Opinion

The Great Debate

The Ugly American and other stereotypes

By Bernd Debusmann
July 16, 2009

Bernd Debusmann- Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own -

What happened to the Ugly American, the one with the loud shirt and the loud voice, expecting the natives to speak English? Has he been shouldered aside by the Arrogant French?

That’s the conclusion one could draw from a survey this month of 4,500 hotel owners around the world who rated the French the world’s worst tourists, bad at foreign languages, arrogant and tight-fisted. Spaniards, deemed noisy and messy, came second in a field of 27. Americans ranked 9th on the list of the top 10 best.

The survey, commissioned by the online travel agency Expedia, ranked travellers in nine categories, from cleanliness to generosity in tipping, and provided food for thought on a long-running debate on an unresolved question: to what extent do national stereotypes correspond to reality?

One of the most extensive studies of that question ever conducted, led by scientists of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, involved 4,000 people in 48 countries and came to the conclusion, in 2005, that most national stereotypes are inaccurate.

Researchers compared perceived national characteristics with actual character traits and reported some surprising findings. Americans, for example, think the typical American is very assertive. Canadians think the typical Canadian is submissive. But Canadians and Americans had almost identical scores in objective measures of assertiveness.

The enduring nature of stereotypes, scientific studies challenging their veracity notwithstanding, is reflected in an evergreen joke about the nature of heaven and hell: Heaven is the place where the lovers are Italian, the police are English, the mechanics are German, the cooks are French and the place is run by the Swiss.

Hell is where the lovers are Swiss, the cooks are English, the mechanics are French, the police are German and the place is run by the Italians.

In a similar vein: How many American tourists does it take to change a light bulb? Nine. Three to figure out how much the bulb costs in the local currency, three to comment on how funny-looking local light bulbs are and three to hire a local person to change the bulb.

So is there a kernel of truth to the notion of the noisy American, the efficient German, the stiff-upper-lip Briton, the stingy Scot, the rude French, the passionate Latin lover, the drunken Russian, the polite and boring Canadian, the extrovert Australian, the macho Mexican, the egocentric Argentine, the melancholic Swede? It depends on whom you ask.

STEREOTYPES ARE UNIVERSAL

Almost everyone has stereotypical ideas of other nations and other cultures. Shining the light on these notions can be entertaining as well as good business. Take the case of the Xenophobe’s Guides, a series of light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek books on the characteristics of different nations.

Since the guides started in 1995, the publisher sold 2.6 million copies and there are translations into 22 languages, according to Anne Tauté, the creator and editor of the series who lives in London. She says she was prompted to start the books to provide more insight into other cultures.

The guide to Americans observes that they “are friendly because they just can’t help it; they like to be neighbourly and want to be liked. However, a wise traveller realises that a few happy moments with an American do not translate into a permanent commitment of any kind.”

On the French: “French politicians look smart because power itself is chic, attractive, and one should dress to look the part. The French electorate would never allow any government to intervene in their lives if it were shabbily dressed.”

There is a serious side to stereotypes. As history has shown, they can contribute to discrimination and prejudice, often reflected by offensive jokes. As in: What do you get when you cross an Italian with a Mexican? A gangster on welfare. At the extreme end of stereotyping, there have been persecution and mass murder, viz. Nazi Germany or Rwanda.

To get back to the survey of tourists: it confirmed some widely-held stereotypes and raised questions over others. Why do people from France and Spain, the world’s top two tourist destinations (The U.S. is third) behave in ways they would criticise in visitors to their own countries?

As to the Americans: they were rated the loudest, least tidy and worst complainers. They owe their ranking as the 9th best to generous spending and tipping and to their willingness to try and communicate in the local language. Who ranked first? The Japanese.

Comments
79 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

“What happened to the Ugly American, the one with the loud shirt and the loud voice, expecting the natives to speak English? Has he been shouldered aside by the Arrogant French?”

Reply: He has turned to online blogging.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive
 

Why the sensitivity Dan? He didn’t say a single bad word about Americans, sheesh.

These type of blogs are exactly what we need to stop stereotypes.

Posted by Michael Ham | Report as abusive
 

More than the French is the Parisians with “la salle extranger” that are the arrogant tourists. Paris is a beautiful city but Parisians are haughty. As for Argentines, the joke is that you buy one for the price he is worth and you sell him for the price he believes he is worth.

