The Worldy Wise: Insider Views From The United States

In a new series we will interview a person from a country outside of the UK for their views on their life and their native country. This week we speak to Anthony, who lives in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Where are you from?

I live in Chicago, Illinois, about 15 minutes from Downtown.

(if a student) What are you studying? (If not a student) where do you work/what do you do?

I am a fifth and sixth grade social studies teacher at St. Daniel the Prophet School in Chicago.

What do you think is a unique aspect of your country?

I think the diversity in this country is amazing. You have so many different cultures, traditions, and stories from such a diverse group of people. That’s what makes us so different, though some people think that’s a negative thing.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing your country at the moment?

Honestly, I think there are so many issues in so many different parts of the United States that, at this point, it’s too hard to keep track.

Anybody in Chicago will tell you the amount of violence – especially gang-related violence – in this city is getting absolutely out of control. When you turn on the news after work and hear about a mother being shot to death and her 11-month-old baby sustaining serious injuries, it just makes you disgusted. I love Chicago, but to see this city become a laughing stock in terms of near-daily killings, it’s just absolute insanity.

As a teacher, there are some serious issues in the world of education. In a society that wants to value a child’s education, nobody really seems all that keen on the idea of making the educational process effective for teachers, students, parents, and administrators alike. I love being a teacher. I think about how blessed and grateful I am every single day I chose this career path, but there are some serious issues in the educational world that need to be addressed. And soon.

The main issue in the US, however, is simple: intolerance. Many people simply just want to be mad about something and show hate and anger at a person or group. It’s starting to feel like, as a country, we’ve lost the idea of people having their own individual beliefs and ideas. It just doesn’t matter anymore. Intolerance breeds ignorance, and ignorance eventually leads to violence.  

What do you think first comes to mind when people are talking about
your country?

Citizens in the United States pride themselves on being “the land of the free,” and I suppose we should. American’s seem to value the fact we have such a blend of people from all over the world, although as I mentioned about the increase in hate-groups, violence, and intolerance, I guess that remains to be seen.

Pretty much everyone here knows what people outside of the US think of this country. Obesity. Guns. Baseball. Yelling ‘Merica at any given opportunity. While those aren’t completely unjustified, I don’t think it’s fair that people always look down on the United States.

Is there anything you wish people knew about your country that
doesn’t get mentioned in the media?

There’s a lot of people here who care about what’s going on around us and even throughout the world. We’re just as embarrassed and disappointed to see that 1960’s-style racism is alive and well. We (well, many) are just as annoyed that Donald Trump is a legitimate possibility to be the President of the United States. Don’t generalize about us. We’re not all nuts.

What questions would you ask one of our worldly wise interviewees? Let us know in the comments and we just might use it!