Recently, immigration worries and terrorist scares have led to travel restrictions to countries such as Libya, Chad, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela, and North Korea. Whether or not these bans are within reason depend on the country and the issues surrounding it. In these times, as we look at countries and their dangers to the U.S. citizens, other countries are doing the same for us.
Some warnings against the U.S. are less extreme (and slightly humorous), such as these: don’t get ripped off at an Orlando gas station (UK), do not stalk anyone (Germany), do not inspire road rage (China), don’t pee in the street (Switzerland), try to avoid being naked (Germany), the tap water tastes gross (Austria), and the American dream isn’t real (Russia). These warnings weren’t necessarily put in place because of the traveler’s safety, but rather to inform them about the normal rules to follow, as to not offend or anger anyone. Some of these might seem strange, like “the tap water tastes gross”, but in actuality, there are over three hundred and sixteen water contaminates in the U.S., while in Austria, their tap water is considered to be some of the best in the world. As for the stalking warning from Germany, it is still a criminal offense in Germany, but it is more difficult for the victim to take action, whereas in the U.S. it is much simpler. Canada also warns that air travel in the U.S. is dangerous compared to theirs, allegedly because airlines in the U.S. have less safety regulations than those in Canada.
Other warnings are slightly more controversial, and deal with issues for the traveler’s physical safety, such as: watch out for guns at nighttime (Canada), stay away from the East Coast (China, the reasoning being “Overall, the western United States is safer than the eastern portion, and a city is relatively safe during the day compared to at night.”), really watch out for guns (Germany), don’t joke about bombs (UK), and you might get extradited (Russia, who accused Americans of “hunting down” their citizens.) In Europe, the UK more specifically, people take less offense to terrorist jokes, and inform travelers that people may not find them funny, and may become angry after hearing a topical joke.
Whether the warning is for the safety of the traveler or just to teach proper “American etiquette”, it is clear that other countries have been wary about traveling to the U.S. It is also apparent that our own nation is becoming increasingly isolated, with Trump’s plans to completely cutting off travel to some countries.
Aside from foreign countries, there has been recent turmoil on native ground. The NAACP has warned African Americans about traveling on American Airlines. The NAACP President Derrick Johnson stated “We’re not telling people not to fly on American, we’re just saying to individuals that here is an advisory note. We have picked up a pattern of a certain behavior of this corporation and until further notice be on alert.” The pattern spoken of was a series of “Disturbing incidents” reported by African Americans, as well as Civil Rights Activists being kicked off flights. In a separate case, even a NAACP official was kicked off of a flight.
As more of these travel issues come up, the victims have nearly exclusively been a part of a minority group. Is this deliberate?
By Angelo Reis