCH No 2
Location: Chester, Cheshire.

Total posts: 216
Posted:I'm seeing double, 4 WessexGirl duplicates!!

Jim.


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Raphael96
SILVER Member since Sep 2002

old hand
Location: New York City, USA

Total posts: 899
Posted:This is an interesting thread!

Like NYC, I am more proud of my home city than my home country.

There are many beautiful, remarkable places in the world, but as much as I have travelled, there is nothing that is even close to New York City.

I often describe it as the jewel in the crown. NY rocks. There is just something about walking into Yankee Stadium and feeling that shiver run through your body.
If baseball was a religion, its Vatican would be in The Bronx.

Am I proud of my country?

Sometimes more than other times, but its easy to confuse a country with the government in power at any given time.

For example, Iraq has some of the richest archaeological sites in the world (see Nineveh), but its currently known for more nasty stuff.

There are good things and bad things about every country. I have now lived in Paris since '93 and have learned to appreciate those things I took for granted when I was still in the States.

Try living abroad for a prolonged period of time. I don't mean travelling, I mean living.
It gives you a whole new perspective on things.

I am proud to represent the US when I compete around the world in fencing tournaments. On the back of ever fencing jacket is the last name of the competitor and underneath the 3 letter acronym of the country that person represents. Seeing the "USA" on the back of my jacket when I put it on before a match always gives me a little thrill.
I'm sure that if I were from another country I would feel the same way.

I didn't vote for Bush and in 2004 I'll vote for anybody else but Bush.
But when I move back to NYC in a few years I will kiss the ground when I step off the plane!

(..then get a hot dog on the corner with mustard and saurkraut and head to Yankee Stadium)

Raph


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Astar


member
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.

Total posts: 1591
Posted:No im not proud to be canadian. I used to be but it's becomeing very obvious that canada is to much like america. We made the same freedome sacrificing knee-jerk legislation on september 11th that america did (I say knee jerk but really I think our governments have waited for something this to happen to pass laws they always wanted to)

On almost all matters canada sides with the US. The only reason we didn't go to war with iraq is because we aren't physically capable. The best we could do is send in our commandos and a couple of ships to guard the coalition armada. We don't have anything else to offer really because our military is in shambles.

I think my government makes the same mistakes america does only on a lesser scale. Canada has a lot going for it but when I look at my nations history and at the history that my nation is makeing I don't want anything to do with it.

The problem is I don't know where I want to move. I don't like england either, australia bothers me with a lot of it's legislation and stuff. I would like to move to a nation without the actual power to make the same mistakes my country makes, because I believe all nations will go down the same road when they are equipped with the same power as america england and canada. But all other nations are way to left-wing socialist for my tastes. Countries like norway and sweden come to mind as nice places to move to but their socialist governments are just to sickening. Norway paid overweight fishermen not to work because they might injure themselves. That's just a handfull of the ridicilous problems with welfare states like that.

So the question is if you don't like your home country where do you move? I haven't been able to come up with any real good answers. Maybe I won't live anywheres I will just drift around on working visas and see the world (this is becoming increasingly hard as new and tighter security protocols are being formed)


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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road, United Kingdom

Total posts: 15965
Posted:"....all the blood that's run before,
Why don't politians fight their own wars?
I have no answers for,
the problems causes by government and law,
The only solution's to rearrange.
From bottom to the top this system must change
"


"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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DaiTenshi


member
Location: Stillwater, OK

Total posts: 104
Posted:I am proud to be an American.

The fact that the current administration- save Colin Powell- strikes me as an embarassment to our flag in no way changes the fact that I am very proud to be an American.

Presidents and administrations come and go, but our country is still our country. By our very nature, the United States and its people are highly adaptable, unique, and so ridiculously unlike the rest of the world it isn't even funny.

Our population is one of the most diverse in the world and despite our high crime rates somehow manages to improve, not kill itself off, and learn from one another. Given current trends in a few hundred years "American" will be its own race/ethnicity ^___^ I'm damn proud of that.

I'm an army brat, my family has a long military tradition. The only reason I'm not a part of that military tradition is the fact that I was born half blind. While, having grown up in the army, I may make fun of the US Navy, Air Force, and Marines I know that our combined armed services are hands down the best in the world; I'm proud of that, proud of my family.

I did not vote for Bush, I will not vote for Bush in the future. The fact that you disagree with the current administration should not affect your patriotism and I blanch at those who abandon their fellow Americans and their country because it's unpopular with the rest of the world.

I do not defend this administration, however I will not sit by and listen to "well, I'm just so ashamed of my country, might as well give up". If you think there's something wrong, work to fix it, as an American that's what you're supposed to do; strive for the future, fix what you think needs fixing.

Fair weather patriots are no patriots, and national pride is not something you should lose because of what other nations say. Your country is a lot more than your government, believe it or not.

