American ignorance unmatched compared to the rest of the world

Kristin Marthaler

Kristin Marthaler

Are Americans as dumb as they look? Yup, sure are. Our culture knows where the best pizza is, how to weasel a buddy out of money during poker and where to hit the best bars. But that’s where the buck stops.

The average citizen doesn’t know a thing about other countries. What was that? You know about the war in Iraq? No, you don’t. Who are we fighting now? What is our sole purpose there right now? What is the major killer of humans in Africa? AIDS? Wrong, malaria.

America, compared to other countries, is as dense as it comes when dealing with international knowledge. Even our international Web sites focus on America.

Former president Bill Clinton recently spoke about American ignorance. I think he ought to be listened to for once. Taking my last semester of classes, I have found how much I really need to learn out there, as well as the other 10 people in my classes. And if we are ‘well rounded journalists,’ I would hate to see what the rest of society is like.

We were asked in international media class to name five countries we know the most news about. Each person came up with about two. And that was only because we felt we knew Princess Diana and about the war going on in Iraq.

Well there’s more to the world than that. So I beg you to crawl out of your little boxes and see what there really is out there. People from Kenya don’t live in little huts, not all Australians are as adventurous as Steve Irwin and definitely not everyone likes the U.S.

We took land and conquered and then we shut the door behind us. Well, let us open that door because we are perceived as a country whose citizens are stuck on themselves, rude and incompetent. How does that make you feel?

That kind of pisses me off if you ask me. I thought I was very well-rounded; however, I’m finding out it’s completely different. Our society may be a leader in certain things, but intelligence of other countries isn’t one of them.

So grab a newspaper or go online. Pick a country and find out something about that country that intrigues you. And follow it. So next time you are sitting at a table with an international student, you know what they are talking about.

#1.883906:340998890.jpg:Marthaler, Kristin.jpg:Kristin Marthaler, Beyond the Babble: