About two months ago, I was at the Northgate Park & Ride helping a UW transfer student from Sydney figure out which bus to take back to the University. She’d just arrived in the U.S. that morning and was buying basic supplies at Target. I recognized her accent and knew she was an Aussie right away. She seemed surprised that people she’d talked to earlier in the day thought she was English. I just replied “Americans are stupid.” She says, “You’re the second person to say that so far.” If what’s happening in Olympia isn’t enough proof, here’s more:
UPDATE: My god, people! Get a grip on yourselves. When I said “Americans are stupid” to her, it was said in a joking fashion to someone who was overwhelmed by being in this great country for the first time. The notable thing was that I wasn’t the first person to say that to her.
The bottom line is that Americans ARE pretty stupid (arguably the better world is ignorant) when it comes to knowing about the rest of the world. Survey are survey confirms this. The numbers are terrifying:
Take Iraq, for example. Despite nearly constant news coverage since the war there began in 2003, 63 percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 failed to correctly locate the country on a map of the Middle East. Seventy percent could not find Iran or Israel.
Nine in ten couldn’t find Afghanistan on a map of Asia.
And 54 percent were unaware that Sudan is a country in Africa.
I’m reasonably certain that commenter Puddybud could find Afghanistan on a map of Asia. That means that he’s arguably more knowledgeable about the world than 90% of young adults. If that doesn’t send chills down your spine about what’s going on, nothing will.