Their America is devoted to significant expressions (speeches, essays, political cartoons, fiction, news stories, etc.) about America by non-Americans. Our major objective is to create a global, synoptic site for Their America, an unpolemical, informative, and provocative resource not just for ‘American Studies’ scholars around the world, but for anyone interested in studying and debating the international reputation of the United States. We seek to explore a country no less strange and uncharted than America itself once was: their America, the nation and peoples of the United States as they exist in the hearts and minds of others.
(We’re looking, in particular, for suggestions about the most influential expressions about America by non-Americans — tell us what should be in our archives, and why, in the regional “Founders” sections of our forums.)
NEW TO THE ARCHIVES
In a column ostensibly explaining why moderates struggle in the Republican party, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen last year wrote: “People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York – a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts – but not all – of America.”
If the thought of New York’s first family’s interracial marriage makes many Republicans (and apparently Cohen) gag, imagine how many sick bags they are filling over Ebola. The arrival of the virus in America has crystallised a range of Conservative anxieties: immigration, race, terrorism, science, big government, Barack Obama – you name it. For the right, Ebola is not just a disease, it is a metaphor for some of the things they don’t understand and many of the things they loathe.
Conservative eminence grise Phyllis Schlafly believes Obama is allowing it into the country deliberately. “Obama doesn’t want America to believe that we’re exceptional,” she said. “He wants us to be just like everybody else, and if Africa is suffering from Ebola, we ought to join the group and be suffering from it, too.” Rightwing radio host Rush Limbaugh claims liberals won’t impose a travel ban from infected areas because Ebola is “payback” for slavery. […]
THEIR AMERICA TIMELINE