Where are you from? Your English if perfect…

THIS IMAGE IS A LINK to this short article in the Huffington Post. Mostly you'll find the same video as is below and a few comments and links to other articles that are similar.

THIS IMAGE IS A LINK to this short article in the Huffington Post. Mostly you’ll find the same video as is below and a few comments and links to other articles that are similar.

I find myself wanting to rant and rave about this for paragraph after paragraph and, by boldly, clearly and loudly declaring what I think, fix everyone who is wrong. If I let myself go there, I prove that I’m no “better” than the guy in this video who assumes that his perspective of reality is, in very fact, reality. Period.

Our sin nature naturally leans us toward ethnocentrism. Ignorance (intentional or accidental) reinforces that perception that “my people” are the measure by which all other peoples are evaluated. The more like me you are, the more right you are and the more good you are. Bleh!

We can become absolute bigots about bigots, for example.

Anyhow, take the time to watch this and then I’d love to hear what you think? Is this a far criticism through comedy or is this a cheap shot for a laugh?

6 thoughts on “Where are you from? Your English if perfect…

  1. Jbrack says:

    Definately a criticism but makes you think and ultimately the joke is on the “American, American”. I wasn’t sure how this video was going to play out- and it did make me laugh. You only hope in real life someone would have the wit to give the “American, American” that same response!

    • Ruth Hubbard says:

      I laughed at the caricature American, American because it was at least slightly exaggerated. I really laughed when she started with all the British stereotypes based on his cultural heritage. Mostly I thought that this piece did what good comedy does best — makes us laugh, so our guard goes down, and then makes a point.

  2. Andy says:

    I can see and understand your point. But I don’t think the guy is being ethnocentric, I think he is trying to find a connecting point from which to start a conversation and uses an obvious ethnic difference as that connecting point. Okay so far; but he goes into nerd mode and unintentionally insults the gal (and maybe that is your point).

    Now the interesting part is her response, from a comedic point of view, it is a great response and very humorous. She turns the tables on him, and I assume to teach him a cultural lesson, gives back to him what he did to her times 2 (or more). However he is clueless and misses the nature of her response. Maybe that is the lesson here, we do stupid stuff and when we are shown the error of our way, we are totally overwhelmed by it and miss the object lesson.

    • Ruth Hubbard says:

      Andy, I think you are being much to kind to this guy. Of course, we are not able to know his motives, so that’s all a guess. Based on his comments, though, I’d say that he views his culture as normal and all others as clearly other — that’s pretty much ethnocentrism.

      I don’t think he’s intentional. I think he’s ignorant — he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. That is at least part of the jab at American Americans.

  3. Lois Thorpe says:

    Ruth, we’ve been talking about this this week amongst our missionaries. I think that we get asked this question in cross cultural settings, it just sounds different/less racist. “American eat____? I thought they only eat hamburgers and pizza!” Seriously, I’ve been asked that more than once. Ok, so it’s not racist, but living abroad, I’ve had to defend our multi-ethnic population at times. It makes me weary to think of, but I recognize that southern California is a fairly unique place to be raised.

    • Ruth Hubbard says:

      I suppose whenever a person is in a place of being the outsider and the minority, there is a higher probability that they’ll encounter this kind of ignorance. The more connected the world becomes, the less excuses for isolation and ignorance, though. You’re right that growing up in souther California is not the same experience as growing up in rural mid-America or the deep South as it relates to cross-cultural and inter-cultural norms.

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