I hope this hasn't been too much ranting.


No one knows me like I do.

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SpArKiE


SpArKiE

*shiny shiny*
Location: Townsville, QLD, Aust.

Total posts: 218
Posted:yes i am proud to be an aussie. i love my country...

but am i proud of my government? hell no!

but with that aside i love this place. i'm all into wearin my aussie flag with pride... (but i still wonder why all fashion shirts and whatnot have the american flag on it... weird.)

i love being an aussie. i am proud. but there is no way in hell am i proud of howard.


And wherever you've gone and wherever we might go. It don't seem fair. Today just disappeared.

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Kat
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London, Wales (UK)

Total posts: 2211
Posted:Most people presume I am prodestant Irish becuase I hate the IRA Why hating acts of war and revenge should make me anything other than a pacifist I don't know.

Despite the mistakes our country has made I am proud of all that has been achieved and the fact that Ireland still has a strong identity after all we have been through.There are many things I am not proud of, but these are the actions of certain people.

I think a large majority of us are ashamed that Iraqi's in Bagdhad are cowering in their houses with no means of escaping. However my shame is that the human race still has not the cop on to realise that war will never be the solution. I have seen it in my own country.

War and Peace. They are opposites and one cannot be the catalyst for the other.

to you Mike


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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Astar


member
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.

Total posts: 1591
Posted:DaiTenshi for me the problem isn't soley the current administration. It is the fact that a innocent and good administration is a damn rare thing in my country. What's worse is the only alternatives are no better. Atleast canada doesn't have a 2 party dominated system like america. Instead it's 'mostly' dominated by two parties and the alternatives which are the New democratic party or the canadian alliance party are both not viable alternatives to me. I will never compromise my beliefs to vote for the "lesser of evils" so while I live in this country I will continue to spoil my ballot come every election unless I see a political party which interests me. Sure you can say "make your own political party" but that's like saying "build your own car from scratch" because you don't like the current cars on the market. It is totally unreasonable.

Basicly I want to move to a small isolationist country with a neutral foreign policy and a reasonably good standard of living.


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Switzerland, then, Astar? Or the Netherlands, which is hardly isolationist, but is pretty neutral.

I'm ashamed not just because of my administration, but because 66% of Americans think that Bush is the best thing since Sliced Bread and they believe that we ought to control the whole world because we're better than everyone else.

Oh, and they believe that anyone who hates the U.S. is just jealous.

These are the MAJORITY of Americans. A country of people who revel in their ignorance. Makes me sick.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Posted:Move to New Zealand, I reckon I might if things dont stop sliding downhill in Oz.

They got the Political Bollocks of any of the Heavyweight nations.

And nice scenery too! And Malcolm!

Josh

(PS. And Charles)



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Posted:Switzerland only stays neutral because its more profitable to do that.

Beautiful place tho

I Love Amsterdam too...

Josh


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I was told by my Aus friend that when I go there I should say that I am Canadian. (which in a way I am, born there).

I was insulted, not because I am proud to be an American but because this proved that I was going to be judged on my geographical base rather than who I am as a person.

Now, to the question.
I am not ashamed to be an American because I can not help that much. Mel Gibson, by Australians is concidered an American, even though he spent a good share of his life there. Which would mean that your nationality is determined from where you are born, not on where you choose to live and where you call home.
I am not proud either. I am happy that I was fortunate enough to be born here and not in the middle east where I would have been repressed and beaten. I am glad that I was born here instead of some third world country where the conditions for a long and healthy life are non-exsistant. In that respect, American has a long way to go but I am happy to be here.

I am happy to be American for the chances it does afford a single mother.

I am disgusted by the political leaders. I am repulsed by the ignorance and media fed diets that most people fill thier brains on without educating themselves. I am disgusted that our hero's are people who really do not deserve it (popular media icons), and that we breed our children to be a complacent, compliant number. I am sickened by the fact that we are judged by these things because that is what the world is exposed to.

I am proud of the small towns who have strived to maintain their dignity while facing economic stress by having celebrations and such. I am proud of how this country had enough caring to pull together after 9-11 and really helped out. I am proud of the melting pot I have been fortunate enough to dip into right in my own backyard, and that I can expose my son to this cultural variety.
This is what I am proud of America for. The diversity. The inner strength of it's people when times are down. The (in general) acceptence.

Judging a nation based on the figurehead puppets or based on edited media perceptions is ridiculous.
I don't stand tall and proud with my fellow Americans because we are American. I stand tall and proud with the people around me who happen to mostly be American (though not all are) because we are humans who care, with convictions and ideas and the freedoms to express them without being stoned to death. For that, the fight has been long and hard, and is still going on, prolly always will, but I applaud the strength it takes to fight for that. Nationality has very little to do with that.

