All you need to know about Iberian America

“Fuck You, Gringo! We Are Americans Too!”

Years ago….

I was in college and I was walking to a fraternity where a party was going to be held.

I was walking with my roommate, who was Indian, and this dude who was Costa Rican.

Anyway, as we are heading to this place, I got talking with the Costa Rican dude about whatever.

It’s been years so forgive me for not remembering the topic that started this.

But, whatever the topic was, it ended up with the Costa Rican dude basically going….

“Oh my god bro, Costa Rica is America too!”

And keep in mind I studied at some liberal arts college so the guy was a little more to the left than a typical college student.

“That’s imperialist!” was an accusation that followed shortly.

In that moment, I didn’t really have much to say because I never spent any time yet in Latin America if I remember correctly.

And so this claim that “I am imperialist, how dare I use the word American to describe myself” was new to me.

But I didn’t really care.

I felt the dude was tripping and I was just looking to get drunk and maybe get laid that night.

So an academic conversation on the use of the word “American” was not up for the itinerary that night by my plans.

More like get this cute Asian chick to give me head to no avail....

But, many years later, I have about 5 years now as of this writing on July 7, 2020 of living in Latin America.

And, suffice to say, I have seen the occasional moment where this argument gets brought up again.

Granted, it’s always by someone who is either one of the following:

  • A non-Latino (American, Canadian, etc) who feels the need to be "politically correct" and try to identify with Latino topics. This is the same type of music who uses "Latinx" unironically. 
  • Or a rich as fuck Latino who comes from an upper class family in Latin America that could afford to send their kid to a liberal arts college in the US.

A bit similar to the Costa Rican dude brought up in this story who fell into the second group.

So what’s the scoop on this?

Well, the argument made by these folks is that it is imperialistic for people from the US to describe themselves as "American."

In which, from their perspective, both North America and South America are one collective continent (and not two separated continents).

Therefore, by their logic, they should be allowed to call themselves "American" in the same way that someone from the continent of Europe is called European or a person from the continent of Africa is called African.

So the question of this article is the following: 

Is using the word “American” a bad idea to describe people who were born in the US?

In my opinion, the answer is a definitive no.

The anger over this is honestly a bit stupid and the people who get angry over it obviously haven’t put much thought into their anger.

It really comes across as a way for upper class Latinos to feel like they are on a self-righteous high horse with an opportunity to try sounding smarter than the person they are trying to bludgeon rhetorically. 

When they really just sound silly, anti-social and very insecure.

So let’s go into some of the reasons for why I think their argument against Americans using the word “American” to describe themselves is idiotic.

And keep in mind that this article was, in part, inspired by this recent article I saw here.

And since July 4th has passed only a few days ago…

I suppose it would be the right time to discuss the issue surrounding the use of the term "America."

So let’s begin!

Reason 1: A Word Can Have Several Meanings

First, it needs to be said that it's not uncommon for words to have several meanings depending on the context they are used. 

Therefore, to complain at someone using the word "American" in a way that you wouldn't does makes you look like a crying bitch.

There are words in English and Spanish that change meaning depending on how they are used!

So it's not a bad thing to have one meaning of the word "American" for those who are from the US and and another meaning of the word for those who come from "the Americas."

Of course, as we will get to, not everyone agrees with the other meaning of the word to describe anyone from the Americas. 

Why is that?

Mostly because of different education systems that have their own merit. 

Reason 2: Understanding Education Systems

Given that I currently, as of this writing, live in Mexico City….

I am part of some expat group for foreigners living in Mexico City.

Anyway, some person posted a picture of the map here describing the difference between the US and America.

In a few of the comments, local Latinos made the claim that they were taught that basically North America and South America are the same as we mentioned before.

Here is a comment one person made to illustrate what I am saying:

“We are thought different. For us Mexicans, America is ONE large continent only. In the USA, they teach there are 2 continents, South America and North America. (Missing the central America part) for most of the world Mexico is South America, why?

Because of the culture. Continents are also divided culturally, like Europe-Asia. But we don't seem to agree on a universal concept for this.

Some countries will teach there are 9 continents, others say seven, for the Mexicans there are 5. Africa, America, Asia, Europe, Oceania. (We don't count Antarctica, and I don't know why)"

And, as you can see in the comment section below this article, I got into a discussion with another reader about this exact same aspect of the topic.

In which large parts of the world are taught very different things.

In fact, there's lots of people outside the US who are taught that North America and South America are two separate continents!

But, to be fair, there's also the other half of the world that is taught differently.

So, if you were taught that both continents are the same, then by your logic, it should be OK to use the word "American" for anyone from Alaska to Argentina.

But if you were taught that they are separate continents, then I would argue it doesn't make much sense.

"North American" and "South American" would be more logical terms as both North America and South America would be seen as separate continents.

Of course, I won't go into great detail here as to explaining the different models that exist for quantifying the amount of continents we have.

I already did that in the comment section below this article quite extensively and you can check it out yourself.

At the end of the day, I respect whatever you were taught and how it might be different from me.

I don't believe either model is better than the other.

Because, being honest, I don't really give a shit if you believe in two different continents or just one for the Americas.

And, even if we were to go along with the one continent idea for the Americas, that still doesn't change the validity of the prior point about how you can still use the word "American" with two different meanings.

But let's move on.

Reason 3: Kicking Water Up Hill

To keep it brief, you're basically kicking water up hill when you try to argue with the average person from the US about this issue.

Most people don't have the luxury to sit around all day and bitch about such a trivial thing.

Especially when people in the US have much more concerning matters to worry about like the conflict in Afghanistan, degrading infrastructure, police brutality, climate change, etc.

Most people in the US just don't give a fuck if a upper class Costa Rican who never had to suffer a day in his life is rage masturbating on the internet alone in his room about how some random guy in small town Indiana uses the word "American" to describe himself.

At the end of the day, you aren't convincing anyone. 

It's not because Americans think they are better than you, Mr. Costa Rican.

It's because they got bigger shit to worry about than your feelings.

They just don't give a fuck about you.

In the same way that you probably don't give a fuck about the negative opinions that expats have about your country.

The only people who are not Latino and who will stand by you are basically white privileged kids who go to liberal arts schools.

Who happen to lean very politically to the left, might be racially self-hating and will just agree with whatever PC issue of the day you bring up out of, in part, fear of you harassing them. 

Otherwise, most people will look at you confused because they never heard this issue before and think you must be socially inept. 

Like in my situation at the frat party where I just nodded my head in confusion and thought...

"Yeah wait...What is he going on about?...How does this help me fuck that Asian chick tonight?"

Reason 4: Inferiority Complex

The next thing to bring up was something I hinted at under the last reason but should be addressed separately. 

This argument made by Latinos doesn't just stem from a different teaching in geography.

It also stems from a inferiority complex in my opinion.

The idea is as as follows....

Historically, the US has always had a unequal relationship with the rest of Latin America. 

In which the US has overthrown governments down here and supported dictatorships over there.

And in which the US economy has historically dominated quite well most of Latin America.

Though, to be fair, that has changed over the last few decades as countries that are farther way like Argentina have less dependence on the US when compared to those like Guatemala.

Regardless, the argument starts by bringing up the unequal relationship between the US and Latin America.

Then you mix that historical understanding in with the confusion stemming from the different education system in Latin America versus the US.

In which the Chilean identifies as American because of his belief that all of the Americas is one continent while the American from the US sees him as a "South American" because of the different continent model that he was taught.

Consequently, when someone from the US uses the word "American" to describe themselves, the PC Latino in Latin America perceives that as the person from the US somehow believing that all of Latin America is property of the US.

Because we have already dominated them historically in various ways and now we are asserting that all of the Americas is our property with only us being allowed to use the term "American" for ourselves. 

Or at least that's how I've come to understand the argument made by some of these folks.

Therefore, when a PC Latino argues that "he is American too," it's his way of pushing back against what he perceives to be someone claiming to be superior than him.

