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Are Americans Just Arrogant, Ignorant or Both??

I should probably go ahead and apologize to my American friends for what I’m about to say. I should; but I won’t. I mean every bleeding word.

Americans, without a doubt, are some of the most obnoxious people on the planet. They are also some of the most gracious, which allows one to forgive their otherwise unsavory behavior. I have overlooked American antics for the last couple of years, because after all, America has been “good” to me? I mean, where else in the world can you get a coupon for a free burger just for befriending some dude on Facebook? I am humble enough to admit that America will reward you generously for your efforts. If you’re willing to work and implement an idea in America, your gains will be phenomenal. But to suggest that this is what makes America the greatest country in the world is absurd.

The problem with most Americans is that they have never been outside of America, and they therefore believe the propagandist hype of the pundits and pastors on cable TV and pulpits. I heard one minister declare that if you opened all the ports in the world and told people to choose where they want to live, America could not sustain the droves of people who would choose this country first.

“America has the best workers in the world!” they proclaim.

“Americans work the hardest.”

“We have the brightest students.”

“We make the best products.”

On, and on, and ON.

Face it America: The hardest workers in this country are the Hispanic and African immigrants who scrimped and saved (and yes, came here illegally) to do the jobs you won’t do. If I’ve seen a “hard working American” this year, that person was not under the age of  52. Most Americans are lazy. The smartest are the Asian kids, either directly off the boat or recent descendants of those off a boat some 30 years ago, who outshine you in school every semester. You would be hard pressed to find a product, any product, proudly baring the label “made in America” on your shelves. Why? Because the best workers are overseas, and corporations don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy of your politicians. Which brings me to my other point: If America is so fabulous, why are American companies sending millions of American jobs abroad? Take a cold hard look at yourselves people. Something does not compute.

It’s great that America enjoys freedom of speech and all that. But as a hybrid Ghanaian, I find myself appalled by what these people feel free to say. The first problem is that the majority of Americans cannot construct a proper sentence, or employ proper grammar; the second is that they cannot formulate a thought worth hearing. Have you listened to these guys debate on CNN? It’s terrifying.

Now you may ask “Malaka, why do you suddenly have your panties in a twist over all things American? If you don’t love it, leave it!” Believe you me, nothing would please me more than to find myself at the departure gate of Hartsfield airport screaming ‘I dey take Yankee give you!!!’ Unfortunately, I find myself in debt to the Federal government, courtesy of 4 years’ worth of student loans. And the Federal government is not a forgiving lender. Which brings me to another point: Why is it SO bloody expensive to get a quality education in this country? Is that why most of its public school students can’t add? Ugh.

The reason I have my panties in a knot is this: I recently confided in an elderly American friend, telling her I plan to relocate to Ghana in the near future. She was incredulous.

“Why would you do that?” she asked.

I explained that it was never my plan to stay here beyond 10 years, I’m homesick, and that as students we are given a mandate to come back to our country and help develop it. I believe in our education system, because it works. Furthermore, no Ghanaian in leadership would get on TV  like Al Gore and instruct teen and preteen students “Not to listen to their parents” because “they know a lot more than their parents do”.

“Well I don’t hear God anywhere in that.” (I’ll talk about that in another post.) She continued by launching into a missive, questioning what work I would/could do in Ghana, questioned our economic stability, etc. She quickly caught herself and admitted that America’s economy was failing and that there were no jobs…but that didn’t stop her from setting out to make me seem like a fool for wanting to live anywhere but here. I didn’t bother to inform her that Ghana had the best performing stock market in the world last year and that there are plenty of opportunities for personal fiscal expansion if you can raise the capital. This concept would be lost on an American with a savior complex who still sees Africa as a dark continent with pot-bellied children, flies dancing on their scabby sculls to complete her prejudiced vision of my beloved continent.

If you ask any African who has been here 10 years or more, they will reservedly admit to you that America is not all that it’s cracked up to be. From a distance, it’s shiny and glittery, but upon closer inspection this land is naught but fool’s gold. Some have been here working for 20 or 30 years, and all they have to show for it is a used Honda and 3 bedroom house that the bank may still own. Tell me, where in America will someone offer me a lift, no strings attached, while I’m walking in the hot sun? Whose house can I just show up at uninvited; and being uninvited, will the occupant stop all they are doing to make me feel welcome? Can America boast of some of the most disciplined and respectful children you will ever meet, where this behavior is the rule and not the exception?

And show me one kenkey seller!!!


I’ll say it again. I dey take Yankee give you.

This article has 20 comments

  1. lollie

    The reason why Americans and Europeans think they are the best in the world is because all we africans want to do is go to the promised land where the roads are paved with gold. instead telling folks back home that life abroad is hard,you become a second class citizen and there is no sense of community. we swap community for isolation so that we can have a good life?

  2. Malaka

    I completely agree. If I could, I would get on a bull horn and tell the whole continent “Stay back!!!” But you know we Africans, we all want to taste before we believe.

