Why are Europeans so ignorant about America?

Discussion in 'Foreign breaking News' started by ItuExchange, Nov 21, 2016.

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    “Americans are fat, stupid, racist, war lovers.” Remarks like this are all over the internet, on FaceBook, YouTube, even on Quora, and are often left by Europeans. Why are you guys so judgmental? In a nation of 320 million not all people are the same or fit stereotypes the world has about Americans.



    I will never forget the night I was with my students in the Youth Hostel in Nuremberg and we started talking with a group of same-aged Germans.

    “Where you guys from?” they asked in English.

    “Minnesota,” my students answered.

    “Jesse Ventura. How do you like your governor?” they asked.

    One of the more observant of my students asked this: “How would you know that? Most of us couldn’t even name the current leader of Germany and you can come up with the name of our governor?”

    Jesse Ventura was the opener. Next, one of them asked whether we thought NASA should be privatized. None of my university students or their teacher had even considered the idea. Now a German kid from Munich was schooling us on US policy choices.

    “It is more important for Germans to know what it going on in America than it is for Americans to know the same about Germany,” said one of them finally. No truer words were ever spoken.

    So when I read a question like this, which is totally unaware that just the opposite is true, I have no particularly polite way to say that the question is really off base. Actually ignorant. I just spent three weeks in Spain and France. Everyone was talking about two things — Donald Trump and the Chicago Cubs.

    Think for a moment about Melania Trump, our new first lady. She is from Slovenia. How many Americans actually have any concept of Slovenia? (How many know that it is not the same as Slovakia?) While my former European classmates had spent years studying geography in school, I remember learning some basics in grade school that were virtually never addressed again.


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