And, in my opinion, this belief is largely reinforced by an inferiority complex that said PC Latino has.

In my experience living in Latin America and having visited most countries down here, you do meet a lot of people with a strong inferiority complex.

At the end of the day, what needs to be said is this...

First, the PC Latino needs to understand that we (and other countries in the world) are taught in a different education system claiming a different number of continents.

Therefore, nobody in the US or elsewhere is trying to argue that we are more important than you when we describe ourselves as "American."

Second, as I said before, nobody in the US gives a fuck about you.

Get over yourself.

There is literally nobody in the US who calls himself an American as his way to describe how we are better than Paraguayans or Nicaraguans.

Yes, you have plenty of Americans who do feel like we have a better country.

In large part because, while the US has its issues, it is relatively more developed than most regions of Latin America.

With, to be fair, parts of Latin America that are relatively more developed than bad parts of the US.

But with most of the region being, on average, lesser developed economically to the US on average.

That's another topic though.

Regardless, that feeling of superiority though, most of the time (not always), stems from believing the country at large is better than most Latin countries.

Not necessarily that the individual people of the US are better than the individual people of Latin America.

And, truth be told, I think quite a few people in Latin America believe the same whenever you hear one half jokingly saying "saquenme de latinoamerica."

saquenme de latinoamerica

Not everyone obviously but plenty do seem to think a life in the US, Canada or Europe would be better than a life in Nicaragua, Colombia or the DR.

Especially Cuba and Venezuela but those are obvious examples, huh?

Still, just because some Latin Americans feel that a country like the US or Canada would produce a better life doesn't mean that they believe that the people of Latin America are inferior to those in the US.

Same thing with most Americans in the US.

Most, while believing that their country is a better place to live, don't think that Latin Americans are an inferior people to them.

Similarly, any type of "superiority" here when it comes to the preference for which country to live in has no relation to why people in the US call ourselves "American."

In the same way it has no relation to why much of the world does the same also!

Including some of you Latino folks down here in Latin American that have called me American plenty of times.

Just the other day, some random gordita vendor outside my apartment in Mexico City asked if I was "from America."

But that's a point we'll get to later.

Regardless, the use of the word in that context is, as I said many times, derived from our different teachings and also derived from a common usage of the word.

That's it.

Reason 5: So What’s the Alternative?

When people bitch about Americans using the word “American...”

The logical thinkers will ask “Ok, so what do we call ourselves?”

Now some of the responses made by people in that Facebook expat thread mentioned above were....

“Gringos.”

“United Statians.”

“North Americans.”

Those were the only alternatives proposed.

So let’s dig into that.

First, gringo can be an insulting term.

I personally don’t find it insulting but it depends on the context.

If an American were to say to a Mexican, “Que onda, soy un gringo.”

OK, seems alright to me.

But, in my experience, gringo can sometimes be used offensively.

There's plenty of people in the US who consider the word to be offensive.

It would also just be a weird word for the average American to adopt.

Unless you moved to Latin America as an American, the word gringo just isn't in the common vocabulary to use everyday.

Your average dude living in the US just doesn't use the word and never will.

Then you have “North American.”

Which is just stupid.

Canadians and Mexicans are North Americans.

And if you look at this source here, technically all of Central America is part of the North American continent.

You'd basically be saving any South American from being offended in the future since we wouldn't be using the word "American" but anyone with a stick up their ass from Panama to Mexico would still have a reason to bitch.

So calling us “North Americans” doesn’t solve much.

Then you have “United Statians.”

Which, OK, is getting us closer to a real alternative…

But there is an issue with it…

Outside of the fact that it sounds stupid and nobody would use it.

There’s one issue with it that we will look into in the next section below.

Reason 6: Taking Official Country Names Very Literally…

OK, so you somehow managed to convince all of Americans that the term “American” is imperialistic and we should all go by the term “United Statians.”

And as you can see by this tweet here

Right away, any easily offended Mexican could get angry as they ALSO are United Statians.

Why?

Because Mexico technically has the “United Mexican States” as the official name of its country.

So are they not United Statians also?

I guarantee you that if somehow all of America was convinced to use the term “United Statians...”

Some folks of the upper class white elite in Mexico would trip over themselves to bitch about this new “imperial US that claims to be United Statians when we are United Statians also!”

HOW DARE THEY!

And if Americans now have to call themselves by the first half of their country’s official name…

Then I expect some fairness. 

For Venezuelans to call themselves the “Bolivarian Republicans.”

And the Bolivians to call themselves the “Plurinational Republicans.”

While the Uruguayans can be the “Oriental Republicans.”

You see how stupid this all sounds?

But don’t worry!

As I hinted at before a few times, it’s only the privileged who worry the most about this.

Which brings us to the next point.

Reason 7: Plenty of Latinos Call Us Americans Too

One day out of the blue I was walking in Mexico City near the Angel of Independence Statue.

I lived a little bit close to the area at the time and I had a date set up.

But in typical Mexican girl fashion, she shows up late by about 10 minutes.

So I’m walking to Metro Insurgentes where we are supposed to meet up.

When this random dude calls out to me…

“Friend, hOw ArE yOuUuUuUuUu!!!"

Basically he was a dude working on the street trying to make his money by shining shoes for people.

And he noticed my shoes and claimed they were very dirty!

Anyway, he wouldn't leave me alone despite how I was in a hurry and I was not rude enough to tell him to leave me alone.

I mean, he seemed like a nice guy.

He asked me “de donde eres” when he realized I speak Spanish sufficiently enough.

And then he responded “oh, un Americano!”

Suffice to say, that’s not an unusual experience.

Most Latinos I have met – almost 99% of them in Latin America – do not have a stick up their ass about the term “Americano” or “American” being used for Americans.

As another example, here's a random video on the internet titled in Spanish "JFK, tres disparos que cambiaron América."

In English that would be "JFK, three shots that changed America."

Obviously, they are referring to the US as simply "America" in Spanish.

Though, to be fair, I also saw videos in Spanish that applied the term "America" to mean the Americas.

So, as I said before, a word can often have several meanings depending on the context and that doesn't mean any of the specific meanings are invalid.

Therefore, plenty of people in Latin America also use the term "America" for the US or "Americano" for those from the US.

It’s literally only the groups I have mentioned above….

  • Self-proclaimed “woke” gringos who want to stand up for Latinos when most Latinos don’t give a shit.
  • Or the very few Latinos who are from the upper class of Latin America who get angry about it also.

Either way, most people in Latin America honestly do not care about this issue and it is basically a non-topic.

But what about people in other countries?

Reason 8: The Rest of the World

Going from the last issue....

It also should be said how most of the world uses the term "America" for the US and "American" for those from the US.

It's similar to the question I posed in the comment section in the bottom of this article.

If you were to ask the following question to a random person from the following countries: South Korea, Ukraine, Italy, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Bolivia:

“If someone describes themself as American, what country do you think they are from?”

I'm willing to bet most are going to say "the US."

Or they might say "America" to mean the United States of America. 

Even if they believe that North America and South America are one continent and not two continents....

Even if they believe that anyone from Alaska to Argentina is an American because of the logic stemming from the previously mentioned continent model....

At the end of the day, there's a common usage of the terms "America" and "American" that most people in the world accept without issue.

Of course, like I said, that doesn't make the other usage of the word "American" for anyone from Alaska to Argentina invalid.

It's just another usage of the word that is very common globally and also because of another reason we'll get to below.

Reason 9: Just Short for the USA

I will keep this reason very simple and brief.

But it's time for a public announcement for those who haven't caught on yet.

Which is that literally “America” is just a short term for “United States of America.”

That seems obvious and shouldn’t need to be said...

But I guess it was never realized by the raging cunts that get offended over the term “America” when referring to the US.

It’s simply people shortening “United States of America” to “America.”

In the same way that Venezuelans are Venezuelans and not Bolivarian Republicans.