  3. David S.

    I was once in a debate about whether America was the best country in the world, and my first question was: At what? What exactly do you have to do to become the best country in the world? Have religious freedom? Win the world cup? Have the best educational system? The best healthcare? The strongest economy? The best tasting food? The liveliest music? The happiest citizens? Because the concept of ‘best country’ has more subcategories than the Oscars. And America doesn’t win in any of the categories I just mentioned.

    And that’s the bottom line. America, like any other country in the world has it’s strengths and it’s weaknesses. It’s greatest strength is that if you are willing to kill yourself working, or possibly compromise on all of your principles, then it’s a great place to move up economically and build your personal wealth.

    But with that one great strength comes many weaknesses the greatest of which is the arrogance of the people that have been here the longest. The irony of America is that throughout it’s history, the people who have made the country great have not been the 5th and 6th generation Americans. It’s been the immigrants, both those who came here voluntarily, and those who were dragged here against their will. I don’t think there has ever been a period in America’s history where so-called ‘real’ Americans contributed more to the country than it’s 1st and 2nd generation immigrants. I believe that but for it’s immigrants, America’s economy would be in the state that the Japanese economy is currently in.

    When ‘real’ Americans ask me why I am here, I tell them that it’s because at this stage in my life I have a lot to gain from being in a country full of lazy people with more wealth than sense. And I remind them that when everything is said and done, they need people like me here more than I need to be here. Maybe one day when I start blogging again, I will elaborate on why I am still here, in spite of the fact that I really don’t believe this is the best country in the world in more than a handful of categories.

  4. Malaka

    Which was going to bring me to my next question: Where is your blog? Because you’re too snarky for words. Love it!

    • David S.

      Chale, time oohhh time. The time to write is just not there these days. I used to blog about 3-4 years ago, but my blog got shut down when yahoo decided to shut down the 360 blogging community.

  5. wakeme2morow

    America = a/ll /m/en/ e/mpuric r/igged i/gnorant c/ontrolling a/ssholes.
    oh well ignorance is bliss until your in the soup or lacking soup

  6. Matthieu

    Fear not! Some of us Americans agree with you. That is why I am going to teach in Rwanda this Fall. I would much rather live in Africa, where people are hospitable, warm, generous, kind, and generally very well-behaved, than in a country where some people are very rich, but most people are ignorant, rude, loud, and brash!

  7. Malaka

    LOLOL!!! Oh Matthieu. You’re in for the shock of your life. I don’t want to ruin the surprise.


  8. Mark

    I am american and i am embarrassed by the mentality of America

  9. twew blew

    I’ve travelled to many countries searching for more sincere, polite and conscientious people but it’s been my experience that people are the same wherever you go. America has a large population of ignorant brainwashed people but no more per capita than anywhere else. For many people it isn’t necessary to know a lot or care to. I think the author of this rant is home sick and will return to his native land when he is ready.

    I hate it that I cant count on finding a conscientious professional that I can trust no matter how hard I search but that is true no matter where you are. America is better and worse than everywhere else. and that’s why I haven’t stayed away permanently.

  10. Miguel

    You’re right. I’ve been without money or lodging overseas (europe, latin america) and people have been kind enough to help, give, or even a place to sleep. Not so in the USA. For those who say it is not, have you traveled abroad? This does not mean individuals are like this, but on a societal level.

  11. R.Douglas Wills

    I am American, and I am embarrassed by those who claim to be American and then profess to be embarrassed by “the mentality of America.” Perhaps you would be more proud of Brazil, where a recent poll revealed a significant majority believe that a woman’s attire can justify rape? Or maybe Russia, where homosexuality is vilified (and not just by the government…). Then again, maybe Saudi Arabia, with its “progressive” attitudes toward women would be a home to be proud of.

    Of course, the USA is not perfect. No rational person would ever suggest this. And, of course, anyone is entitled to their own opinion about America or anything else for that matter. But do not presume to think your opinion is the absolute truth, unless you can provide objective, irrefutable, overwhelming evidence that it is. Good luck with that.

    By the way, we are not all lazy and stupid. I have a B.S. in mechanical engineering, a M.S. in biomedical engineering, and an M.D. I am currently employed as an orthopaedic surgeon, and I do indeed work very hard, as I make positive differences in the lives of my patients.