Posted by Ricardo | Report as abusive
 

Finally! A Reuters mass-debate article that is about something genuinely important. I’m not sure about the version of heaven with the English police though, but I guess that depends on what branch they work for. (I haven’t noticed any ugly American’s on my travels either, which reminds me of a German chap I met while having a cigarette on the side of the road [you can't smoke on a motorbike] who came up and started talking to me in German [I was in Germany] so “I said I might look like a German but I’m not German” [in English] and he said “what does a German look like?” [also in English… they’re good like that, the Germans.)

Posted by Peter H | Report as abusive
 

I have to disagree about the anti-French comments. I spent the millenium party at the Moulin-Rouge, had a great time, and was treated courteously the next day when francs were exchanged for eurodollars. I only had one semester of French in college and when I tried to use it, the French were polite and ofter replied in English. If the exchange rate ever gets back to one Euro for one dollar, I will head back!

Posted by James Cannon | Report as abusive
 

It’s amazing how few people have read the original novel “The Ugly American.” I always find it ironic that the title character is, in fact, only ugly in his facial features, and is a model of how one should behave when abroad: sensitive to local needs and customs, the protagonist is an engineer who works hard to better the lives of the people he meets. Given that this book was written in the 1950s or early sixties, it’s amazing how sympathetically he and those he meets are presented. The unpleasant character is the government official from the embassy who is portrayed as loud, arrogant, and dismissive of the concerns and needs of the locals, sure (in the style of what we generally call an “Ugly American”) that he knows what is best for them.
I strongly recommend reading the book.

Posted by Rob B | Report as abusive
 

I am an American who owns a house in a colonial Méxican city, and yes I am often embarrassed by American visitors. First, they are much too big and much too pink: I suppose they can’t help that part. Second, you can often hear them before you see them, especially in restaurants. Third, they nearly always are dressed inappropriately. Méxican men only wear shorts on the soccer field and sometimes on the beach. Men over the age of 50 NEVER wear shorts! I don’t think I have ever seen a Méxican woman of any age in shorts in the city. Older Méxican women wear skirts, always. Only very young women wear jeans. Americans come off as being oblivious and clueless. But the sweet Méxicans forgive them because they are free-spending and invariably over-tip!

Posted by Constance | Report as abusive
 

The problem with using a tourist-based study to assess the truth behind stereotypes is that tourists to other countries are not a random sample of the population. Neither are all regions of a country visited equally by tourists. The US definitely has a fairly small minority of people who travel relatively frequently outside of North America, a larger minority who travel outside of the US on rare, special occasions, and a large group who do not travel outside the US. Witness the great pride exhibited by certain members of congress who paraded their lack of a passport as proof of patriotism. Why, after all, would any true-blooded American go to some foreign place?

Posted by Joy | Report as abusive
 

RE:”Hell is where the lovers are Swiss, the cooks are English, the mechanics are French, the police are German and the place is run by the Italians”

Rather, it is: Hell is where the lovers are Swiss, the cooks are English, the mechanics are Italian, the police are German and the place is run by the French

Heaven is where the lovers are French, the cooks are Italian, the mechanics are German, the police are English and the place is run by the Swiss

…but things do change

Posted by Pablo | Report as abusive
 

So the article starts by saying Americans used to be viewed as loud and unpleasant, and finally concludes that Americans are still…loud and unpleasant. I have travelled a great deal and I think the stereotypes are well-deserved all around: passionate Italians, brash Australians, methodical Germans, loud but friendly Americans, drunk Russians, polite but distant English and Canadians. I’ve met several of all of these. I’ve also met some of each who shatter the mold, and have learned it’s best to just meet as many people from all places as possible and get to know them as people, rather than pre-judging them.

Posted by Ken Baker | Report as abusive
 

Rob B:

The book, by William Lederer and Eugene Burdick was published in 1958 and became a bestseller. Its title
became a dual-purpose label, first primarily pasted on inept American officials abroad and later on the kind of traveler who would irritate the natives with boorish manners and garish clothes, feeding anti-American sentiments around the globe.

The book is indeed worth reading, or re-reading. Many of the characters it portrays are alive and well today, in different settings and different countries.