In the same way that British people are known as British and not “The Official Kings of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”

Though, to be fair, it would be pretty dope to be referred to as "the official king" for your nationality.

Just a suggestion to the British....

Reason 10: Copyright

This reason I will keep very simple.

But unless someone can prove to me that another country in Latin America tried to jump on the title of being “America...”

Then what can you even complain about?

If the US was the first country to jump on that issue, then we got copyright on the name.

Because it’s literally stupid to complain about how America took the name of America when literally nobody else wanted to take it as part of their national identity. 

If you have evidence otherwise, let me know!

Give me your academic sources.

Most likely it will be some archival research if you do have something.

And if you do have something like that – fucking awesome!

I love academic research and can dig into that shit for hours!

So bring it to me.

But otherwise, if you don’t have proof of anyone else trying to claim the name of America, then it’s a bit stupid to complain about it, no?

If, let’s say, you are a Latino from Uruguay.

And nobody in the history of Uruguay has tried to claim to be American and change the name of Uruguay to something like “los estados unidos de America en Uruguay”

Then you sound a bit stupid, in my honest opinion, because you are literally arguing for something that nobody in the history of your country has ever argued for.

That you are somehow American (meaning from the US) when you are not.

And when nobody in the history of your country has tried to take the name either...

Well, tough shit, loser.

We, the US, got ownership of the name first because we claimed it first.

And as of now, literally no other country in the Americas is trying to take the name.

Reason 11: Issues with the Names of Other Countries. 

So if we are going to critique the name of America so much...

Because it is apparently so imperialistic to claim the name of America.

Then let's look into the history of the names of other Latin countries.

For example, you have some countries that were named in honor of Christopher Columbus or the origin of their names is somehow tied to him.

First, the origin of the name Colombia is derived from Christopher Columbus as you can see here.

Then you have Costa Rica!

Which apparently got its name from Christopher Columbus when he was sailing by the shores of Costa Rica as you can see here.

Next, you have Honduras, which apparently could have got its name from Christopher Columbus as you can read about here.

Now if we are all going to get angry about the US calling itself "America" because it comes across as imperialistic or something....

Then shouldn't we also get angry about the names of countries above that either honor or come from an actual imperialist who killed a lot of people in the Americas?

And it doesn't stop there....

The name Ecuador apparently came from Spanish colonists and it means "the equator" as you can see here.

Next you have Brazil that got its name as a reference to Brazilwood. 

A resource often exploited by Portuguese explorers like Fernão de Loronha back when Brazil was a colony as you can read here

How imperialistic of a name!

And finally....

We have Paraguay!

Now what could be wrong with the name of Paraguay?!?

Well listen...

If America can't call itself America because there are two continents with the name "America" in them...

Then Paraguay can't call itself Paraguay!

Why?

Because it is named after the Paraguay River!

Now where is the Paraguay River?

It goes through Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina.

So 3 other countries that are not Paraguay?!

How dare Paraguay commit this injustice!

Are they really claiming ownership of a river that goes into 3 other countries?

How imperialistic. 

Of course, there are other countries as well that we could look into.

But we will leave it at that...

I think you get the idea -- that if people want to express fake outrage over the name America and claiming some terrible injustice from it...

Well, we can do mental gymnastics as well to express fake outrage about the names of Latin countries.

Reason 12: Where the Hell did the Rest of America Go?

Let's refer back to that photo of "America" as you can see here.

You see what they call “the USA.”

But WTF?

These SJWs try to be experts on geography…

But they can’t even include all of the US in their very sophisticated research on what is America vs. the US?

Where the hell is Hawaii?!?!

Puerto Rico?!?

Guam?!

Other imperialistic territories of the US?!?!

I mean, if you are going to include a map of the US to show us how much of a geography expert you are while complaining about our imperialism....

At least include a full damn picture of all the imperialistic territories of the US.

I’m just as surprised that they included Alaska given their ignorance about the US as demonstrated in this photo.

As surprised by the fact that they included Texas, California and other territories we took from Mexico a long time ago if they believe that using the term "America" is imperialistic. 

Because the typical types that would complain about the Americans using the term “America” would probably complain about that too.

But that’s a topic for another day.

To summarize this point here…

If these folks wanted to show how great their geography knowledge was, you’d think, at the very least, they wouldn’t fuck up the geography of the US.

Or, in other words, the geography of America.

Shit, did I just say that?

Reason 13: Imperialism!

The Real Life Picture of an Imperialist Solider of Bolivia Who is Ready to Conquer Those Damn Paraguayans over the Chaco War..

Let's quickly refer back to the argument made about the historic imperialism of the US and how that contributes to the belief that nobody should use the term "American" to describe those from the US.

Going further into this topic…

It should also be noted that the US isn’t the only country known for imperialism.

This is funny to me because most of these activists who get angry over the term “American” fail to recognize in the heat of this debate that literally every country on this planet has imperialistic ambitions.

It just happens to be that some states have more resources and capability to expand their imperialistic ambitions than others.

Was the US better at imperialism?

Yes!

But other countries would've done the same thing to the extent that the US did if they had the capability to do so.

They just didn't.

But they did have their own examples of the imperialism they could bring forth against their neighbors over the history of Latin America.

Such as Brazil taking up territory from its nearby South American countries.

Or Chile stealing land from Bolivia.

Or Bolivia and Paraguay getting into a conflict in the Chaco War.

Or how Simon Bolivar – the “liberator” of South America – had ambitions to include all of Spanish speaking America of South America into one big country.

The fact is that just about all of Latin America have had elites running their countries that have aspired to imperialistic goals to expand the territory, attack nearby countries or use state power to oppress their own citizens. 

But some countries were more prepared for that than others.

Like how the US was more equipped to be a more superior power dominating the Americas than say Guatemala or Paraguay.

Granted if Paraguay wasn’t wrecked in the War of the Triple Alliance as you can read here

Maybe Paraguay would be a nuclear super imperialistic power…

Anything is possible!

But don’t try to speak from a moralistic high chair when just about every country in the world is run by elites who aspire to imperialistic means.

And it just happens to be the case that your country's elites sucked massive dick at being imperialistic when our country's elites were better at the job.

Which brings us to the next point…

Reason 14: The Most Advanced Country

If Europe had to decide on which country would best fit to be labeled “the United States of Europe,” it might end up being Germany.

Or maybe Belgium given that Brussels is the capital of the European Union?

If Asia had to decide as well on this topic for their own region, it would probably be “the United States of Asia” for China.

In the same way Saudi Arabia could label themselves as “the United States of the Middle East.”

For Africa?

I’m less informed on Africa as a region but I know Egypt is relatively strong as a country in that region.

So “the United States of Africa” for Egypt?

In the same way that the United States of America is the most powerful country in the Americas in terms of economy, military, cultural influence, diplomacy, etc.

So why shouldn’t it be able to claim the title of “United States of America” where people from that country can call themselves Americans?

Hell, if the US were to become a shithole and Bolivia were to rise to the top and become the next super power of the Americas...

Then I will eat my hat and be nuanced and fair here.

And say that the US can give up its title of being “the United States of America” to Bolivia.

And Bolivia can be the “United Bolivian States of America” and Bolivians can call themselves American.

Like Rocky Balboa stealing the title from Apollo Creed and getting to be the New Heavyweight Champion of THE WORLD!

When you are the best at doing what you do, then you get to have a nice title.

Rocky 2 Rematch

And you know what?

It just might happen someday!

But until that happens…

The US is not only the only country that I know of that has tried to claim official ownership of the name America…

But it is also the most powerful and influential country of the Americas.

So why shouldn’t it claim to be America?

In the same way China is more than free to claim to being the United States of Asia.

If you are the most powerful country in your respective region, you get free dibs on the title of your country and nationality.

Call it imperialistic – I call it free market competition.

And I’m being fair here – if Bolivia can out compete the US on a economic, military, cultural and diplomatic matter…

Then sure!

