Some Americans never cease to amaze me with their ignorance and I do not mean that in a mean or negative way.
The oxford dictionary describes ignorant as ‘lacking knowledge or awareness in general.’ If you think about it for a minute, that definition perfectly describes some Americans when it comes to Canada.
There used to be a segment on This Hour Has 22 Minutes called Rick Mercer Talking to Americans.
Mercer was able to convince Americans of the most ludicrous things.
He once convinced a professor at Columbia University to sign a petition that stopped Canadians from placing senior citizens on northern ice flows and leaving them to perish.
He convinced them that our national monument was the National Igloo.
He convinced a professor at Harvard that Saskatchewan was hunting seals to which he replied that that was “bad”.
He convinced an ex-Iowa governor that Canada had just adopted the 24-hour clock, around the year 2000.
He had people congratulate Canada on becoming apart of North America, on reaching a population of one million, for legalizing VCR’s, on getting electric lights in parliament, for finishing a tunnel to China, for getting a McDonald’s, for getting FM radio, the list goes on and on.
It baffles me to think that Americans can be so ignorant that they do not even realize that what they are congratulating us for or being convinced of is so ridiculous that there is no way that it could ever be true.
It is not like the people on the show were just some random people off of the street either. He convinced students studying the very subjects he convinced them of. He convinced professors at major American universities. And he convinced governors of some of the states. He even famously told George W. Bush that Jean Chretien’s name was Jean Poutine to which Bush failed to correct him.
Some of you may say ‘yes but that was almost 20 years ago’ and you would be right but the American ignorance is still there.
You may also be asking yourself, ‘why are you talking about it now and what does it have to do with Saskatchewan’?
I bring this up because last week during a Dallas Mavericks basketball game the broadcaster showed his own level of ignorance.
During the contest the broadcaster was referring to Saskatoon resident Trey Lyles and said that he was the first National Basketball Association player to ever come from Saskatchewan. He then proceeded to say “Of course that region known for being home to a lot of Sasquatches.”
His broadcast colleague wisely pointed out “I don’t think it is,” but the broadcaster was convinced, even going as far as to say that Saskatchewan was named after the Sasquatches.
Are you kidding me? He cannot honestly believe that right?
Well if it was a joke the commentator never said it was.
This did bring up an interesting piece of trivia though. What does Saskatchewan mean? Saskatchewan comes from the Cree word meaning free flowing river.
As for Americans’ ignorance although it is funny to hear and to joke about. But wouldn’t it be nice if our friends to the south did at least know simple facts about Canada?
I’m not asking them to know what Saskatchewan means, there are plenty of Canadians that do not know what it means but I am asking them to at least have enough knowledge to know that it does not mean Sasquatch.
What would ever happen if Americans were actually required to know simple facts about Canada?
I do not know and quite frankly I am afraid to find out.