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Anti-British Sentiment

Anti-British Sentiment

Old Mar 29th 2007, 4:30 am
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Default Anti-British Sentiment

Hey, first time here - great to find a group of expats at last! I'm 17, moved between England and the USA about...8 times now - crazy right?! Currently I have ended up just outside of Washington DC, pretty nice place. And, of course, I suffer from being neither here nor there. hah!

Anyway onto my main topic. I have noticed quite a lot of anti-British sentiment within my school/area and was wondering if anyone else is experiencing some degree of discrimination? Usually I dont really pick up on these sorts of things because I'm used to "being the outsider" before finally settling in.

But recently I have found myself educating people that British people generally do not own slaves, have plantations in their yard/garden, or continue to colonize Africa as a hobby. Once I 'educate' people that England actually abolished Slavery before America and did so without a civil war, their views change completely. The idea that Britain is the root of all the world's problems seems to be preached from textbooks, lecturers and teachers in general. Maybe this is just the school I'm in (very liberal), but this new body of thought just seems incredibly extreme and ends up closing doors for me.

Anyone else experiencing this sort of thing?
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Old Mar 29th 2007, 4:32 am
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Default Re: Anti-British Sentiment

Originally Posted by CJMorris View Post
Hey, first time here - great to find a group of expats at last! I'm 17, moved between England and the USA about...8 times now - crazy right?! Currently I have ended up just outside of Washington DC, pretty nice place. And, of course, I suffer from being neither here nor there. hah!

Anyway onto my main topic. I have noticed quite a lot of anti-British sentiment within my school/area and was wondering if anyone else is experiencing some degree of discrimination? Usually I dont really pick up on these sorts of things because I'm used to "being the outsider" before finally settling in.

But recently I have found myself educating people that British people generally do not own slaves, have plantations in their yard/garden, or continue to colonize Africa as a hobby. Once I 'educate' people that England actually abolished Slavery before America and did so without a civil war, their views change completely. The idea that Britain is the root of all the world's problems seems to be preached from textbooks, lecturers and teachers in general. Maybe this is just the school I'm in (very liberal), but this new body of thought just seems incredibly extreme and ends up closing doors for me.

Anyone else experiencing this sort of thing?
Hello and welcome to BE
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Old Mar 29th 2007, 5:02 am
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Default Re: Anti-British Sentiment

Originally Posted by CJMorris View Post
Hey, first time here - great to find a group of expats at last! I'm 17, moved between England and the USA about...8 times now - crazy right?! Currently I have ended up just outside of Washington DC, pretty nice place. And, of course, I suffer from being neither here nor there. hah!

Anyway onto my main topic. I have noticed quite a lot of anti-British sentiment within my school/area and was wondering if anyone else is experiencing some degree of discrimination? Usually I dont really pick up on these sorts of things because I'm used to "being the outsider" before finally settling in.

But recently I have found myself educating people that British people generally do not own slaves, have plantations in their yard/garden, or continue to colonize Africa as a hobby. Once I 'educate' people that England actually abolished Slavery before America and did so without a civil war, their views change completely. The idea that Britain is the root of all the world's problems seems to be preached from textbooks, lecturers and teachers in general. Maybe this is just the school I'm in (very liberal), but this new body of thought just seems incredibly extreme and ends up closing doors for me.

Anyone else experiencing this sort of thing?
Not found it here, but the majority don't know there is life outside of the US. Other than Iraq, which they are trying to fix.

Welcome to the site.


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Last edited by evoal2003; Mar 29th 2007 at 5:03 am. Reason: just to add
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Old Mar 29th 2007, 5:21 am
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Default Re: Anti-British Sentiment

17-year-old "educating" the natives - yes, I can see that would go down well...
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Old Mar 29th 2007, 5:58 am
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Default Re: Anti-British Sentiment

Originally Posted by CJMorris View Post
Hey, first time here - great to find a group of expats at last! I'm 17, moved between England and the USA about...8 times now - crazy right?! Currently I have ended up just outside of Washington DC, pretty nice place. And, of course, I suffer from being neither here nor there. hah!

Anyway onto my main topic. I have noticed quite a lot of anti-British sentiment within my school/area and was wondering if anyone else is experiencing some degree of discrimination? Usually I dont really pick up on these sorts of things because I'm used to "being the outsider" before finally settling in.

But recently I have found myself educating people that British people generally do not own slaves, have plantations in their yard/garden, or continue to colonize Africa as a hobby. Once I 'educate' people that England actually abolished Slavery before America and did so without a civil war, their views change completely. The idea that Britain is the root of all the world's problems seems to be preached from textbooks, lecturers and teachers in general. Maybe this is just the school I'm in (very liberal), but this new body of thought just seems incredibly extreme and ends up closing doors for me.

Anyone else experiencing this sort of thing?
Welcome to BE I lived outside D.C I loved it so am jealous!
Maybe it's because these are your peers and you are different so you are an easy target to them?