It can be America and we will call ourselves…

Well shit, I’m not sure.

Maybe United Statians is what we would have to go with.

Or the “Superior Canadians of the South.”

I’m working on new names as we speak in case those Bolivians can out compete the US and have the right to ownership of the name “America.”

Hopefully it won’t happen because the names I am coming up with sound like shit.

At any rate, I just want to point out a few more things.

Reason 15: Nobody Said You Aren't an American

Finally, let's address the context in which this type of argument is brought up.

It almost always -- 99.9% of the time -- starts when someone from the US casually self-identifies as an American.

With some sentence that looks like the following...

"As an American, I remember enjoying 4th of July with my parents by launching fireworks that burnt the neighbor's house down and killed their grandma."

To

"Hi everyone! I'm an American moving to Nicaragua to meet a nice woman I met on the internet. I hope to get her pregnant 10 times and we can have a little Catholic family in a small village out there."

Under no circumstances, in 99.9% of these cases, does the person from the US claim that anyone else in the Americas is not an American.

They never do that.

And so why so serious, Mr. Upper Class Latino?

He never said you weren't an American!

You don't even know if he believes that!

Though, to be fair, he probably doesn't believe that like a lot of people don't because of what continent model he was taught in school.

And like how you probably don't introduce yourself as an American ever unless you have at least residency in the US.

But he didn't say you were not an American!

Not one bit.

In fact, his statement -- like in any of those two examples above -- only shows that, at the very least, he self-identifies as an American himself.

And isn't he?

If your argument is that anyone born in the Americas can self-identify as an American, then he's an American.

And there's no reason to be angry because he didn't claim you were not an American either.

Didn't even address what you self-identify as because it has no importance to the topic regarding burning the neighbor's house down to wife hunting in Nicaragua. 

Your identity has absolutely no fucking importance to the context of the conversation.

And, as I said, by your logic, he is American also and didn't claim you were not.

So shut the fuck up?

Why make an issue out of nothing?

Are you that socially stunted that you turn every conversation you can into a PC debate on language?

If you are that inspired by debates over language, why not try listening to George Carlin's classic bit over 7 things you can't say on TV instead of passive-aggressively demanding that one of those forbidden words be American.

George Carlin -- 7 Things You Can't Say on TV

Especially when, as I said before, the following is normally true in these circumstances:

  • Nobody claimed you aren't American.
  • Your logic supports that he is American.
  • What you self-identify as has absolutely no relevance to the conversation initially started.

And that, above all else, you're just trying to be an insufferable cunt that has an insecurity complex who can't stop himself from making every conversation political so that you finally have a chance to sit on a high horse. 

Reason 16: Let's Police Your Language Now!

So if we are on the topic of policing language used by another group of people...

Can we do the same to you folks in Latin America?

After all, if you find it offensive when a random guy self-identifies as "American" while he contemplates on how to get head from an Asian chick at a frat party...

When, in this case, the conversation was in English and it isn't your native language to begin with...

Well, I think us gringos can do mental gymnastics also to find things offensive with your Spanish language also.

The most obvious example being the use of the word "Latinx."

Now, to be fair, I don't give a fuck about this topic and I don't use Latinx either. 

But, if I could summon the powers of Latino SJWs in the US, then I'd bring up the motivation to argue about how words like "Latino" or "Latina" are not very inclusive!

Because, to be fair, it really is them who insist on the issue the most it seems.

So if you are going to police the English language and how people in the US speak by demanding we include an awkward word like "United Statians" in our daily vocabulary...

Then I believe it's fair game to force you all to apply the "Latinx" rule to how you speak to make speaking in your native language a little bit more awkward also.

"Let's go .... Latinx?!?"

Let me give you an example to get the ball rolling!

Hola, me llamo Alejandra. Soy unx chicx de Latinx America. Estoy pensando en lx polla grande de Matt. Lx pussy esta muy mojadx. Vamos a coger en lx casa de mi gringx favoritx."

Your Opinion?

Anyway, those are all the reasons I have against those who take issue with Americans using the name “American.”

With just one last point I want to make real quick.

I don't care if you self-identify as American.

While I do find that the inferiority complex is a bit deep and unnecessary....

I also agree, on a basic geography principle, that you can claim to be American if we were to accept the continent model of North America and South America being one and not two separate continents.

Of course, as you know, I don't follow that model so I personally would see you as a South American or a North American but not an American (unless you have citizenship in the US).

But, unlike you, I don't care enough to start an argument over it if you happened to self-identify as American and I would be open minded to understanding that you simply have a different world view.

And that's perfectly OK!

I only ask that you be open minded yourself for once in your life and understand that people in the US and elsewhere have a different worldview that sees North America and South America as two different continents.

And, if we could, please drop the inferiority complex. It's not healthy.

Try going for a jog outside or swiping on Tinder to find a nice gal to satisfy your foot fetish if you ever find yourself angry over this topic.

Not that I'm into foot fetishes....

And if you have your own opinion on this subject (in favor or against the use of the term American), then mention it in the comment section below!

And I will try to respond!

Granted, the time it will take for me to respond will depend on how quickly I can put the bottle of Oso Negro down and look down at my keyboard to type out a coherent response.

But I promise it would be within a month!

Probably.

Anyway, hope you liked this article and thanks for reading!

Best regards,

Matt

6 comments

James - July 7, 2020 Reply

Love it man! There’s no-one in this world more butthurt than an upper-class Costa Rican over this shit. Apart from the whining, hand-wringing, trying-to-hard-to-fit in expats, of course.

    Matt - July 7, 2020 Reply

    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the article. 🙂

Dazza - August 24, 2020 Reply

Note to Readers: This comment was posted by a person named Dazza and my comments are left below. Thanks.

The Americas is one continent, which is how it is taught around the world. See, you even got confused with it all.

My comment: There are different models for how many continents we have on the planet. Under the 4, 5 and 6 continents model, you would be correct. However, in my experience, most common folks I have met around the world use the 7 model continent model. At least they seem to do when talking about, say, North America and South America being different.

You can go by the other models that exist but most people don’t from what I understand. If you simply do an easy Google search as to how many continents we have, the usual answer from most sources is 7. From my understanding, the 7 model is more commonly used in the world because of the fact that it corresponds to the amount of geologic plates that we have. For more information on continents, please check out this resource here by National Geographic.

“Where North and South America are the continents and Central America is a subregion of the Americas between the two.”

Pesky Central America, where does that fit in? That’s right, it is technically North America! Hahaha! Oh dear!

My comment: That’s right. It is technically part of North America. No amount of mental gymnastics will get rid of that fact. Here’s an article here for that statement so you can be more informed on the matter.

Anyway, North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean are all subcontinents or sub-regions of the Americas.

My comment: Again, if you follow another model on continents (4, 5 or 6), that’s cool. But you probably don’t and your only issue here is with Americans using the term American. Either way, as I cited before and as I can cite many other sources, the most common model used today is the 7 continent model.

Granted, I haven’t polled every human on the planet about this topic, but according to this source for example and another one I cited above, it apparently is the more common model.

Granted, I tried to find out also what the most populated countries in the world use for the continent model.

According to the grand academic source of wikipedia (oh cmon, I already hear you complaining about me citing Wikipedia here but it almost always backs up its claims with real sources)….

That apparently China, India, the US, the UK, Western Europe, Pakistan, Australia and the Philiphines use the 7 continent model.

Now pulling out my calculator, apparently 4.5 billion people (roughly speaking) live in those places according to what I found out online.

So that’s about 59% of the world population apparently.

So by the understanding of most common folk and also from plenty of academics, it seems that most people consider North America and South America to be different.

But if you disagree, well you can follow any of the other models that are out there. Just know that, from what I understand, more people don’t follow those models.

At least in my experience anyway and from what I read.

