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Celia Capace - (America) Ignorance is bliss

I have chosen not to involve myself with Snapchat, Twitter or any other social media platforms as my addictive personality would have me on social media 24/7.  As it is, I spend more than enough time on Facebook. I belong to a couple of autoimmune illness groups on Facebook and a couple of religious/political ones and because of this I came to realise how much of a lucky country Australia is.

Social media is a fascinating place to be.  I have gotten to know some interesting folks from all over the world which has led to learning what Brexit is and that the German population feels bad about WWII, amongst so many other things.  I can also keep up to date with my Italian relatives through this platform. Those that amuse me the most are the Americans. In my autoimmune illness groups, it is the poor Americans that suffer the most due to their farce of a healthcare system yet through the political-religious groups I have learnt most Americans are against universal health-care.  It amazes me that the only people that are against universal healthcare are those that don’t have it. If my family had migrated to America instead of Australia I’d be bankrupt or dead by now. Therefore I don’t understand the mentality of ‘as long as I’m ok, who cares about anyone else’. I’ve heard this mostly from conservative American Christians which I find ironic.  Hypocritical would be a more accurate word. Our debates in these facebook groups are civil but often heated. The rules of the groups include no personal insults but celebrities, politicians or religious groups are a free-for-all. What is allowed is to attack an argument but not the person.

I’ve come to realise that Americans don’t know much outside their own country.  I’ve learnt it’s not their fault as they are not taught much in their school years about history, geography, society or anything outside of America.  The average American seems to have this misconception that they are the freest country in the world.  I often remind them that all western nations enjoy these same freedoms. One American bloke once tried to convince me that American’s right to bear arms is what gave them the number one position of freedom and liberty in the world.  I responded that no other western nation lives in constant fear of their government taking over. That’s one fucked up sense of freedom in my book, I concluded. My response resulted in me being blocked by that person.

Whilst working in the sex industry I became aware of how insular Americans are.  A gentleman with an American accent rang to ask if we had any African American ladies available that day.  We were lucky that Foxy, who lived in Sydney, had travelled to Melbourne to work for a couple of weeks. African or African descendant sex workers in Australia are rare and while Foxy was English she was of African descent.  I told him I only had an African-English lady who was very popular. “Would she do”, I wondered?

“What is that supposed to mean? African-English!” he responded angrily.  I was confused as to why he was upset so I calmly responded, “It means she’s English born but of African origin.  You do understand that Africans are just African or the nationality that their born into? African-Americans only exist in the United States”.  He didn’t respond but I could hear him breathing on the other end of the line. He then gently hung up on me. I don’t think he was being rude.  I honestly believe the poor guy had no idea and needed time to process this new information. He didn’t call back, which was a pity as Foxy was gorgeous and a lot of fun.  Maybe if I’d have told him she was African-American he wouldn’t have known the difference. I’ll never know.