I have never experienced that quite the opposite, once I get to know someone sometimes they take the mickey slightly around 4th July but it has always been good humored.
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Old Mar 29th 2007, 2:56 pm
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Default Re: Anti-British Sentiment

I find that I always fit in well after so much moving around. Last time round was 3 years ago in Virginia and the most I heard was Americans desperate to hear me pronounce words like "straw" etc hah. When the 4th of July became nearly as big as Christmas for me, I knew I had settled in pretty well.

Not sure what changed this time moving to DC. From what i've heard here it seems like its just my school. Everything seems completely different when I go down south or north to Boston/Mass. America is such a huge country just moving states has alot of changes in itself.
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Old Mar 29th 2007, 3:10 pm
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Default Re: Anti-British Sentiment

Originally Posted by CJMorris View Post
I find that I always fit in well after so much moving around. Last time round was 3 years ago in Virginia and the most I heard was Americans desperate to hear me pronounce words like "straw" etc hah. When the 4th of July became nearly as big as Christmas for me, I knew I had settled in pretty well.

Not sure what changed this time moving to DC. From what i've heard here it seems like its just my school. Everything seems completely different when I go down south or north to Boston/Mass. America is such a huge country just moving states has alot of changes in itself.

At such a tender age, perhaps you might find the teen forum more to your liking. There at least you can share your school stories with your contemporaries and see if they encounter the same difficulties.
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Old Mar 29th 2007, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: Anti-British Sentiment

My wife was taught about how evil the British are and mentioned that her education included many of the things you talk about, she's in her early 30's and went to school in a suburb of Chicago so it's been around a while and probably depends on the school district and the books they use etc. Despite all this she still married me.
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Old Mar 29th 2007, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: Anti-British Sentiment

Originally Posted by CJMorris View Post
Hey, first time here - great to find a group of expats at last! I'm 17, moved between England and the USA about...8 times now - crazy right?! Currently I have ended up just outside of Washington DC, pretty nice place. And, of course, I suffer from being neither here nor there. hah!

Anyway onto my main topic. I have noticed quite a lot of anti-British sentiment within my school/area and was wondering if anyone else is experiencing some degree of discrimination? Usually I dont really pick up on these sorts of things because I'm used to "being the outsider" before finally settling in.

But recently I have found myself educating people that British people generally do not own slaves, have plantations in their yard/garden, or continue to colonize Africa as a hobby. Once I 'educate' people that England actually abolished Slavery before America and did so without a civil war, their views change completely. The idea that Britain is the root of all the world's problems seems to be preached from textbooks, lecturers and teachers in general. Maybe this is just the school I'm in (very liberal), but this new body of thought just seems incredibly extreme and ends up closing doors for me.

Anyone else experiencing this sort of thing?
The only comments I have heard so far is about the British Army leaving Iraq. Some people don't understand why America's supposed biggest Ally has chosen to leave iraq. I don't really know what to say to people except that our troops have done their job and now returned home, plus our presence in Iraq may have been making matters worse for local people, with people seeing us as invaders and not protectors. I can only imagine that if teachers are still saying the UK has slaves and stuff, those teachers need replacing. The Empire, although not always liked by Americans, was in some ways a force for good, a stabilising influence in the world.
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Old Mar 29th 2007, 3:35 pm
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Default Re: Anti-British Sentiment

Originally Posted by Irn-bru View Post
Welcome to BE I lived outside D.C I loved it so am jealous!
Maybe it's because these are your peers and you are different so you are an easy target to them?

I have never experienced that quite the opposite, once I get to know someone sometimes they take the mickey slightly around 4th July but it has always been good humored.
I tend to agree that your school mates are picking of you becasue you are different, and not necessarily because of your englishness. I often have arguments with US friends and their response is to say "you can go back to the UK anytimeid the US sucks".

However, I actually think your school mates have a point as we English/British have a lot to answer for in our colonial past, and for our support of the US colonial present.....I'll wait for the flames

FYI the US abolished its international trade in slaves just one year after the UK, in 1808, however the trade continued illegally for several decades, as it did in UK colonies. Slavery was not made illegal in the British Empire until 1833, and the exploitation and killing of millions of "third world" peoples continued into the 20th Century. Some might argure that the exploitation still continues.
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Old Mar 29th 2007, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: Anti-British Sentiment

Originally Posted by nun View Post
I tend to agree that your school mates are picking of you becasue you are different, and not necessarily because of your englishness. I often have arguments with US friends and their response is to say "you can go back to the UK anytimeid the US sucks".

However, I actually think your school mates have a point as we English/British have a lot to answer for in our colonial past, and for our support of the US colonial present.....I'll wait for the flames

FYI the US abolished its international trade in slaves just one year after the UK, in 1808, however the trade continued illegally for several decades, as it did in UK colonies. Slavery was not made illegal in the British Empire until 1833, and the exploitation and killing of millions of "third world" peoples continued into the 20th Century. Some might argure that the exploitation still continues.
I think you've replied to the wrong poster, no?

