Hating Americans isn't a new thing. As a traveler, it's kind of something you just get used to. I try to not get offended and to understand the viewpoint of the natives.
The thing is, we Americans can be annoying. We are everywhere. We're in politics, cinema, television, internet, and Twitter. We are a force that can not be escaped. That and the majority of our citizens' lack of knowledge about the rest of the world can make us a bit much to handle.
I think that's fair enough. But some reactions Obama's visit to Rio de Janeiro really pissed me off. Hell, I blocked my husband's cousin from my facebook because of it. Yes, I'm that mature like that. I just can't handle someone saying that my president should "F**k off" because he "ruined a peaceful Sunday for Cariocas."
I'm sorry but when the hell is anything peaceful in this city?!
It brought me back to one of my first bad experiences with a Carioca. I had finally started being able to have decent conversations in Portuguese and was excited to go out with a group of friends and friends of friends.
Imagine my surprise when some dude showed up wearing a shirt that said, instead of I heart NY, I *two planes flying towards the twin towers* NY.
I almost threw my chopp at the bastard's head but that's considered alcohol abuse in this country.
Instead, I finally managed to enter into a civilized conversation with him. How very British of me. I asked him if he had ever been to the US. Of course he hadn't because he doesn't like the US.
Amazing how that works out. It seems totally acceptable to declare your distaste for my country without ever visiting. Fine. Benefit of the doubt.
He said he also hated Americans. I informed him that I am American. He said I seem ok. I asked, do you know any other Americans? No he didn't because he doesn't like Americans.
See the problem with this line of thought?! You hate a country and a people based on ZERO personal knowledge of them.
I like to call these people Hater Sheep. They hate because they think that it's cool. They follow someone that they once met who actually knew why they hated something and followed. It's fairly common due to the fact that passionate people with strong beliefs are quite magnetic.
I think it's fair to say that I did not like this man, this hater sheep. At the very least he should have had some sort of political standpoint that would justify such open distaste as to wear a shirt like that. He had nothing. NOTHING.
Funny thing is, he reminded me exactly of the type of American he supposedly hates.
And I saw a lot of this with Obama's visit. I actually got a phone call from a close friend complaining that she was in traffic because of my president. I informed her that she was in traffic because of all the damn Brazilian lookie loos and the lack of organization in this city. She said she couldn't disagree with my logic.
And because of my president.
As pointed out by Mr. Rant, many visitors have come and caused chaos in this city. Many visitors who are openly guilty of far more than Obama*. Did they get crap? Nope.
Then again, it's only cool to hate the USA. It's like a Chanel Suit, never goes out of style.
I'm putting out an ad. It goes like this: USA seeking new scapegoat for world. Please contact us at Givemeafreakingbreak.com or haveyourforgottenaboutNorthKorea.biteme.org
*note my lack of saying the US as there is considerable question about our guilt in reference to many many things.