Before Big Chris came on his sailboat to fuck around with the people there, it one was one big continent with one related peoples – which is why when you do a DNA test between a Mapuche of Chile and a Cree of Canada, they’re related biologically.

My comment: Well, I’m not sure what continent model the different indigenous groups used but I would imagine quite a few may not have had one due to limited to no experience with people from other continents (especially among people who would have been around after the Bering Strait was not as easy or impossible to cross for most). And also given that despite whatever DNA similarities you claim to exist, they were all quite different groups in terms of culture and language.

In case you were not aware, not all indigenous people were the same.

For example, the difference in culture and language between say the Selk’nam in Tierra del Fuego to the Marajoara by the Amazon River to Wayuu in the Guajira Peninsula and much more.

In fact, quite commonly, they killed each other, enslaved each other at other points in time and did other terrible things.

And just because groups of people are biologically related to others doesn’t mean anything in terms of if it is the same continent or not.

In the same way, there are very big cultural, linguistic and probably DNA differences between folks from a small indigenous village in Bolivia compared to folks in a small town in BC, Canada as of today.

So if that meant anything to help your argument that it was all one big continent, well then I guess North America and South America are not one big continent!

And if DNA meant anything when talking about indigenous people, well, according to this study here, apparently many of the Native Americans descended in three different waves from East Asia.

Should East Asia be considered part of the Americas?

The biological difference, as you put it, really doesn’t have any importance here when talking about if the Americas were just one big continent before Columbus showed up.

It’s one continent like Asia or Africa – none of this is hard. I think you need a geography lesson before telling others to read an atlas.

My comment: Thanks! I hope you learned a bit with actual sources provided. Maybe that will help you overcome your preconceived biases that, for whatever reason, make you feel so strongly about people in Latin America getting to call themselves American.

Which, they can, but it would look silly unless the specific individual actually had citizenship in the US.

For reasons such as….

The fact that most Latinos in Latin America never call themselves “Americano” when asked “De donde eres?”

Or the fact that in anywhere in the world outside Latin America, if you say you are American, nobody gets upset and everybody nods.

To the fact that if you, as say a Paraguayan or a Colombian (with no American citizenship), were to respond “Americano” to “de donde eres” then people would look at you quite strange when they realized that you were not born in the US and never lived in the US.

Especially as 99% of people outside of Latin America (or at least in Europe and the Middle East where I have been) view it that way.

And also how, in my experience, most Latinos don’t have a stick up their ass either about this topic. Even to the point some have called me “Americano” when living down here for 5 years now.

It really only seems to be a special few who take this issue to heart — but if you are a subscriber to any of the less commonly used continent models — then I get your confusion.

Either way, I would understand your perspective if that happens to be the case and hopefully you can understand the perspective of most people who were taught the 7 continent model.

PS: I did see your other comment. I don’t check these comments often enough to respond quickly so don’t get your panties in a bunch if I don’t respond right away. You wrote the first comment that I responded to here on August 24th according to my email. And it is August 27th. So take it easy if I don’t respond in the first 5 minutes of you sending a comment. My response time is somewhere between a day to a year depending on how quickly I feel to write back and if I am busy or not lol.

Have a good day!

Note to Readers: The conversation continues below. Check it out if you want.

Dazza - August 29, 2020 Reply

Note to Readers: This comment is an extension of a conversation from the comment right above this comment. If you want, read that one first and then read this one. And contribute to the conversation if you want.

Thank you for your published reply, Matt. Very interesting to read your take on it, still wrong though.

‘There are different models for how many continents we have on the planet. Under the 4, 5 and 6 continents model, you would be correct. However, in my experience, most common folks I have met around the world use the 7 model continent model. At least they seem to do when talking about, say, North America and South America being different. ‘

Up until very recently, it was five continents, hence the Olympic flag, most people you hang around are probably from the United States though so when you get to talking about this subject (which I doubt you do very much) they will agree with you but actually, most people see the Americas as one continent, I live in China and the Chinese do, check out their TV channel CGTN Americas – to them, the Americas is a single continent and I am British and it is the same there, I was never taught there were seven continents because there aren’t though I accept this isn’t the same everywhere.

My comment: Thanks for your experiences on the matter. I guess we simply have met different folks. In my experience, I don’t normally hang around other Americans actually. Living in Latin America, I’ve come across a few but most of the people I hang out with are locals in Latin America. On the occasion I meet someone who isn’t Latino, I’d say most of the time they are usually from Europe, Australia or Asia.

I do know a few Americans though down here but most are in the US. And of those I know regardless of location, everybody I can think of assumes North and South America to be different.

Regarding your experience in China, I will respect that. Though you being British, I am not sure if you ever had any experience in the actual education system in China, which is what one of my sources was looking at. From the sources I have read, it shows that the 7 continent model is more taught there.

But you know China better than I do so I will leave it at that.

The other point to mention here also — which I think is more important — is how a Chinese person or really how most people around the world view the term “American” and what it means.

Which is really getting to more at the point here regarding the use of the term “American.”

In all honesty, you probably don’t care as much about if North and South America are one physical continent or not and which model is better. I don’t either really. Unless you are an academic geographer anyway or someone with a passion in this subject.

I view them as two separate continents but there’s also that cultural element to it which I believe is more appropriate to consider (though still difficult to address as culture crosses borders — you could argue the US and Canada as being separate from Latin America and they are by borders but what about the strong Latino influence in places like Cali, Texas, Arizona, Florida, etc).

But that’s an argument for another day.

Either way, going back to what I was getting at — most people I feel don’t really care so much about the continent models that exist. Those specifics are never really brought up in these discussions.

So if you were to take a random person from China, Ukraine, Lebanon, South Africa, Italy and Guatemala….

And have a random dude say to them “I am American.”

The question becomes — what country do these people assume that this dude is from?

Maybe the Guatemalan dude will take offense and goes “he is American — so he is from the Americas!”

But not likely — most Latinos I have met (and I hang out more with Latinos than most other folks) don’t get angry about this and would know what country.

Everyone else would not at all likely get angry about it — very unlikely — and assume the US.

And that’s how language works — we use words with definitions that everyone or most everyone agrees on the meaning.

And either way, if said random dude were to reply “No, I’m not from the US, I am from Paraguay!”

Well, most people would get confused obviously as that is not using the word by how it is commonly used around the world.

So in a “which continent model theory” is correct sense to return to that quickly…

From what I have researched briefly, it seems at least a majority (over 50%) of the world uses the 7 continent model.

But going back to the point of the article that inspired this conversation, I see it as silly for someone in Latin America to get angry about the use of the word.

But if said person — whatever nationality they may be — wants to use, as you said I believe in another comment, they are perfectly free to use it!

It just might sound a little silly to some but that’s fine.

‘You can go by the other models that exist but most people don’t from what I understand. If you simply do an easy Google search as to how many continents we have, the usual answer from most sources is 7. From my understanding, the 7 model is more commonly used in the world because of the fact that it corresponds to the amount of geologic plates that we have. For more information on continents, please check out this resource here by National Geographic. ‘

If we go on geologic plates then there are only two or three continents, obviously the continents divvied up are political continents – such as Australia not being part of Asia but Indonesia being an Asian country even though it is a short flight away from Darwin. North America is definitely a political continent, check out National Geographic that is a United States publication who believe in this shite? Yeah, right! Hahaha.

My comment: According to this source, there are 7 (or 8) geologic plates. If you have a source for any of your claims, please provide. Here is another source here that gives the names of these 7 plates: African Plate, Antarctic Plate, Eurasian Plate, Indo-Australian Plate, North American Plate, Pacfic Plate and South American Plate.

However, these are considered the “major plates.” Of course, there are other minor plates but not considered as important as the ones provided above.

So it does seem, again, there are geologic differences between North America and South America.

And the source used here was The Geological Society from the UK.

And just because you can fly from one location to the next in a short flight doesn’t mean you didn’t travel from where one geologic plate was to the next. In the same way you can fly over many other boundaries and borders (both made by nature and by humans).

