by Nide Z. Stannard
In countries outside of the United States, americanization or americanisation is the influence the United States has on the culture of other countries, such as their popular culture, cuisine, technology, business practices, or political techniques. The term has been used since at least 1907. Within the United States, the term Americanization refers to the process of acculturation by immigrants or annexed populations to American customs and values.
There is a constant loyalty that is expected from me. Since the dawn of Facebook it has been amusing for me to see how appalled my South African black friends can be offended by my humanistic and secular point of views. Because I am a black woman, I am supposed to be pro EVERYTHING black South African. I have been labeled a ‘proud lesbian’ during a debate where sexual orientation is not even the point at hand, as if I cannot make an educated opinion simply because of my preference of pussy over dick. Oh the tragedy when I denounce religious dogma!
“…emotions can either enhance or hinder your ability to learn.” – Marc Brackett
To an extent and twisted way of thinking, I make an effort to put myself in others shoes. That has been a tiring practice, especially when cognitive dissonance plays a significant role on the counterpart. Using ad homonyms is a staple nowadays to redirect crucial points. I am also guilty on that at times but I am definitely aware of it when I do it, so I do try to curb it.
Being an ex pat in my experience is a persistent pull of being expected to please my South African friends by making agreeable comments, regardless if it’s an opinion that goes against my humanistic ways. Most of my fellow expatriates share similar sentiments. Once you emigrate from South Africa there is an immediate judgement that you are now ‘lessor’ of a South African. As laughable as that is, it is real.
What I find incredibly interesting is that the very same complaint by black South African ‘friends’ towards me [my Americanized self], is that they feel that South African Indians, Chinese South Africans, even Coloreds etc. are not doing enough to acculturate in South Africa or to be more specific, acculturate in ‘black South African’ culture. The way I see it, black South Africans expect other cultures to accommodate them, while they refuse to accommodate anything else that is not black South African culture. This twisted way of thinking is extremely asinine for the progression in South Africa, the so-called ‘Rainbow Nation’. There is nothing wrong in opening yourself up to experiencing different cultures, it is called ‘growth’. When even the smallest attempt is made to learn and try to understand other cultures, it’s an actual win in personal development, you get to look at the world through someones else eyes. Try it some time, it is very refreshing. Being able to be honest and see dangerous faults in your very own culture is pivotal to transforming your preconceived notions of others.
My loyalties in my lifetime do not only lie with South Africa, America, black women, lesbian women, or religious dogma. My loyalties are embedded in the love I have for human beings as a whole and how I can add a positive impact to change dangerous ways of thinking in order to make this planet less filled with idiots, so that my son does not suffer the same struggles of ignorance plagued by the previous and my current generation. I’m sorry you think I am Americanized, I’d rather be that than have a tribalistic mind in a progressive technological Age.