“Tu Vuò Fà L’Americano” by Renato Carosone
(You pretend to be American)
There’s the silliest trend of people outside the United States insisting that they too are Americans. I’d never heard this from Mexicans or other Latinos living in the States, only outside. Their logic’s simple enough for anyone who made it to 3rd grade geography. Whatever country they’re from is in a continent called South America or region named Central America, so they’re Americans too.
Wow. Isn’t that insightful? A gringo never would’ve put that together. How will US education ever catch up?
Unfortunately this leaves no adjective in the English language to describe people or things from the United States. In Spanish, there’s estadounidense. And if you look up estadounidense on WordReference, you’ll see the English translation is AMERICAN.
In the third most populous country and world’s most ethnically diverse, ‘American’ means almost nothing. In the US there are millions of every color of the rainbow, in freezing to sweaty climates, in uber-urban to uber-rural areas. The word already means so little, let’s not reduce it to complete worthlessness by including Mexicans, Argentines, Haitians, Jamaicans, Trinidadians, Colombians, Canadians (and trust me, the Canadians do NOT want to be called ‘Americans’), and more. American would inarguably be the most meaningless word in the English language. Because our hemisphere is comprised of two continents and is so diverse, ‘American’ would mean less than Asian, African, or European. You could at least get a mental image of those adjectives. But ‘American’ would mean absolutely nothing.
I’ll pose a question to all the Colombians, Peruvians, Brazilians, or whoever disagree with me. When you go abroad and someone asks you where you’re from, what do you say? You don’t say AMERICA, do you? Of course not. And you’ve never told someone you’re AMERICAN (unless it was in the context of making this stupid fucking point). No, you say COLOMBIAN or PERUVIAN or whatever you are. Stop this nonsense already.
Here’s the Wikipedia page for Names for US Citizens. The very first fucking sentence:
Different languages use different terms for citizens of the United States, who are known in English as Americans.
My concession: if speaking in Spanish, I’ll say estadounidense (I don’t like norteamericano because it includes all these fucking countries). You can call yourself ‘americano’ in Spanish (even though you never do) and I don’t give a shit. I won’t try to change the Spanish language. So you don’t try to change the English language. And in English, you monkeys, American describes someone or something from the United States. Pull your head out of your ass.
What are other options for American in English? Gringo? No, in much of Latin America ‘gringo’ includes Europeans. Plus many gringos find it insulting (not me). Yankee? No, Southerners would object to that. United Statian? That second word would rhyme with Haitian. Not so much. Usamerican? Get real. There is no other word to describe people or things from the US. We deserve our own word. If Luxembourgers and Leichtensteiners get their own words, we get one too goddammit.
It never would’ve occurred to me to write this if I hadn’t gotten this hater comment from some kool-aid drinking gringo:
Are you aware that “America” consists of North, Central, and South America? You incredibly moronic ‘tard.
Before that I never thought much of this silliness. I thought people who said things like “We’re all Americans” were nerds and their agenda lame, but none of my business. But now that’s it’s been thrown in my face …
The funny thing is just after reading that comment, I went to the boxing gym at Cl 44 and Septima. I’d trained there a couple times before. The lightweight pro who runs the place saw that I had experience. He wants me to train there and we’re shooting the shit. Another trainer was working with a young Colombian fella who was about out of wind. He was struggling with standing situps. The lightweight pro started yelling at him, “Vamos, vamos! Muestra a este americano … bla bla bla.” Show this American what you got!
So right after reading the hater’s comment, I was referred to as ‘American’ IN SPANISH by a Colombian. And since that comment it’s happened a dozen other times. Case closed, bitches!
I obviously love Latin America if I choose to live here. I’ve forwarded to many friends this article about how the close relationship between the US and Latin America is more important than the US with China. We have a common history of colonialism. Our countries share a legacy of immigrants leaving old Europe for a better life. We have strong traditions of democracy and free speech (besides Cuba and Venezuela of course). I’m proud of what we have in common and I will always live in the Americas.
This is not a nationalist or racist piece. This is a common sense vs. silly agenda piece. Seriously, be proud of your own country. Call yourself Colombian or whatever you are. Your country has your own word. Let us have ours, at least in English.
Absurdities from the bastardization of the word ‘American’
(just for fun)
American English accent:
(starts at 0:13)
Typical American music:
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