Posted by BDebusmann | Report as abusive
 

Constance, first off, foreigners can’t own property in Mexico. Are you sporting duel citizenship or something? And if you’re seriously going to suggest to me that a country with no middle class somehow “outdresses” Americans is a joke. When did wearing shorts become a problem? It is, after all, really hot in Mexico. Perhaps your “colonial Mexican city” isn’t the norm. Maybe they’re not wearing shorts because they can’t afford them, or they’re waiting on one of their relatives who illegally came to the states to send them back some of OUR money. (see, I can use CAPS too).

Posted by Greggo | Report as abusive
 

Princeton did an interesting study a few years ago on whether stereotypes change over time. They do, it found. Stereotypes in the U.S. of Italians and Japanese, for example, were much more negative in the 1930s than they are today. The question that is not often asked is to what extent politicians and the media in a free society (as opposed to a dictatorship with a controlled press) are responsible for perpetuating or deepening stereotypes. Anyone remember how “French fries” became “Freedom fries”? The neocons under Bush went out of their way to portray the French as cowards for not joining the “coalition of the willing” in Iraq. The conservative media went right along.

Posted by Elvira | Report as abusive
 

Hate to rain on your politically correct parade Michael, but “stereotypes” are a fact of life. They exist because they are based on facts people can see with thier own eyes. They won’t go away and there is nothing we can do about it. As for Constance, I am embarrased that people like that always look down on thier own country. You can defend the Mexicans if you wish but based on what I have seen they don’t need to be looking down on Americans in the rudeness department. Based on what I see with my own eyes they are extremely surly when I go to thier restaraunts and when they “bump” into me at Wal-Mart (literally). They often come off as arrogant and careless so if Americans do them the same way in thier country, I say HOORAY!!! HAHA!

Posted by Christopher | Report as abusive
 

I’m an American living in the PRC. Stereotypes abound and the ex-pat community comments on them regularly. They make life easier when dealing with new situations and we all do it. When my children were young I told them stereotypes exist for a reason. Some members of a group live up to them and so we stereo type the group. But, each individual should be judged on their own merits and given the benefit of the doubt even as I would hope others would do for this ugly, old, white (actually kinda gray), big nosed, loud, opinionated, American in China

Posted by Jeff Legue | Report as abusive
 

We need reminding that “The Ugly American” was the hero of the book with that name. He was an American engineer who created a simple water pumping system for the natives using a bicycle and bamboo, which were local materials easily obtained. His efforts were contrasted in the book to a US government sponsored super highway that ended at the edge of a jungle. Perhaps the original road to nowhere. He was a good man, a simple man and bit ugly. Somewhere along the way he’s been transformed into a tourist. The book was credited with inspiring JFK to create the Peace Corps.

Posted by Richard Guindon | Report as abusive
 

read mark twain’s *the innocent abroads.* he’s the one who coined the term, “ugly american.”

Posted by gloria monti, ph.d. | Report as abusive
 

Filipinos are hospitable.

 

I’ve done a bit of traveling in my time and have found that cultural stereotypes do carry an element of truth in their descriptions. I’m reminded of the old joke that goes, “What is the difference between a group of terrorists and a group of German tourists?” The answer is, “Terrorists have sympathizers.”

Posted by queenofromania | Report as abusive
 

US AMERICANS -
HAWAIIN SHIRTS in a formal restuarant , big hair and beer belly couples cheap CIGARS AND FAT overtly displayed MONEY CLIPS OF THE DEMANDING NEUVO RICHE ARE NO LONGER the norm. THE KIDS GREW UP EMBARRASSED and learned manners. Also-
The neuvo poor(er) are more humble and less brash.

Posted by dcm | Report as abusive
 

but then there are still the christophers of wal-mart.

Posted by dcm | Report as abusive
 

It is probably not accurate to lump American behavior into one basket. As the country becomes less “European White Ancestry” and more other, then the culture shifts, and behaviors must also shift. The U.S. is projected to become 50% Hispanic in less than 30 years given current demographic trends. Any group of humans will act based on their wetware, that is, the programming in their brains. The programming in turn is influenced by their family(ethnicity related)and region they live in. I should also point out that England is becoming unlike its historical roots, and stereotypes about England are out of date.

The world is constantly changing. But, the homogenous populations that don’t allow immigration, such as Japan, are likely to keep their culture (and stereotypes) constant over longer periods of time.

