I’m an American, not an American’t

Happy 4th of July, USA. I miss you. Later, I will wear my US Flag 4th of July boxers to bed in celebration. Also, I might eat some apple pie.

Raul had an interesting post this morning about our (Americans) tendency to refer to ourselves as Americans, when there are so many more Americans out there. Technically, it’s a continent, so Canadians and Mexicans are also Americans.

This is not meant as a rebuttal. This is simply a different perspective. Since I’ve moved here, and spoken with more Canadians, I’ve realized this is a slightly sore spot. And I totally get it. I have a tendency to say, now, that I am “from the States” instead of “American” so as not to offend. However, inevitably, someone will say “oh, you are from ALL THE STATES? That’s AMAZING.” Which drives me nuts, cuz I’m trying to be all sensitive and shit. I’m working from your outlook here, kid, so cut me some slack.

Ok, so we are all Americans. But, really, we are all NORTH Americans. There are actually massive amounts of Americans to the south of us as well, let’s not forget. This is flaw número uno in the “Let’s All be Americans,” plan. Flaw numéro deux is our fault, the USA’s.

Fact is, we are the only ones who actually use the world “America” in our name. And by doing so, we sorta stuck our flag in it, didn’t we? I apologize for bogarting it. Nonetheless, do not begrudge us our BEness. That is to say, I am from the United States, but American is what I am. (Also I am North American) I don’t know why we took the name, but we did. People from Canada get to be Canadians. People from Mexico get to be Mexican. Unfortunately, we did not choose to say were are United States of Americans. Too long, I suppose. USAsians just sounds dumb, and could be confused with “Asian” which someone is already using. But we should have the same ability to say what we are, in addition to where we are from, right?

Listen, my fellow North American friends who are not from the US, saying your American is sort of a mixed bag, too. When someone says they are Canadian, people say “Oh I love Canada! You guys are so nice and polite. Thank you for all the fine comedians. And natural resources!”

When someone says they are Mexican… ok, I just realized saying you are Mexican to someone in the US is also a mixed bag. Most people would say “Oh Mexico, so beautiful, and I went down there on vacation just last year. Loved it! By the way, thank you for the cuisine. So delicious. Seriously. Love it!”

But then others would just look at you suspiciously and ask to see your green card. And that, right there, kids, is the reason telling the rest of the world you are American can you get you trouble. So, really, you don’t need the hassle. Leave the potential hostility to those who worked hard to earn it. The US.

That being said, for all your flaws, I love you United States of America*! Happy Independence Day!

*Even the 51% of you who are responsible for keeping Bush in office 4 more years. What’s done is done, let’s move on.


4 thoughts on “I’m an American, not an American’t

  1. I always refer to the US as America, and I look longingly in the direction in which America might be at the time (excluding Alaska – cause people wouldn’t get it).
    The reason? Because as a forest firefighter, Americans (of the US variety) treated me and my fellow firefighters with far more respect than our own government could muster.
    Despite all the unnecessary crap regarding foreign policy and rich shits stepping all over others to get richer (and the rebellious approach to spelling words created in England), Americans have been amoungst the friendliest people I have ever met.

  2. Vanwall says:

    “God bless Vespucciland, land that I love”….or something like that, I guess. Happy 4th, Jodi, from the land that declared war on the King’s English, as well as the English king!

  3. Interesting perspective, Jodi. As I mentioned in my blog, I kind of go along now when I refer to Americans (or America). Along the same lines, my being Mexican does bring me a LOT of hassle whenever I cross the border. Even having undertaken a PhD, being there (and everywhere else) in total legal fashion, I still get the evil eye. But that’s an immigration post and something I rather not touch on 🙂

  4. T. Mama says:

    “I’m working from your outlook here, kid, so cut me some slack.”
    See, that blows my mind, because that’s a response I’d expect from a middle-North-American-USAsian type. I don’t think of northern-North-American-in-the-general-region-of-Canada types to have that much edge.
    Maybe that’s just me. My eternal argument is, “Dude…I just live here.”

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