“That’s right. It is technically part of North America. No amount of mental gymnastics will get rid of that fact. Here’s an article here for that statement so you can be more informed on the matter.”

Central America has that name for a reason, it is the epicentre (geographically) of the American continent, therefore it isn’t ‘North America’ in any technical sense, in the same was Hungary isn’t Northern Europe. The article is written by some nobody so who cares?

My comment: Central America is, technically speaking, just a “tapering isthmus that separates the Pacific Ocean, to the west, from the Caribbean Sea.” However, as that source notes above (and literally most sources you can find online), technically it also falls within the North American continent.

And though I found the original article I cited to be credible — I see you disagree.

So if you care to know the opinion of an expert on this subject, I included various articles below that were written by people that I briefly looked into to see what their qualifications were and provided that below. If you disagree with all of them, well come up with your own sources because you haven’t brought any yet and have been making up facts (like there being only 2 geologic plates).

The source cited above here — written by a man named Ralpha Lee Woodward who is a Emeritus Professor of Latin American History at Tulane University with academic work done about Guatemala.

Here you have the United Nations Statistics Division that considers North America to include the US, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean.

The quote for that from the UN is “The continent of North America (numerical code 003) comprises Northern America (numerical code 021), Caribbean (numerical code 029), and Central America (numerical code 013).”

A source for McGill University here on which countries make up North America.

Of course, this all goes back to how the world as a whole sees it.

You could probably find a source or two that says Central America is part of some grand American continent (North and South combined), assuming that source was influenced by a writer who was taught another continent model.

Which, again, from what I cited before, seems to be the case that a majority of the world (over 50%) was taught the 7 continent model in school.

Which seems to be true unless you have a source to disprove that since neither you nor I have polled every person on the planet about this.

But either way, that still leaves, from what I remember, about 41% of the planet who believes in other continent models.

So it all goes back to what you were taught and doesn’t make anyone wrong since it really depends on how you define a continent and which model you go with.

“Again, if you follow another model on continents (4, 5 or 6), that’s cool. But you probably don’t and your only issue here is with Americans using the term American. Either way, as I cited before and as I can cite many other sources, the most common model used today is the 7 continent model.”

Nooooooooooooooooo, my septic friend, you have EVERY right to call yourself an ‘American’ and tell the upper class fresa/pituco to go and fuck off! I know those people, they switch to their shite English when you speak to them in Spanish because they automatically think their English is better than your Spanish – they’re arseholes, we agree with this particular worldview even if it might not look like it.

I have no problem with you using the term American to describe yourself but your seven continents in the world is hocus pocus political bullshite!

My comment: I agree. Everyone has every right to call themselves whatever they want. Like I said, I find it silly that someone would call themselves American if they were not born in the US or have citizenship there but it is what it is.

The term ‘American’ in the United States is obviously the nationality and I would say most people accept this. The one thing I would argue is that it isn’t exclusive, the term ‘American’ can be used as a nationality of someone from the United States or someone from the American continent. You can’t withold this term as exclusive to your nationality because that would be wrong in a wider context, a Chilean is an American too – they would probably describe themselves as Chilean first but see themselves as Americans as well.

My comment: I get what you are saying. However, I wouldn’t call a Chilean an “American.” But this goes back to how you view the number of continents.

Since I see South America and North America as different, I would say it would be more appropriate for him to call himself a “South American” if he prefers to identify by what continent he was born in.

But if you see the two American continents as one continent, then by that logic, he would be American under that viewpoint.

And your opinion on how many continents we have is fine. You believe whatever you were taught and we will leave it at that.

“Well, I’m not sure what continent model the different indigenous groups used but I would imagine quite a few may not have had one due to limited to no experience with people from other continents (especially among people who would have been around after the Bering Strait was not as easy or impossible to cross for most). And also given that despite whatever DNA similarities you claim to exist, they were all quite different groups in terms of culture and language.

In case you were not aware, not all indigenous people were the same.”

Of course not! Europeans don’t all share the same cultures and languages and spent many a century trying to kill each other off but they are still one related peoples that share a continent. They don’t have to share cultures and languages to be seen as such. It is proven by DNA testing that the native peoples of America are related. Innuits to Caribe to Mapuche. I think – personally – that is a good measure of what a continent is.

My comment: If we were to define continents by DNA testing, then I’d think that the Americas wouldn’t be just one big continent in modern day.

Because what percentage of DNA similarity do we need among a group of people over a territory for that territory to be considered one continent?

Take Latin America as it is right now.

In countries like Bolivia or Guatemala, you have a higher concentration of people with more indigenous ancestry.

If you go to the Northern Coast of Brazil, from what I understand, you have a higher concentration of African ancestry.

Same with the Caribbean and Pacific Coast of Colombia from what I remember.

In Argentina or Uruguay, you would have more European ancestry there.

I’m not familiar with the ancestry makeup of people from Bogota, Colombia, but from what I remember seeing there, quite a few people looked very white.

In other very specific parts of Latin America, you will find more people with Japanese ancestry and others with Middle Eastern Ancestry.

And I could go on and on….

Latin America, as of today, definitely has a wide variety of different ancestral influences.

And if I had to guess, there are probably other areas of the world that don’t have a population that have similar ancestry.

But then your claim “they don’t have to share cultures and languages to be seen as such (one related peoples).”

I would say that shared cultures and languages really makes a difference — especially as there were moments when different indigenous groups were literally committing genocide against each other.

I’m not quite sure that the indigenous victims of the Crow Creek Massacre around 1325 would have agreed with you that the group who killed them were a “related people” to them.

Or if those who were enslaved by the Triple Alliance of the Aztec Empire would have said the same either.

By DNA — sure.

And, I suppose technically speaking, since we are all human here, we all have DNA similarities no matter what country, region or ethnic group you are from.

But there is more to it than that — culture does play a role as humans do divide themselves into groups consistently.

“Should East Asia be considered part of the Americas?”

The East Asia argument suits my argument more than yours, should that be seen as a separate continent and if not, why not? Central Asia? West Asia? The Middle East? Russia owned Alaska once, was that part of Europe then or was it still in the Americas? Greenland, is that part of the Americas or is it part of Europe or was it once part of Europe and now part of the Americas? Political realities complicate a lot of it. Which is why though the Caribbean is part of the Americas, are they part of North America or South America? Or neither, if it is neither, it goes to show the falsity of the two system model for the Americas.

My comment: If you are going by the 7 continent model, then no, East Asia would not be its own continent.

And if we were to go by your previous comment about how you find DNA similarities to be a better tool to use to define continents….

Then Asia, I would suspect, would actually be broken up into different continents but it is not.

From what I understand, the Asian continent includes countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, India, Palestine, Turkmenistan, Coco Islands, Israel, etc….

Source for that is here.

I’m by far not an expert on the DNA similarities of people in those countries (and other ones I could have listed)…

But, if I had to guess, I would assume there is a bit of diversity there that doesn’t show one related peoples from the same ancestry.

And politically, culturally and linguistically — there’s huge differences as well.

From Israel to Palestine….

To China and Saudi Arabia….

And much more….

I think one thing that needs to be mentioned here (and I touched on it briefly with the culture crosses borders comments way back)…

Is that I feel you have to look at it from different lenses.

Which, in the real world, work with each other to be fair…

But your comment “political realities complicate a lot of it.”

Not just political — but linguistic and cultural.

That’s why, for example, there are people in academia who specialize in different areas of Geography….

Be it Physical Geography, Human Geography, Cultural Geography, Economic Geography, etc…

There are different ways you can look at the world.

For example…

When it comes to looking at physical geography…

You have different models for defining how many continents we have.

I go by 7, you go by whatever you were taught and agree with.

But then you have cultural and human geography.

By my belief, we have the North American and South American continent.

However, there are very obvious differences between the US and say Nicaragua.