Posted by Sage | Report as abusive
 

Could be that the stereotypes are just the ones you notice? I live in Barcelona which gets its fair share of foreign tourists. I notice the loud, brash Americans, the queue jumping Germans, the drunk badly dressed Brits, (the reserved polite brit stereotype is no more I’m afraid, at least here in Spain)the arrogant French, etc. But the quiet, polite, well dressed tourists may well also be American, German, British, etc but I can’t tell without speaking to them…

A telling story (perhaps). I was looking at a menu outside a restaurant in Rome last year and the waiter came out to try and persuade me inside, speaking French. I told him I’m not French and he began to try and guess – Swiss? German? Spanish? No, English. Impossible he cried, switching to perfect English. Well, I live in Spain, I told him. Ahh, that explains everything, I am never usually wrong! The reason he couldn’t believe I was English – I was smartly dressed in “city” clothes, appropriate for a cold, damp day – trousers, boots, jacket etc. Not shorts, sandals with socks (sigh) and a plastic kagoul, on a wet day in February in one of the world’s most elegant cities… (anyway, the meal was excellent!)

Posted by Helen | Report as abusive
 

It is understandable for tourists not to be able to speak the local language, as long as they try to say the equivalent of “hello” and not expect the natives to speak English.

What truly annoys people are expats who live in another country but cannot speak the native langauge, expect people around them to speak English to accommodate them becaue of their stupdity, and have the audacity to complain about natives not being able to speak English.
All of these people, they should just go home!!

And here, I’m not just talking about Amercians, but British, Canadian, Australian, Germen, French etc.

Posted by Kate | Report as abusive
 

I’d like to agree with James Cannon’s positive opinion of the French, the stereotype’s they suffer are only partially true. I go there as often as possible because it’s the most beautiful and civilized nation on earth (and hopefully President Sarkozy doesn’t Americanize it too much… or at all).
Their mechanics are also very good. The one thing that I did notice on my last little visit a couple of weeks ago was the prices of things, it is now probably more expensive than the UK which is a shame.
I’m not sure if they all speak English, but I have noticed that when they’ve had a few they start singing in English, which leads me to believe that in every French person there’s an English person trying to get out.

Posted by Peter H | Report as abusive
 

What do I think? – I am glad you asked.

The simple answer: Different people from different countries act differently on different days at different times.

Do what you can to best represent your country. Because wherever you go, you are acting as an ambassador for your given nation. Before you go on a trip, learn some basic language phrases. You will be surprised how far a couple phrases can take you. Also, don’t forget to smile.

I’ve been to many nations and this works! They will stare at you like your a ghost. But when they see you smile, they are completely stunned and above all else, extremely curious. This may be the first time they have seen an American, Japanese, Brazilian, etc. Make a good example.

Yes…Shining the light on these “stereotype” notions is also extremely important for political reasons. Policymakers sometimes will make policy decisions based on these skewed assumptions.

Mr. Debusmann, What do you think about my last statement? I would love to hear your opinion.

 

Elvira – the “neocons” did not have to go out of their way to portray the French as cowards. The French have been doing a remarkable job of proving their cowardice for decades – a fact you would be familiar with if you had a clue about history. The abysmal absence of such a clue is the only thing that permits you to imagine there even exists a “conservative media” in modern times unless, of course, you are to the left of Stalin. Are you?

Constance – thanks for the laugh. You imagine Mexicans dress better than Americans. Surely some do, but have you ever noticed the masses of illegal aliens standing around in America’s southwestern cities sporting only stained wife-beater undershirts and filthy blue jeans with rubber flip-flops for shoes? I dare say we poorly dressed Americans are somewhat outnumbered. Still, I appreciate a woman in a dress as much as you do. I just prefer one that comes from a culture that values frequent bathing and laundering. Thank God for Americans of Mexican heritage. But wait…a lot of them wear blue jeans and shorts. Aw, crap! Guess we can’t win.

Posted by Hiroshima Taro | Report as abusive
 

After watching my fellow Americans here in Bangkok, for over seven years I would have to agree with the notion we tend to treat locals as little better than ignorant children. But the arrogance of the French is not a misnomer. Of the hundreds of tourists I have had the misfortune of being crammed into the BTS with, the French win hands down for arrogance and body odor. Ninety percent 90% of the Europeans need to practice better personnal hygiene. And they think the Thai smell bad. Do they have plumbing in Europe?

