So I was reading on the Internet for survey results, reports and numbers that show in fact that the average American may not know so much about the world outside the US, something that is widely held by many, be it accurately or inaccurately. On one of those question-and-answers pages online I found the take of one single American that, while not published in the New York Times, still felt pretty nuanced and reflected enough to share on this forum. I don't have any idea who the writer of these thoughts is but I'd be inclined to salute him for penning his view on the matter.

Americans -generally- are reared under what I call the "de facto supremacy" model. That is, from the earliest days of education to the sunset years of selecting just the right tombstone (it must be bigger and more expensive than the neighbor who just pased), Americans are inundated with this singular notion that no one -nor any country- on the planet is equivalent to them. It's a sad commentary to say the least.

For me this is a result of failed leadership within every major institution (business, education, government, religion, social services, etc) in that there is no onus -or reward- for speaking truth to power. As such, it becomes an endless dance around the truth ... a tango of half-truths ... a waltz of smoke and mirrors ... an upbeat tempo of illusion (e.g., the American Dream).

This charade begins in the public school system where the teaching of "facts" is secondary to the teaching of American Supremacy. The teaching of World History is second -or nonexistant- to the teaching of American History (over and over again). The teaching of a Global perspective is second to the indoctrination of an American perspective. The teaching of assessment, analysis, reflection, and thinking beyond the "self" is second to accepting, acquiescing, repeating, and honoring the propaganda of "America the Greatest" that is the daily staple.

So, to a degree, it's not the fault of our children, our students ... it's truly the fault of weak-kneed, ineffective, and compliant adults who, as much as they really do know better, refuse to "speak truth to power" and effect enough cultural change to shift America from a country of self-proclaimed independence (falsely applied) to a country that can see it's position -interdependently- with the 200-plus other nations and states of the world and come to know that 6.7 billion people occupy the one planet we all share in common -and that America's de facto supremacy (of 304 million people; less than 5% of the world's total population) is an outdated, ineffective concept.


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