Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Real Americans

america, american, liberal, conservative, christian, atheist,

It seriously pisses me off when someone uses the phrase "real Americans". Seriously. Pisses. Me. Off.

You know why? Even though I am a citizen of the United States, even though I pay taxes, vote and have even done my civic duty as a juror, I am not a "real American". Chances are, if you are reading this blog, you aren't either, because atheists aren't "real Americans". Liberals aren't "real Americans". Educated elites aren't "real Americans". Basically, unless you thought Bush was the greatest thing ever and are convinced Obama's government death squads are out to kill grandma and rip your baby right from your body, you're not a "real American".

Newsflash to the Religious Right:

American citizens are real Americans. It doesn't matter where you live in the US, we're all real Americans. From New York City to San Francisco and all the way out to Honolulu, we're all real Americans. Gay, straight, just don't care- real Americans. Married, divorced, cohabiting - real Americans. Liberal, conservative, green party, Ron Paul- real Americans. Prolife, prochoice, vegetarian, avid hunter- real American. AK-47 owner, pacifist or just plain scared of guns- real American. Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Heathen, agnostic, deist, theist or atheist- real American.

That's right, I am a real American. I, a liberal, vegetarian, prochoice, feminist atheist am a real American. And so are you*.

*Unless you're French or Canadian or Iranian or something, in which case I'd like to know if you're ever accused of not being a "real Frenchperson" or a "real Canadian" or a "real Iranian".


  1. Actually, I'm both French ... and Canadian. ;) (Québec. If that hadn't been given away already.)

    And actually, I can't speak for the rest of Canada as I've never been there and really don't pay attention to local news or media (American at heart, see), there's a very real and tangible undercurrent of "citizen purity" (I can't find a better wording for it), or as they say it over here, "pur laine" ("pure wool" – translate that however you wanna).

    It's a bit different, though – whereas "unTrue Americans" are classified as such because of their political beliefs or socio-economical status or whatever, here in Qc it's basically how, well, French you are. If you speak too many languages, you're not "pur laine". If you hang around with ethnicities, you're not "pur laine". If you go to English school or anything else that isn't majoritarily French, you're not "pur laine".

    At least, that's how I see it as being around here. I may be wrong – I honestly don't get out much. But the media and what you see and hear from people does speak of something of the sort.

    Anyways, maybe you and other Americans should see not being a "True American" as a badge of honor, if being a True American signifies being a Republican, Christian, pro-gun, anti-abortion, generally bigoted idiot these days. (Or such is what I gleam from Faux News, known as the haven for True Americans.)

  2. Right! To be a Real American you would have to have the I.Q. of a typical beauty pageant contestant, such as a younger Sarah Palin.

    But, seriously, thank you for pointing out who the "Real Americans" are. It is people with under-functioning or no brain at all.

    I decided recently that when I badmouth Americans, which is the norm in Canada, I will qualify my statements with the expression "right-wing."

    That's right. They're the idiots. The right-wing Americans. Unfortunately, the rest of the world thinks YOU'RE ALL LIKE THAT.

  3. I was going to say there is a bit of this pure citizen thing going on in France. It seems like it has made its way to French Canada as well.

    I answered No to all the questions.

  4. I don't know about real American, but I've often been accused of being No True Scotsman...

    Either way, I was with you right up until I found out you're a vegetarian. Get outta my country!

  5. I know, the rest of the world thinks we're all freakin' nuts. On livemocha, where I practice my horrible Arabic* on very patient Middle Easterners, they say things that make me very ashamed of how we come off to the rest of the world. (They're not being insulting, it's just what they see on tv- our tv.)

    All I can do about it is just be me, and hopefully they'll carry around the idea that not every single American is crazy.

    *I shocked somebody half to death last week. I have no idea what I actually said, but he insisted on listening to me say it correctly about 20 times, and then warned me not to say it that other way every again.

  6. Hey, I didn't know you were vegetarian! Good for you! (:

    You know how it is, citizenship isn't the issue for them. You have to be in agreement with their version of American history. You know the one where everything is founded on the Judeo-Christian scriptures and Jesus communicates directly to the president? Nice.

  7. Are you a " real Canadian" doesn't really apply to Canadian culture.

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we are a mosaic and not a melting pot?

    The closest that you'll come to hear anyone question how ' much of anything are you" is in Quebec.

    How french a person is while they live in Quebec, is a very big deal to many Quebecers.

  8. You seem to have a number of Canadian readers, PF. More than me, ha!

    Maybe you're more Canadian than American when it comes down to it... let me teach you the national anthem.

    "Oh Canada, our home and native land ..."


  9. i was once told - in all seriousness - by a really, really moronic person, that "Native Americans are like African Americans - they all get "welfare", they are all unemployed, they aren't "real" Americans, and they should all go back where they came from"

    i just walked away before i got any stupider.

  10. Are conservatives still strutting the "real American," jargon? I thought that was a little dated after the shock of 9/11 wore off.

  11. I've seen plenty of bumper stickers informing me I'm not a real Australian because I don't drive a ute (pickup truck). There's plenty of things that get decried as Un-Australian in the tabloid press or TV, but that seems to be the extent of what makes a real Australian.

  12. Joé, I think the best idiomatic transloation of pur laine, given your description, is "dyed-in-the-wool." A person who is totally, completely, through-and-through X, and had no room for other-than-X in his or her mind.

    Yech. American or Canadian, one who would take such a thing as a compliment is a person to be pitied.

    I also answered no to all questions. Though I wonder if "True Americans (TM)" would answer differently on the president-related questions now that a Demoncrat is in office.

    Ha, PF. If I learn a foreign language (better than I now know French anyhow) it will be Spanish, 'cause I have a couple Mexican-American inlaws who are cool. Arabic seems really difficult, and I don't see why I'd want to learn it unless I were a) a diplomat, b) an admin at an oil company, or c) considering going into the military. Or had Arabic-speaking inlaws, I suppose.

    Granamyr, you have hit on it. The thing I am perennially angry about. People conflating things larger than themselves--God, as I've discussed, America in this case--with their own personal whims. Then getting their peer groups to enforce those whims as The Will Of X, where X is one of the abovementioned things. Gaah! *goes off and drinks beer to quell rage*

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  14. If we're not real Americans, does that mean we can stop paying taxes?

  15. I'll add in from what I've seen above about Canadians. Over here on the west coast there doesn't appear to be any "true Canadian" bull flying around.
    The only time that I can remember that that sort of idea even cropped up was when Ujjal Dosanjh became the Premier of BC (he was born in India, moved to Canada when he was 21 back in '68 and then served in the Provincial Legislature for 10 years before becoming Premier in 2000) though I may simply be mistaking it for racism.


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