Though, to be fair, it doesn’t end at borders as, from what I said before, culture crosses borders.

Similar to how you have more Latino culture in certain areas of the US where you have more Latino people.

And how that Latino culture is more heavily influenced by Mexican and some Central American cultures in some parts and Cuban culture in some other parts.

But not so much Paraguayan culture…

You can see the same thing anywhere else.

Like how you might notice more Bolivian culture perhaps, if I had to guess, in Jujuy or Salta of Argentina.

Or how you might have similar influence in the northern part of Chile close to the border of Bolivia.

Or how you have more European influence in certain parts of those two same countries elsewhere because of history and migration patterns in the past.

And so on and so on….

So to summarize all of this — I feel it would make more sense to separate the different lenses of how you view geography in terms of the physical, cultural, human and economic characteristics.

There is a time and place to put those lenses together to get a broader picture of things and a time and place to separate them when trying to consider how many continents we have versus considering the variety of cultures, languages, economies and ancestries of different areas.

“For example, the difference in culture and language between say the Selk’nam in Tierra del Fuego to the Marajoara by the Amazon River to Wayuu in the Guajira Peninsula and much more.

In fact, quite commonly, they killed each other, enslaved each other at other points in time and did other terrible things.”

Europeans killed and declared war on each other for centuries, still doesn’t mean they’re not one continent and one related people.

My comment: Well, I am not European and have limited time there….

But, from the perspective of an outsider, I always viewed European peoples to be different from each other.

Because you do, from my basic understanding, have different types of ethnicity in Europe (though DNA similarities to be fair)…

Such as the Slavic people….

Or Germanic people….

To Armenians….

And so much more….

Yes, the majority of Europe probably have DNA similarities….

But, despite considering the degree of DNA similarity between those different ethnic groups, you still have considerable political, cultural, linguistic, economic, and ethnic differences.

So, from my understanding, you are strictly looking at it from a DNA similarity perspective.

Which just seems like such a wrong way to go about it because it ignores the real world differences mentioned that divide people into different groups — which then has real impacts on the formation of different human societies and the interaction between them and how they view each other.

But if that’s how you want to go about it — then cool.

“Thanks! I hope you learned a bit with actual sources provided. Maybe that will help you overcome your preconceived biases that, for whatever reason, make you feel so strongly about people in Latin America getting to call themselves American.”

They’re mostly very heavily biased North American sources, so not really.

My comment: Well, I included a UK source above for you so that should make you feel right at home since you are from the UK. And also one from the UN, which, despite getting heavy American funding, is still supposed to represent every nation. I mean, it’s in the name — United Nations!.

And again, most sources indicate to me that most people on the planet use the 7 continent model. So if you don’t like North American perspectives, then there’s people in other parts of the world that share the same perspective that you can listen to as well.

Or don’t and stick to whatever model you want to believe. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

The thing is, the main point was that you trying to reason why you should be able to call yourself American and I agree with you, to a point. It just isn’t an exclusive term and nor should it be seen that way, OK, to you, is a Chilean NOT an American, even in a wider sense? If not, then the problem surely lies with you, if, in your own country you want to apply the term of ‘American’ as a distinct nationality and enforce this on Latin Americans living there then that is your prerogative, but this is why this conversation still has wheels because many other people don’t see it that way. Especially living outside the United States.

My comment: I can’t really enforce anything on Latin Americas. I can share my opinion but I don’t have an enforcement mechanism to punish Latin Americans into only using the term American for people from the US nor would I want to.

But nor would I need to — I don’t know how much time you have spent in Latin America — maybe more than me even. But just over my experience in 5 years so far down here in about half the countries, I have called myself American and nobody has taken issue with it. Most people I hang out with are Latinos (by far over 95% easily) and plenty have called me American as well.

But none of them have ever called themselves American. Because they know it would sound silly in a practical sense (something I went at before) in that it doesn’t make much sense in normal conversation to use that term for someone who doesn’t have citizenship in the US.

In a wider sense anyway, I would say the Chilean is a South American because of the difference in how I see North and South America. But that’s all that is.

But if that hypothetical Chilean were to one day say to me “soy un americano,” then that’s cool. I personally won’t find it offensive, just silly. But that’s up to that Chilean to identify how he wants — he can identify as a tree for all I care. Doesn’t make him a tree but that’s cool.

My argument is with your ‘Seven Continents’ claim, and I don’t think most people see seven continents. That there are is just a bad education system and politics. Is Australia ‘Oceania’ or is it ‘Asia’? when Asia is just a matter of a few hundred miles.

My comment: Again, if we were to define it by geologic plates (which is what I think the 7 model uses), then sure. A few hundred miles later and your plane has crossed over from one geologic plate to another. In the same way it crosses other boundaries and borders (both natural and human made).

You can call it a bad education system but I just see it as different ways of defining a continent and that’s why there are different models for it. I will say this — none of the current models I don’t think is wrong necessarily. Just a different perspective.

“I did see your other comment. ”

Pardon me, Matt, my apologies!

“Have a good day!”

You too!

Johnny - July 30, 2021 Reply

OMG! you are so stupid and basic, assuming education is right in USA but not in Mexico, when the real situation is the opposite.

People from US are so ignorant, they do not learn geography properly, they are indoctrinated to live in a bubble.

America is just one fucking continent! IGNORANT and indoctrinated in the Homero Simpsons World!!!

    Matt - July 30, 2021 Reply

    Lmao you already missed the long conversation right above you that touched most of this.

    But before we begin the discussion, I looked up your IP address and the email included with your comment to get a basic idea of where you are coming from.

    Are you the insecure local living in Latin America who hates the idea of two American continents and who gets to use the word American?

    The stereotypical white SJW non-Latino liberal standing up for a group of people he ain’t part of?

    The American born Latino who feels insecure about how solid his connection is with his roots?

    So, from what I could tell over 3 minutes of basic research, you are a dude born or at least spent a significant time in Colombia and lives by Miami, Florida area of the US.

    So let’s go with that as I respond to your comment by breaking it down bit by bit.

    The Education

    Look, first off, if we were to compare the education systems in most of the US to most of Mexico, the US would win.

    Or Colombia for that matter.

    For example, going beyond my observations living down here (and not in Florida like you), I brought up some random sources that supposedly cite rankings made on which countries in the world have a better education system.

    This one ranks US education system as being “20th” in the world but Mexico (and no Latin country actually) is on the list.

    Then you have this source here that ranks the US education system as being number 2 or this source as the US Education system being number 1……

    So on and so on.

    Among all the other sources on that internet that rank the US education system from being number 1 (which, to be fair, I do doubt we are number 1 in this area) to number 20.

    But yet with every Latin country (including Mexico or Colombia) falling behind us.

    Of course, there are many other ways to determine which countries rank in terms of “education.”

    If we were to look at what countries spend on “education” by percentage of GDP, then a country like Cuba would, from what I just saw, supposedly quite rank well.

    Of course, there’s more to it than just “how much you spend” but also on strong the educational institutions are and what are the results.

    So, to be fair, it’s tough to rank every country in the world by “education” when there’s different ways to rank it.

    Either way, this source here shows the rankings of each country along the “Education Index” that is part of the Human Development Index. Basically, it takes in a variety of factors to look at to rank education systems in each country and makes its ranking based on that.

    In that list, the US is number 15 and no Latin American country ranks above us.

    In fact, the first Latin country to show up is Argentina at number 27 in the rankings.

    Mexico and Colombia?

    Mexico ranks at 83 from what I see and Colombia is number 94.

    So you might not want to be all judgemental about education systems when it seems the country you might be from sucks major donkey balls at education and the US stands at a relatively respectful position.

    Which you might have a better understanding of deep down if you ever decided to pursue better educational opportunities outside of Colombia (and you likely have, I suppose).

    We are definitely not the best though. Hey, we try to be like Finland but uhh, don’t they Finnish first or something? (bad joke, bad joke even as Finland isn’t number 1 in that ranking either).

