I know the feeling. I live in an area that has dramatically changed since the 80s and 90s when manufacturing was booming. I see the homeless around here getting change (and bills, mind you) all the time. I see people helping them find their way around. I see people just sitting to talk to those who suffer from addiction (often brought on from a life of easy money in factory jobs with no education, then being kicked to the streets when they became obsolete)… We are often sold this narrative of the tough streets filled with awful people, but I can honestly say that I’ve seen much more good than bad out there.
The bad people make the news; the good people make the days, weeks, and lives of those who they touch. We might not all know their faces and names, but we appreciate all the good that good people do.
That’s because those are niche videos that people would only go to for help. Viral videos have people of all kinds watching. If you really want to see how stupid some people are then read public Facebook comments. The Facebook page “I fucking love science” posted something about the new Rover going to Mars. Its a rover being sent and paid for by ESA and ROSCOSMOS with minor help from CSA even. NASA has nothing to do with it in the slightest yet most of the comments people were bitching about their American tax dollars being wasted. Almost no one even read the article. I don’t know why I read Facebook comments, they just piss me off
I think most adults say those things in a joking manner, at least to some extent. I know I love to call my Canadian friends hosers, and make jokes about Canada being like our lovable retarded cousin of the north. They come back with quips about how I oughta go shoot up a convenience store because I didn’t get enough salt on my super-sized french fries.
The problem comes when children hear these statements, and think they are real values of their parents and teachers, and then start parroting it as a virtue. Well, that and stupid adults who actually believe all that crap.
I think the assumption comes from the locations they have exposure to in America. Some regions are full of wonderful people, some are full of inconsiderate idiots, with a mix of the opposite in basically all areas, though it really depends on the region. There are many more people in America than Canada, but to be honest, they are neither right nor wrong. Another point to consider is that while there is a lot of ignorance in certain regions, there is also a lot of hospitality in many of those regions. Ignorance of the world doesn’t make people any less friendly or considerate.
Point of view from a Canadian who has lived stateside a long time.
I was born and raised in Canada. I have lived in several parts of the US, visited many more. I’m currently living in Australia.
I will offer you some wisdom here. Whether you want to believe it or not, is up to you.
Americans in general are pretty fucking ignorant. More ignorant than a developed nation’s population should be. Yes, it is wrong to paint every American with that brush, because it’s not always true.
Every place you go, there will be nice people, and there will be bad people. What changes is the type of nice people you encounter.
The whole Southern Hospitality stereotype is very much true… If you are like them. If you are different in a meaningful way, that hospitality changes rather quickly. I’m pure white, but because of my ethnicity, I tan really well, and when I have a dark tan, I look Middle Eastern. The dramatic shift in attitudes towards me, was unbelievable. Places that I went to as a white man no longer treated me the same. Understand? The same people that I encountered before, treated me like total garbage after, simply because I had darker skin.
If you dig down into a person, and share your beliefs about things with each other, you’ll quickly find how unfriendly most of the US actually is. The US is only superficially friendly.
The point is… If they see you as one of their own, you’re golden. If not, then… Good luck.