Think it is the OP who has the school friends etc but thanks for the compliment you make me feel young
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Old Mar 29th 2007, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Anti-British Sentiment

Yeah yeah, its not actually my mates who are "picking" on me as such, they wouldn't be very good mates for that But its the general anti-British feeling that seems to be the new in-thing for teachers, textbooks etc.

The war in Iraq hasn't come up too much for me, that has turned really sour recently with everyone.

Sure the British empire had mixed impacts on the world, just like the Roman empire, and also the American Empire when people look back on in 100 years. Though I think the establishment of British education in developing nations was a far better contribution than the Americans building Mcdonalds and Burger kings in Iraq
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Old Mar 29th 2007, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Anti-British Sentiment

Originally Posted by CJMorris View Post
Hey, first time here - great to find a group of expats at last! I'm 17, moved between England and the USA about...8 times now - crazy right?! Currently I have ended up just outside of Washington DC, pretty nice place. And, of course, I suffer from being neither here nor there. hah!

Anyway onto my main topic. I have noticed quite a lot of anti-British sentiment within my school/area and was wondering if anyone else is experiencing some degree of discrimination? Usually I dont really pick up on these sorts of things because I'm used to "being the outsider" before finally settling in.

But recently I have found myself educating people that British people generally do not own slaves, have plantations in their yard/garden, or continue to colonize Africa as a hobby. Once I 'educate' people that England actually abolished Slavery before America and did so without a civil war, their views change completely. The idea that Britain is the root of all the world's problems seems to be preached from textbooks, lecturers and teachers in general. Maybe this is just the school I'm in (very liberal), but this new body of thought just seems incredibly extreme and ends up closing doors for me.

Anyone else experiencing this sort of thing?
Hi & welcome to BE! I think you'll find that are a lot of important topic of debates here on BE, for instance, a lot on here will being dying to know the colour of your hair. Don't ask, don't tell!!

The school system isn't perfect over here.... often underfunded, apathetic teachers due to lack of respect and not enough pay, "no child left behind" and all, questionable grammar so I'm afraid that patience will have to be one of your allies.

When I would look at the US with outside eyes, it was apparent to me that much of the problem was due that people tend to be egocentric by nature. It wasn't something I was used to. However, the US is bombarded by messages, imagery and teachings which reenforces that concept. All is not lost though, through dyslexia, one is becoming more ecocentric. Bless the school system! In time, Plato's cave analogy will be read more and more. Overall, what we don't know, we fear... so that is element as to how you are treated per se. However, can't throw the baby out with the bath water because there are a lot of people who have a genuine sense of curiosity about things and are willing to step outside the boundaries and attempt to break the ice with opening silly questions; merely because they are none the wiser.

Give it time and you will win over people as they say. The hardest thing about anything is adjustment...and that goes both ways I'm afraid. Welcome again to BE and the ST8s...pull up a chair!!
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Old Mar 29th 2007, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: Anti-British Sentiment

Several years ago, when the movie 'Armistad' came out,I was with my husband when we bumped into an African/American guy he worked while we were shopping,he was nice enough,at first....then I said something and he realised I was English,he suddenly changed and said he'd seen the movie the day before,and he asked me what I thought about the slave trade....I just said it was something that should never have happened and it was awful,but I didn't have anything to do with it.......he was quite 'put out' and thought I should feel guilty because of what my ancestors did........it turned out he'd never heard of the terrible ways the slaves were treated.......but my thought was,why didn't he know before he saw the movie,surely he must've wondered about his history at some point before,maybe they just didn't teach it at school when he went school but there's plenty of books in libraries,I wonder if he even knew about Martin Luther King jr.........Yes it was a very terrible thing to do to other human beings,but it was also many generations ago,we are not responsible for what happened then,I wasn't there.....and neither was he........my husband dragged me away before I got in too deep!....Sophia
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Old Mar 29th 2007, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Anti-British Sentiment

Originally Posted by CJMorris View Post
Yeah yeah, its not actually my mates who are "picking" on me as such, they wouldn't be very good mates for that But its the general anti-British feeling that seems to be the new in-thing for teachers, textbooks etc.

The war in Iraq hasn't come up too much for me, that has turned really sour recently with everyone.

Sure the British empire had mixed impacts on the world, just like the Roman empire, and also the American Empire when people look back on in 100 years. Though I think the establishment of British education in developing nations was a far better contribution than the Americans building Mcdonalds and Burger kings in Iraq
Perhaps you are reacting to the US-centric and general insularity of the US. A classic was when my mum visited from the UK and I too her to the Minuteman Museum where she saw a video about the British troops retreat from Concord and was quite shaken, she kept saying how terrible the farmers were to be shooting at "our lads". To the US those Minutemen were citizen soldier heros, to her they were traitors.

I agree that the BE was not entirely bad, but the apologist who saysthat the BE brought, Parliment and Plumbing to uncivilized nations never mentions the horrors that the Empire perpetrated. Its exceptionalism that justified the BE,exceptionalism that justifies the US actions today,and exceptionalism that you hear in your schoolmates and text books.

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