    That all doesn’t even factor into the quality of the college education system that still has a good chunk of US universities outranking almost all Latin universities (with, to be fair, some Latin universities relatively ranking well like Universidad de los Andes in Colombia to UBA in Argentina to UNAM in Mexico among others).

    Hell, even I have some experience with the Colombian education system.

    Some odd years ago, I did a brief time studying at Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla.

    Was it a good educational experience?

    Well, supposedly it was one of the better universities on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia.

    But, in my experience there, it didn’t really hold a candle to my experience studying at university in the US.

    Not even close.

    There was one professor that was actually decent but the rest were below average or shit.

    So, speaking of education systems, I can’t speak highly of the Colombian education system based on my very brief experience with it or based on the data that is out there publicly.

    You might have your own experience with the education system in Colombia though and that is fine.

    Still, for every Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia, the US has quite a few universities that out rank that one also.

    But those are all just rankings by experts….

    In my personal experience living in Latin America for 6 years and Mexico for 4, not in a million years would I put my kids into the public education system in Mexico if I were to have a family here.

    In the US? I’d be OK with putting them into the public education system generally.

    Still, you do have good educational institutions in Mexico and Colombia (plenty of nice private ones that, relative to the US, are cheaper to be fair).

    Two Continents and American Definition

    Either way, it’s not really a matter of the quality of education systems if we are being honest when it comes to the topic of if we should divide North and South America into separate continents or into one continent.

    Because, as you missed in the conversation above you, it’s more a matter of the different definitions and models that exist for how many continents exist.

    Assuming you are Latino born and raised in Latin America (like being from some Latin country like Colombia and living in Florida), I can only guess that is what you were taught (the Americas being one continent).

    Of course, what would you know about Mexico if you weren’t born here? Got time here? Let’s hear about it Johnny.

    Fair enough.

    In the same way that, in the US, we were taught a different model.

    And each model has its own validity to a degree.

    Still, there are various points made in the article and in the conversation above that still stand:

    First, most folks in the world do see the two Americas as different (though that isn’t to say that nobody takes on your perspective either. Many do).

    Second, regardless of which continent model most people use in the world, you will never be “American” to most folks born and raised outside of Latin America if you were not born in the US or at least somehow gained citizenship/maybe permanent residency in the US.

    Which you might be because you do come from Miami area supposedly.

    That’s because there’s a certain “common” usage of the word “American” in which most people on the planet associate that word with those from the US and not Latin America more broadly.

    If you were to ask a random person from the following countries: Pakistan, Estonia, South Africa, Paraguay, Canada, Thailand and New Zealand the following question:

    “If someone says “I am American,” what country do you think they are from?”

    Outside of the Paraguayan, I’m willing to bet everyone thinks from the US.

    And even the Paraguayan, assuming they aren’t too knee jerk reactionary to that use of the word, will probably say from the US also,

    Still, if you believe that both North and South America are just one and that this person can identify as being American despite not being born in the US, cool.

    Good for you.

    The logic of using the term “American” for anyone born in another country of the Americas outside of the US is sound if you follow a different continent model.

    Still, in the real world, most people outside of the Americas (even in Latin America) might find it confusing if this person says “soy Americano” when asked “de donde eres?”

    For obvious reasons.

    So while I’ll respect how you were taught a different model, the practicality of applying a different model to what you are taught is complicated in the real world outside of your bubble (assuming that model considers both of the Americas to be one).

    The Bubble

    And, on the topic of bubbles, I’d fair to say that most individuals in Latin America are not any better when it comes to being inside or outside a bubble.

    In fact, the US takes in far more immigrants on a per capita basis than just about any Latin country and our immigrants come from all over the world.

    As a result of how strong our immigrant community is that strives and often do become Americans (we’re not a 1950s American), we have plenty of people who speak languages from all over the world!

    On top of that, I’d argue we are even more tolerant of foreigners participating in our politics in certain ways than in Mexico, Colombia or other various countries.

    In Mexico, there was this foreigner that was banned for political activities like you can read here.

    In Colombia, this German woman was deported for her political activities as you can read here.

    Yet here’s a Mexican flag seen at a BLM protest in the US not too long ago.

    Among all the other examples online of the US being tolerant of foreigners and foreign flags being at politically charged events.

    Which, on my end, I’m OK with because I do believe that, even if you are a foreigner, you should have a right to express yourself on political topics — especially if you pay taxes and live in the country!

    Though, in contrast, how many Latin countries are as tolerant when it comes to what laws they have on the books and in their constitutions about that and how tolerant are their respective citizens about that?

    Especially with the relative lack of immigrants who make up a lower capita basis of the population relative to the US?

    So which country and its citizens really live in a bubble here?

    Given you are a likely foreign born person living in Florida (with or without American citizenship by now), you might know the answer to that if you wanted to be honest with yourself.

    On top of all of that….

    We are a country that is also heavily involved in world affairs to much more serious degree than any Latin country (although our affairs are not always respectful of human rights but world affairs they still are!).

    Suffice to say, if you do come from another Latin country Johnny, we Americans are probably less in a bubble than most of your country folks.

    Though, to be fair, I have no inside knowledge as to what your background is outside of being maybe from Colombia and living in Florida.

    Suffice to say, we have more interaction with the global community than people in most Latin countries.

    Which isn’t to say that Americans are perfect when it comes to being “in or outside” the bubble.

    Plenty are for sure!

    Like in most of the world you got folks in more rural areas like that.

    And, of course, you could argue there is a “bubble” in terms of a wealth gap.

    The average American being more well off materially than most of the average folks in the so called “not first world.”

    Still, I could throw it back on you and say plenty of folks in Latin America are ignorant about the US!

    Why?

    Because I’ve seen it over 6 years now!

    Though I do gripe about them, I also try to be understanding that ignorance is often just from a lack of experience with the other.

    So, for that reason, I can understand where the ignorance of the rural Guatemalan is similar to the ignorance of the local in rural North Dakota.

    Still, plenty of ignorance and “living in a bubble” in Latin America also.

    Being an American living in Latin America, I can safely say a good deal of people have their own “bubble of ignorance” they reside in which they lack proper knowledge of what Americans (being from the US if you are confused) are like.

    Like how we are not this 1950s society that some down here think we are…

    That we have plenty of diversity (racially, ethnically, nationality wise/immigrants, linguistically).

    That we all don’t shit out bricks of gold to the shock of the local in Latin America trying to gringo price us.

    So on and so on.

    Wrapping it Up

    So, before you point the dirty end of the stick, I’d encourage you to look at your own ignorance also and whatever bubble you might come from.

    Though, if you are a born and raised Latino (from Latin America) living in Florida, I guess it’s just anger on your part regarding the different opinion here on the number of continents and what is fair use of the term American.

    Which, as I said, anyone can call themselves an American in Latin America.

    Most people on the planet might not agree with that use of the word or find it confusing but fair enough.

    And the understanding on the number and definition of a continent will vary by country (not just those in the Americas).

    At any rate, despite our differences on how many continents there are (the main topic here), I’ll always concede that there is no “right” model for continent numbers and you can call yourself an American any day of the week to anyone on the planet.

    Just be warned most folks on the planet will be confused when your idea of “American” means being from Mexico or Colombia.

    Though I doubt you are from Mexico because your IP address is from Florida and email ties to someone with experience in Colombia.

    Either way, thankfully for you, you probably don’t use the term “American” to describe your roots (unless you now have citizenship or at least PR).

    And if you do have that by now, then cool.

    For others, it tends to be sometimes nothing more than but just an opportunity to be a stick in the ass so that for once in your life to be on a high horse against those “damn yankees.”

    Though, given your IP address, you might be a “damn yankee” also!

    Well, as I said, thanks for your insight. I’ll concede some ground to you like I have with others on this topic but let’s be intellectually honest on the real world practicality that could be applied to your logic.

    Have a good weekend!

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