Originally, I was going to call this post “Putting Stereotypes to Rest” but there is one more post about stereotypes I can go with before I can do so. Believe me, that post is going to be very important for me and hopefully for you. Before I go any further, I would like to address a point I missed out in my last post. There is something that the British definitely do better than Americans in my opinion: That is tolerance! When I came to the UK in 1986, I had committed some very serious crimes in the US. I had long hair, an earring and wore native American moccasin boots. My defense that I was simply relaxing after spending four years of my life sporting a crew cut and dressing like everyone else in the service of my country fell on deaf ears. As a result, I was subjected to a lot of intolerance, even at my college dispelling the myth that college students were all liberal lefties. When I came to the UK, I didn’t experience these things. Sure, even the UK has culture fascists but nothing like I had experienced in South New Jersey. Quite a few British students befriended me on account of my dress sense, taste in music and some even for my political views.
That takes me to my first point, not all British people or even students are liberal lefties any more than all Americans are right wing conservatives. Yes, it is true that the two main parties in the US are conservative and more conservative by European standards but not in the way they might think. I also discovered that while Britons are turned off by “flag waving Yanks,” they don’t immediately embrace “flag burning” ones either.
Many Americans resent the rest of the world thinks they are all obese. Yes, obesity is a problem there but it’s also a growing problem in the UK.
While religion is more important to many Americans, most of them do not think with their bibles. Even the ones who live in the bible belt.
Not all British people drink tea.
Racism is a problem in both countries but there are many white Americans who are not racist. On the flip side, not all British view race issues through rose coloured glasses.
I actually wondered whether or not I had a drinking problem until I came to Britain. Going back to my “They’re Really Out to Get Me” post, I got falling down drunk at my college party in the US and would have been more popular if I had got a hold of an uzi and mowed everyone down. When I told British people about this, they thought the American students made much out of nothing. If it had been in the UK, I would not have been the only one that paralytic that day. I know it to be true. It has been said, especially in the Sun, that it is too far the other way here. That every Saturday night you see young women falling down drunk with their panties around their ankles. While drinking is a more accepted way of life in the UK, most British drink responsibly and there are many, like my wife, who are completely teetotal.
Some British people wish their judges would be more like American ones and hand down stricter sentences and not make ridiculous rulings that allow criminals to walk free. However, there are American judges who can be as liberal as what British ones are perceived to be. This too, has given me an idea for a future post, a what if, based on “He Was Weird.”
I could go on here but I think by now people are getting the gist of what I’m trying to convey here. Stereotypes are wrong whether they be racial, gender based or even between Britons and Americans. As for me, stereotypes have caused me some great anxiety at times when I found the exception and that will take me nicely to next week’s post.
Next post: Stereotypes and Asperger’s
To buy He Was Weird, go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406667061&sr=8-1&keywords=he+was+weird