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Anti-Americanism in Australia

I was reading the Yanks Down Under Forum yesterday and noticed a thread that was started with a someone asking if Australians look down on Americans or not? From what I have noticed living here is that I have experienced much more anti-Americanism in America than I have ever experienced here. I have always maintained that the biggest anti-Americans can be found in America itself. 

However, with that said there is a segment of Australia that is anti-American just like in other areas of the world I have been too because it is en vogue and the fashionable thing to do now a days.  The usual stuff I see around here is people bitching about the US government and passing stereotypes about Americans when they don’t think Americans are around.  However, in Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth I actually had random people come up to me who heard my American accent and asked if I was an American or not and then go into anti-Bush tirades. 

I’m not one to pretend to be a Canadian, so if someone asks I always respond that I’m an American and if that means I have to put up with a few seriously intellectually challenged people every once and awhile so be it.  I would say the guy in Adelaide was the worst because he was complaining about Bush, American greed, multi-national corporations, 9/11 conspiracies, and all the usual leftist talking points and here he was a hippie dressed in freaking skirt who smelled.  Really it was a kilt but it was just really strange.  These guys piss me off, but my wife and I just ignore them and get away from them because I don’t want to get in any fights with them and face getting deported over idiots like that guy in Adelaide. 

This comment on the Yanks Down Under forum really got me laughing:

I have one really funny story, though – My husband and I went to see Casino Royale when it first came out and the theatre was completely packed. We were seated next to a couple and I sat next to an Australian woman that just talked…and talked…and talked. I generally just smiled and didn’t say anything and then the lights went down and the previews and commercials started.

A commercial for the Nike iPod came on and a woman’s voice with a distinct American accent, started talking about how many kilometers she had run that day.

The woman leaned over and said in the most condescending, self righteous tone, "I didn’t know that stupid Americans even knew what a kilometer was!" Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle…

I looked at her straight in the eye and said, "Well, actually some of us do…."

The blood drained from here face and she looked like she had just taken a fastball in the stomach. She started apologizing profusely and back-pedaled as fast as she could. I told her not to worry about it several times, but she was clearly mortified that she didn’t know that an American was on the receiving end of her comments.

This is the type of stereotypical comments you hear over here when people don’t think there is any Americans around.  It isn’t just American either.  There has been a number of times where I felt uncomfortable with comments made about the Aborigines from Australians along with other ethnic groups.  Australians do not have the political correctness bug like we have in America where the biggest race baiters in the country Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are allowed to go on TV for a week and demagogue the Imus story.  Imus’s comments would barely raise an eyebrow down here while race baiters like Jackson and Sharpton simply do not exist. 

Additionally the media here is horribly anti-American in my opinion and I have just simply stopped watching it because it was so bad.  The TV news is very tabloid like.  The papers are for the most okay at least here in the Melbourne area at least, with the Age newspaper being the anti-American liberal paper and the Australian being the more conservative pro-US paper. 

However with all that said, I have done a lot of traveling down here and I have met a lot of people from across Australia.  For some reason it seems like I meet the coolest people in caravan parks.  Anyway I have found the vast majority of Australians have treated me very well and I have been invited to more barbeques than I can remember.  So if you come down here and you are American, for the most part if you remember the golden rule and treat people the way you expect to be treated, Australians will treat you in kind.