And interesting fact here....CNN did a survey and one of the journalists in contact with the military did a survey.

Only 51% of average Americans actually support Bush and his redderick. Only 43% of the soldiers do. However, a serviceman in the Air Force who was interviewed on the radio this morning said "This has nothing to do with American pride for me and everything to do with my job. This is my job and I intend to do it to the best of my ability. In that respect, I am no different than most American's who get up for work in the morning and don't want to. All those protesters back home are the reason I am here. It is my job to protect their right to tell me that my job is wrong."
This was so profound for me to hear, and I have been thinking of it all day.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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poiaholic22


member


Total posts: 531
Posted:Written by:
"All those protesters back home are the reason I am here. It is my job to protect their right to tell me that my job is wrong."



*In a cool,calm tone*



I can not begin to describe how sick I am of hearing service people say that.


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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:Pride goeth before the fall.



But i do care about the fate of my country and my fellow nationals. I care about the fate of everyone on earth, but i would feel pretty selfish abandoning this country whilst i still had a chance to try and work for change for the people who are stuck here and the people who chose to stay. So unless all hope goes and it becomes obvious that death or detainment is what is awaiting me, I'll prolly stay and try to make this place a little better. That's not pride, but it is patriotism, and it is caring, and it is standing up for my country because someone's gotta stand up for the people here. Not standing up worked out well in Germany, didn't it?



Ok, that turned into a rant.



But I'll leave you with some lyrics, and don't worry, you can sit down whilst they are sung.



Written by:
And I gladly stand up,

next to you and defend her still today.

Cause there aint no doubt I love this land



-Lee Greenwood



That much i still belive.

Peace & Love, K.


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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lord ender


member
Location: AMERICA

Total posts: 6
Posted:well Poiaholic22 if your so sick of them protecting you why don't you leave the country so they aren't protecting you anymore. And for your earlier post about "lost faith in the human race and am quite ashamed to even be a human being." If you have lost all faith in humanity and are ashamed to be one us, why does the thought of a few more deaths of such low beings trouble you. The only people who should concern themselves with human death and misery are those who care deeply for humanity and are willing to protect it. Those soldiers you speak of are willing to kill and cause harm to reduce the amount of death and destruction in the long run. While they strive to inprove the human condition you just sit on the sidelines b**ching about it.

Violence is the last resort of the incompetent. Doesn't mean it's not damn effective sometimes.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I have it. I support the soldiers and am proud of them. I am not proud of our political leaders and do not support them.
It isn't a blanket "american" or not thing to me, as every place has it's problems.
I am glad to be alive, and will proudly stand by those who signed up to protect that right.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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DaiTenshi


member
Location: Stillwater, OK

Total posts: 104
Posted:Written by: poiaholic22
Written by:


"All those protesters back home are the reason I am here. It is my job to protect their right to tell me that my job is wrong."



*In a cool,calm tone*



I can not begin to describe how sick I am of hearing service people say that.



Guess what buddy... I am more than certain that service men and women have had more than enough of hearing people like you tell them that they're going to just kill innocent people, that they're work accomplishes nothing, and that they shouldn't be what they have chosen to be.



How dare they say something that makes you look like an ungrateful, concieted fool, eh?



Have a nice day.



*In a cool, calm tone*



I cannot begin to describe how sick I am of hearing anti-war people completely ignore the fact that Hussein has killed more of his own people than this war is likely to kill with such ridiculous statements as "let peace and international law prevail in Iraq" they've failed... get over it.


No one knows me like I do.

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ElectricBlue
GOLD Member since Feb 2002

ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra, Australia

Total posts: 810
Posted:I yust wanted to say that all the americans that i have met personaly have been fantastic people a i am sure that they are not unlike most of there population.


I also wanted to say that i think even when don't think that people should be at war we should still support those that had to go, beacuse they would be feeling horrible any way with out thinking that there country hates them personly and that there sacrefices are not appreciated.

Missie


I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />

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Astar


member
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.

Total posts: 1591
Posted:Datenshi please stop bringing up the humanitarian issues in iraq. It is OFFICIAL that it has nothing to do with the way saddam treats his people. Bush has said himself that if saddam would give up his Weapons of mass destruction he would leave iraq alone. It is merely by coincidence that the humanitarian issues can be used to justify this war. I think most people who aren't outright pacifists believe it is generally a good idea to uphold human rights but the fact is human rights violations are happening in all kinds of countries all over the world. They have been happening in all countries all over the world and rarely do the countries with the power to prevent human rights violations step in unless it is to protect self interests. So I guess it leaves the other popular reasons for invasions such as to protect national security, to get more oil, To use up expiring munitions and secure greater funding for the military and to stimulate the economy. If you want to flame all the anti-war people stop harping on the same point of human rights which has nothing to do with the war.

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