Dumb American

My daughter has just recently started high school here in Melbourne, she is just 11 (high school starts in year 7 in Australia.) Since day one, she has been bullied and laughed at because of her place of birth, even though she has never lived there. Whether out at recess or in the classroom, there is laughter and comments about dumb Americans on a regular basis. Why are teen kids such assholes?

I remember clear as day, trying to fit in at school and the ups and downs of the social life of a teenager. It NEVER changes! But how could this be? These days we are more aware of others. We regularly discuss being accepting, no matter how people identify, what their race, their family life, or their income is and yet teenagers have not changed. They are wolves trying to stay within the pack, looking for weakness and ousting whoever they can, to protect themselves from the shit show that is adolescence.

It makes me wonder what the topic of conversation is in their own home, to come to school and have such a strong opinion of 329 million people carrying a US passport? The entire country is dumb? This is so ignorant it makes me sick. As an ex-pat family who has traveled much and lived abroad for 11 years, I can tell you that it is very small minded to categorise an entire group of people in one way, with one small word. Nothing makes me feel worse about my choice to live here than something like this. I realise these are just kids being the dicks that teenagers are but if you are living in a city with more locals than ex-pats you are bound to find this sort of racism that exists among people who have not experienced the world.

I am ranting, I apologise. This is just another side to living abroad, to being a minority in a foreign country, and another issue facing ex-pat teenagers. It is not all sunshine and roses. From sunny Australia with love from a dumb American.

11 thoughts on “Dumb American

  1. That’s heartbreaking! It seems impossible to escape prejudice & stereotypes! You would think we are beyond that! No excuse…teachers & parents need to have frank discussions! So sorry she’s experiencing that kind of ignorance (dumb), remember when we point fingers, 3 are pointed back at us!

    • It really is sad and unfair for her. She isn’t the only one, her older sister has said this has gone on in her group as well since high school began. Ugh, so irritating!

  2. I actually experienced the same kind of bullying growing up in the UK. Sometimes it wasn’t explicitly because I am a US citizen. I was also 10-11, and didn’t know what people were talking about. I did find out there is a high level of xenophobia engrained in the UK, which is why I was not surprised Brexit happened. It’s one of those things that I thought people would outgrow as well, but they didn’t really. That’s really the deciding factor. Do these people outgrow it? If not, there really is something wrong in the culture. I know I still have to deal with a lot of suspicion as a US citizen abroad, and I am careful about how I act. It’s just a reality of being a US citizen living abroad. But I am not living in fear anymore though. There’s a big difference because the place does make a difference. Plus, telling people I’m a TCK actually really helps

    • Thank you for your comment. We lived in London for nearly 6 years and I don’t remember ever having to deal with this there. Although, my children were younger then and we were surrounded by ex-pats at the time. I could imagine it being different if we were outside of the city. I know what you mean about always feeling like a stranger in a strange land. I don’t think that ever really goes away with this lifestyle we have chosen. We do need to be aware of it for sure.

      • I lived in London as well, and in an immigrant community. I found some people experienced the same thing I did, and some didn’t. For the life of me, I couldn’t tell you why, but it was definitely lucky you didn’t experience that. I sometimes found people outside of London to be more chilled, even if they did make xenophobic comments. London is an incredibly stressful place to be and that doesn’t help. I learned the term “London refugee” when I was there. It’s one of those difficult things I never figured out

      • Thanks again for sharing this. Isn’t it interesting how two people living in the same city can have a completely different experience? It’s mind boggling! I suppose I’ve seen that here too. I know many people who absolutely love it and have a large community of friends. We have had quite the opposite experience.

      • It really is mind boggling! That’s unfortunate you’re experiencing the same things my family was back in London. I wish you well with that. It’s not an easy thing to live with

  3. ugh – poor Caroline… So important in high school to feel like you fit in…. kids can be cruel but actually even adults are being super rude e.g. now we hear of widespread hatred for Russians living here…… humans……..

    • Agree, there are mean people all over the world and at every age. She keeps asking me to move as a result and I’m like this sort of thing can happen anywhere! sigh. Why? Why, can’t we all just get along?

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