Posted by Sonny | Report as abusive
 

We find ourselves wanting to avoid other Americans when traveling abroad. Just returned from three weeks in China, where we seemed to stand out as overweight, loudly critical and opinionated, dressing inappropriately in five star venues, exhibiting more money than taste. Even saw one of us on a street in Beijing, wrapped in an American flag on July 4th! (Rush really does inspire, doesn’t he?)

Posted by Speechman | Report as abusive
 

In France, one never tips really. Tipping is really reserved for those who deserve it (as it should be for that matter). I can imagine that upsetting many hotel owners and throwing off results.

Posted by martin | Report as abusive
 

Well, just ask everybody: Their own compatriotes will come off best. (Well except if you go asking some grumpy old grampa). The more travelled the more tolerant people tend to be. The beauty in evry country and their population is in the eye of the beholder and best expressed in the joke far above: Every nation has its own shiny side. So may all the ugly Americans stay home (and not go and start yet another war abroad). All the other ones are welcome.
PS: Try a swiss lover, they tend to be as versatile as an army knife….

Posted by ElBen | Report as abusive
 

I’m an American living in Dublin Ireland. I have family here and citizenship but I don’t claim to be Irish. Most of the tourists I come across of any background are for the most part are courteous and enjoying the time. There’s only the few that seem to promote the stereotypes and most hold true to them when they do. The ones that bug me are the Americans that come here and even though they are 3 or 4 generations removed from the ‘homeland’ claim to be Irish and speak as if the natives should treat them better or as a native son. Get a grip! Have fun and be courteous, wherever you go. Be proud of your heritage but don’t use it as a way to get a free drink.

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive
 

Greggo,

How is it that I, an American citizen, own and live in a house in Queretaro? It most certainly IS possible for foreigners to own Mexican properties, except in a very few coastal areas. Also, did you mean “dual citizenship.” Duel isn’t an adjective. You can duel with pistols (or swords, if you like) or be injured in a duel. But you can’t be a “duel citizen.”

It isn’t “really hot” in Mexico any more than it is in the US. Ever been to Mexico City? Or Queretaro? Or Veracruz? Mexico is mostly mountains, not jungles and coastline resorts. It gets chilly in the mountains!

Mexicans, by the way, can certainly own dollars just as norteamericanos can own Mexican pesos. If you own something, is it not OK to do as you wish with it?

Posted by John Frykman | Report as abusive
 

Bernd! OMG!!! “Hell is where the lovers are Swiss, cooks are English, mechanics are French, police are German and it is run by the Italians”.

That is the funniest thing I have ever heard!

We’re in sypatico, I submitted this yesterday to Harvard Law…

Human Catagorization Theory
James Reginald Harris, Jr. July 16th, 2009

That as individuals in cultures are technologically defined as ‘groups’ or ‘type’ that these technologically applied cultural catagories begin to dictate the subjects reality. That observations will be subjectively skewed to the catagory and create inappropriate reactions to information from subjects within the defined catagorical parameters.

This is highly applicable to Terrorist Watch Lists and Miscatagorization Errors made in Terrorist Watch list

 

It is certainly understandable that visitors should try and speak the language of the natives. I myself am living in a foreign country. However, it annoys me when natives force you to (barely) speak their language because they refused to learn it. Great examples are French speaking countries such as France or Belgium. Kudos to those who are the exception, being open to other languages. If I encounter a person who tries to speak English to me, I try to speak her language. If I see that person refuses to speak English on principle (even though she could), she does not even deserve my attention.

Posted by Sven | Report as abusive
 

The “ugly American” has been replaced (or perhaps, accompanied) by the ugly Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, French, and so on. I grew up in south and central America where my father worked for the state department. Yes, I sometimes saw north American tourist behaving in an obnoxious manner but then again, I saw that with other nationalities also. Here in Texas now, I certainly see it in Mexican nationals.

“Joy’s” comment above is typical of an expats smug arrogance of “don’t confuse me with the tourists!”. Growing up, my father always talked about the beauty of other cultures and people. The only nationality he said be careful with in business were the French. His advice? “Always be twice as careful with the French as they are untrustworthy in business”.

Posted by Texan | Report as abusive
 

I’m starting to wonder if people ever actually read my posts before they call me out when they reply.

Chris, please tell me where I said stereotypes don’t exist?

