Am I the only one who gets infuriated when I hear citizens of the USA referring to themselves as Americans, as though the only Americans in the world are US citizens? America is a continent, indeed for some two continents: South America and North America. Guatemalans, Canadians, Argentinians, Brazilians, Peruvians are all Americans. We therefore need to invent a new word to refer to citizens of the USA, and their language.
Perhaps we should all start referring to USans (as in Jamaicans but from the USA), USish (as in English or Spanish) and USese (as in Portuguese). The trouble is that these do not roll easily off the tongue! However, at least it might begin to stop the rot. Why do so many US citizens really think that they have a natural born right to rule the world! If we stop calling them Americans, it might make them think twice about the real place of the USA.
Britain once imposed its rule over much of the world, but most of us born here now realise the perils of imperialism. By encouraging USans to realise that they come from a relatively small country lacking in culture and history, we might actually be doing them a huge favour, helping them to find their true place in the world – not as an aggressor seeking to impose one particular vision of so-called democracy on the rest of the world, but instead as a peaceful neighbour seeking to do good. After all, the USA has merely 4.5% of the world’s population, and is dwarfed by China with 19.5% and India with 17.3%. When China and India take their rightful places as world leaders, what will poor USans do then? At the very least, the next time you hear a US citizen referring to themselves as an American, do ask whether they come from Ecuador, Venezuela or Costa Rica and see what the reaction is!