    • Cristiane

      You can’t use what you wrote about Brasil because it was not true if you check your resources you suppose to know that!
      I agree the fact any country is perfect and you can’t generalize all people from a country as lazy.
      The issue here is simple, it’s unbelievable to us, foreign, as a country which speaks of itself as the most important and best country in the world, doesn’t have a public, real free no costs, health care or universities? Why have so many white younger people on the streets asking for help? Why only see Blacks, Hispanics, Indians or Asians working on work force jobs? Why only see those people on public transportation like Camden NJ station? Why those white younger, documented and English speaker-writer-reader homeless do not work on Mac Donald’s, IHOP, Dunkin Donuts or like housekeeper or nannies or governments departments ? Why American professors speak in their classes statements like “… Another countries wants to be like us…” Or “… We are most important country in the world and all business market follows us..” Or “… We, Americans, have the best country in the world to live”… ?
      I can record every week few statements from professors and students saying that United States is most something in the world or there is no other best country in the world to live, what makes me to think how worst can be the world…
      I’ve been here for almost for years, I paid 3 times more a College education than a American citizen, I’m investing here in place of my country, I work hard to keep my obligations and grades, but my effort is not enough for me to have respect by your country. Some of you see me like thief, I’m “stealing” their opportunity, another I’m intruder in their country.
      Of course, you should be asking why I’m here?! I’m here because unfortunately because I want a better job and my country has great job positions, but it’s necessary bachelor, MBA, fluent English, international experience and at least 5 years of experience, and I don’t have a fluent English and my English classes from Canada isn’t enough, must be American English, so I’m here attending the second college and listening almost everyday Americans bad mouthing foreigners in my face.
      And we, foreigners, have asked if Americans are ignorant or arrogant because we would like to understand why a not Native American people forget they were colonized as any other country in the Americas and not as owner of the land like natives? Why these same people look us like a intruder, snubbed and humiliated foreigners if one day at some point in history they were also?!
      I deep want to get it?!

  12. Curtis Scieszka

    In the face of everything that has occurred, Ghana has been a fortunate nation.
    This is a truth which is hard to be argued on.

  13. Lu Benard

    Hi Malaka,

    On the subject of jobs being outsourced, that’s a purely profit margin calculation on the part of corporations. It has nothing to do with American people’s work ethic.

    I work in the corporate world and I usually see some people in their cubicles scrolling through their Facebook/LinkedIn pages and what not. Yes, people do indeed slack off, but that phenomenon isn’t isolated to the states, people slack off anywhere you go.

    On arrogance, yes I do concur to a certain extent. Nigerians also do get a bum rap for being arrogant and “in your face”. I think it’s just cultural differences.

    Subtle racial discrimination…. absolutely. No need to explicate. Countless articles and blogs have been written ad nauseam about US’s style of structural racism.

    Greatest country in the world? Eh! Maybe ONE of the greatest, second to Russia…geographically ofcourse.

    Best country in the world? That’s all relative. People’s perceptions are governed by their experiences, in most cases, and their values incalcated by the society they grew up in(again, not in all cases). So if you where brought up to believe money, and consumption are the best things in the world and can bring happiness, then by all means you’d strive to get as much money and stuff as possible. If you live in the country with the most stuff and money , you live in the best country in the world….FOR YOU. If you favor a much more egalitarian existence then no this country is not the best country in the world…. FOR YOU.

    I’m terribly homesick too, and I’m stricken by nostalgia. 2014 will be my ninth year in the states and I’m ready to go back home. I have learned alot from this country; I’ve had some good and some awful experiences along the way, but such is life.

    Stay strong sister.

  14. Ashley

    I’ve had my full of Americans. I am a person of mixed ancestry (European/Asian) and have lived in many different parts of the world. I can confidently say Malaka that you’ve left out a very important third quality. Not only are the majority of Ametucsns arrogant and ignorant they are in the main exceptionally racist (the subtle kind is the most perverse). Trust me I know I’ve lived in South Africa under Apartheid. Don’t let the image if a black Obama fool you.

  15. Karl

    The problem with people who write posts like this one, is that they come to the u s thinking it is going to be the best place on Earth, and then are massively disappointed. Of course the u.s is not perfect, no place is heaven on Earth. Saying most Americans can not speak a proper sentence of English is complete B.S, and people in Ghana speak English better? Come to north west England where I live now, they make Americans look like shakespear in comparison. America is not the best country on earth no place is, americans are not more racist than any other nation on earth, americans can be arrogant so can the French or the Italians or the greeks. Every country has ups and downs. It is silly to generalize a country as massive as the u.s. Also, after going back to Ghana u will start to remeber the good things about the u.s.You are dreaming now of your homeland but after you get back and remember all the problems there, you will feel differently about the u.s. also, the u.s is the only super power on earth at the moment of course they will be a bit arrogant, I’m sure the romans were or the spanish and Brits at the height of their power. I’m sure Ghana is a great country ans I understand completely why you want to go home, but don’t just generalize all of us Americans. The u.s is not a bad country, a lot of things are top notch and the best in the world. The customer service is unbeatable, Americans are very efficient, paper work is a breeze compared to the rest of the world. You will see when you go back home, and yes my punctuation isn’t perfect on here, I’m on a phone, don’t blame it on all americans.

    • Someonee

      Every country has their ups and down, but Americans stand out most for being arrogant and ignorant people. I’m not from the U.S. I’m your ally Australian and a lot of people feel this way here too as well as other from other country. There is something wrong with the way Americans are thinking. American never back down when a truth is told that they don’t like. Your comment is another example, still trying to talk yourself up…

  16. Someboooody

    Not all, but most of them are arrogant 90% of the time I talk to or meet an American. I’ve spoken + met over 20 Americans. That’s a good enough sample for me.

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