Posted by Michael Ham | Report as abusive
 

I think the American dream of other countries learning English to accomidate them has died over the last decade or so as spanish-speaking illegals have forced them to realize how irritating it is.

 

Stereotypes are a starting point. They are based on at least some facet of some reality somewhere, and can be s useful tool. BUT: you must be able to discard them the moment you encounter evidence to the contrary, and be willing to be delighted you were wrong.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive
 

As an expat living in a country that has a very difficult language to learn, I do not expect the natives to speak my language, nor are they offended when I don’t speak theirs. We are perfectly comfortable communicating in other ways. My students that wish to improve their English do it mainly as a necessity to communicate with businesses from non-native English speaking countries. I’m not sure if I’d say it was an “American Dream”. They found a common ground and then they rolled with it in order to increase opportunity. Americans teaching it are just capitalizing on an opportunity to travel. Seems fitting given the culture we were raised in.

I live in a country where ALL tourists are treated poorly. The stereotype is tourists equal money no matter where you are from, so give it and get out. Fair enough.

And the Ugly American does exist. It exists all too well.

Posted by Dynomite | Report as abusive
 

FakeName:

You say “policymakers sometimes will make policy decisions based on these skewed assumptions.” They sure do, and some help create the skewed assumptions, so there’s plenty of room to create vicious circles.

Posted by BDebusmann | Report as abusive
 

would love to see the actual results of the survey. any chance you could post a link?

Posted by john g | Report as abusive
 

Thankfully, not all the Boomers taught their kids this codex of stereotypes. What a ridiculous fraud.
Racism isn’t cute. At all.
This is a step away from saying racial profiling works.

Posted by Chris Diminie | Report as abusive
 

It’s a brief but good article. Japan rated the 1st in ranking as best tourists. Who were the 2nd, 3rd and 4th?

 

Different cultures interpret different behaviors differently. An action as simple as choosing a seat on a bus could be inrepreted a hundred different ways: sexually aggressive, an act of charity, physically threatening, an act of solidarity, etc. Politeness and etiquitte are relative to each culture and sub-culture. In some cultures, tipping is foreign. To say Expedia users are an adequate sample is ridiculous. I’m guessing that 80% of the users are American. That’s a poor representation of the cultures of the entire world. What about tourists who visit countries that are off the grid i.e. the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, and the like? How is American behavior interpreted by them? People, tourists and innkeepers, should realize that there are cultural differences. As big an effort that one may make, he or she will make mistakes in cultural competency. People should be empathetic to those missteps, not see them as an opportunity too assert cultural superiority.
You have a right to express your opinion. But, author, as a journalist, you have an ethical obligation. Just in case you forgot: http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp
I’m just saying, take an athropology class and watch yourself before you spew out any more pseudoscience.

Posted by Eileen | Report as abusive
 

The only reason Americans did so well is because they speak English which is one of the foreign languages the French were criticized for not knowing.

Posted by gabby | Report as abusive
 

Having lived overseas for several years, and in several countries, I can attest to the fact that the French have been arrogant snots for far longer than this article would suggest.

I was a tour guide on Bali in the 70′s and I would leave the island in August – the traditional French holiday month – because of several run-ins with French travellers.

No, I don’t think any one group of people are worse than another but the lingering memories of the arrogant expectations of the French stay with me to this day.

Posted by BubbaX | Report as abusive
 

Helen R.:

The five best, according to the survey:

1. Japanese
2. Britons
3. Canadians
4. Germans
5. Swiss

The five worst:

1. French
2. Spaniards
3. Greeks
4. Turks
5. South Africans

Posted by Bernd Debusmann | Report as abusive
 

“One of the most extensive studies of that question ever conducted, led by scientists of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, involved 4,000 people in 48 countries and came to the conclusion, in 2005, that most national stereotypes are inaccurate.”

Is anyone else shocked that the NIH is wasting taxpayer money on BS studies like this one? Cancer, AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria: pick a real problem to fix.

Posted by Lisa | Report as abusive
 

In some cases , Racial Profiling works. Example: Not all Muslims are terrorist but 95% of all terriost are Muslims. It is stipid not to take this into account. Political correctness can cost life. You are not likely to have a 22 year old Blond Iclandic girl carrying a bomb. Anyone in law inforcement will tell you profiling works. In the FBI, that is a complete department.

Posted by Ruck | Report as abusive
 

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