Stereotypes

Do all Canadians think Americans are out of touch with the world?

Questy Roadtrips to Canada 2001 Ontario and 2002 PEII read the following statement in an outline forum last week, "As a Canadian, I often feel that Americans are out of touch with the world around them." It was stuck in my head all weekend long.

My daughter was with me the weekend and I asked her about a family roadtrip we took to Canada in 2002, and she immediately recalled the same incident I was thinking about. One exchange with a Canadian that stands out in my mind.  We were at a Canadian historic site and the volunteer said she was a school teacher. She asked my children were they local to the area, and where did they go to school. They replied, "we don't live around here, we live in Delaware."  Her reply was, "Is that in North Carolina?"

Living on the east coast of the United States, we have been to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., many times. As a family I took my kids on one roadtrip where we visited Ottawa and Toronto, and another where we visited the North Atlantic, driving through New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia.

While in Canada I compared historic sites and their significance to Canadian government, to similar places in the United States.  While we in Ottawa we visited the Canadian Parliament. While in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, we visited the historic sites of the Canadian Articles of Confederation.

An online exchange with an angry Canadian

I vividly recall an online conversation with a Canadian in 2004 where the question was asked, "Are you aware that 85% of Canadians think that the US is partly or fully responsible for the 9/11 incident? What can you say in your defense?"

I asked for a reference to a specific poll that supports the claim, but never saw one. Another statement was made during the conversation, " Are you aware that a recent public opinion poll in Europe has named US and Israel the main threats to world peace."

Prejudice is a matter of more than just black or white

American Eagle in black and white

I am not trying to start any discussions on the history of prejudice or racism. 

As the objective of the Tao of Questy is to stretch your brain to see things in a different perspective, I am looking at this topic from my own personal perspective and observations.  I am just trying to give some perspective to the many people  who are arguing simply for the sake of arguing. 

Prejudice is relative.

I have used many words and phrases as a young adult that today would be considered polically incorrect. I grew up in a very ethnically diverse area where people telling jokes that focused on cultural stereotypes was common. I was so culturally biased by my environment that I honestly did not understand that some of things I said, taken in a different way, were meant to be derogatory.

On the other side of the spectrum I was once accused of not being a "white man" and called a stupid guinea. The person making the remarks did not know me. His remarks were directed at me simply because I had an Italian last name. The person making the remarks was a bit frustrated because I did not react to his attempt to insult me.

Perhaps my own experiences taught me that tolerance, as well as hate, is something that we learn over time.

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