Ugly American is an epithet used to refer to perceptions of loud, arrogant, demeaning, thoughtless and ethnocentric behavior of American citizens mainly abroad, but also at home. Although the term is usually associated with or applied to travelers and tourists, it also applies to US corporate businesses in the international arena. [Wikipedia]
I’ve had enough of the characterization of the “ugly American.” Oh sure, some Americans may be all the things described above, in fact, I’ve seen it in practice. I’m not denying the behavior. What I’m tired of is the notion that no one else is equally “ugly.”
Boorish behavior is never appropriate and it DOES cast a harsh light on the entire country when a few butt heads act like fools in other countries.
What about OUR culture? Why do we not demand of foreign visitors respect for our laws and traditions?
Even in America, we’re told to “respect the culture of others,” even if that “culture” is counter to our own.
Muslims in the U.S. have tried to wear niqabs (a total covering except for the eyes) and burqas (a total head and body covering) for driver’s licenses and other photo identifications. Although mostly rejected, the good ol’ ACLU supports the “right” to hide ones identity in photos used … to … prove … ones … identity.
Here’s what the State Department says about Saudi Arabia:
Women considering relocating to Saudi Arabia should be keenly aware that women and children residing in Saudi Arabia as members of a Saudi household (including adult American-citizen women married to Saudi men, adult American-citizen women who are the unmarried daughters of Saudi fathers, and American-citizen boys under the age of 21 who are the sons of Saudi fathers) require the permission of the Saudi male head of their household to leave the country. Married women require their husband’s permission to depart the country, while unmarried women and children require the permission of their father or male guardian. The U.S. Embassy can intercede with the Saudi government to request exit permission for an adult American woman (wife or daughter of a Saudi citizen), but there is no guarantee of success, or even of timely response. Mothers are not able to obtain permission for the departure of minor children without the father’s agreement
If a muslim woman in the United States wants to walk into a bank with her face covered, we can’t complain. It’s cultural, you know. If I want to walk into a bank, Wendy’s, Wal-Mart or Best Buy with MY face covered, I’m getting arrested, even if I AM doing a community service by obscuring my visage.
The $100 million “Cordoba Initiative” is a project to build an Islamic “community center” and mosque two blocks from New York’s ground zero. If proximity to such an emotional location wasn’t bad enough, the butt-wipes that want to build the mosque gave the project a Spanish name. That’s rubbing our noses in the immigration controversy while flicking the finger at 9/11 victims.
We can’t oppose illegal – ILLEGAL – immigration without being called racists! By MEXICANS! Ya know what happens to illegals in Mexico?
— The Mexican government will bar foreigners if they upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics.” How’s that for racial and ethnic profiling?
— If outsiders do not enhance the country’s “economic or national interests” or are “not found to be physically or mentally healthy,” they are not welcome. Neither are those who show “contempt against national sovereignty or security.” They must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care.
— Illegal entry into the country is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years’ imprisonment. Document fraud is subject to fine and imprisonment; so is alien marriage fraud. Evading deportation is a serious crime; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment. Foreigners may be kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country (see, for example, President Obama’s illegal alien aunt — a fugitive from deportation for eight years who is awaiting a second decision on her previously rejected asylum claim).
I understand respecting a country’s culture and traditions IN THAT COUNTRY. I’ve lived in two foreign countries and loved the experience and tried to adhere to the traditions and customs. That’s just the right thing to do.
But here, in the United States, we’ve got our own rules and they should be respected, too. If other folks want to be ugly, they can do it in their own country!