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In my class (in Montpelier), there is a strong anti-Bush, anti-American sentiment. The other students are nice, but they’re constantly making fun of my country. There have been several occasions where I have had to say, “Excuse me, maybe you’ve forgotten that I’m an American..” They always apologize, but they’re back at it in five minutes. It bugs me when everyone says, “You like Bush? You like the United-States? Why?” They want me to say, “No, I hate Bush, and I hate the U.S. too,” but I would never say that. I am a citizen of the United States, and even if I don’t like my country, I can’t say that outside of the U.S. When I’m in my own country, I can say what I want to say- good things, bad things, whatever. But when I’m in another country, I need to be respectful. I don’t have to agree with the American government, and I can say that I don’t agree. But (at least in my opinion) I can’t say, “You’re right. The U.S. government is terrible, and I hate it.” It’s like being in a family- inside the family, you can say whatever you want, but outside of it, you need to defend it.
~ Pamela Mandigo