5 Things That Annoy Me The Most About America

A year ago, I wrote a blog article about The 5 Best Things About Living in America. As someone who was born and raised in the United States of America, I touched upon a few of the positives, including the diversity and the freedom to do almost anything that you can dream of, but America is not a perfect county by any means. In fact, as someone who has lived in this country for three decades, I can tell you that there are a few things that makes me pause and wonder why it is so great. There are a few things that does happen in even this land of the free that probably wouldn’t be allowed in any other country. And because America is still relatively a young country, we still have our own issues to iron out, borne about from a difficult and fragile past. By talking about these not so pleasant issues can we begin to take the next few steps toward positive change so that America can truly live up to its full potential.

The Right to Own a Gun

A few months ago, I was walking outside my condominium apartment with my two kids as we usually do. Now, bear in mind, my neighborhood is a pretty safe community surrounded by acres of forests and a golf course. But a few months ago, as we were walking outside, we heard what sounded like a gun shot go off in quick succession. It was loud. I saw a couple of birds in the not so far distance scatter. At the time, when I first heard it, I paid it no mind, assuming perhaps naively that someone had shot a gun into the sky, which also sounded rather odd even in my own head.

Later, after our walk when we were safe at home with the doors locked, I found out on Facebook from a friend that there had been a shooting just an hour ago. I connected the dots and knew it to be that shot that I had heard on our walk. Thinking back, I was astounded that I was so close to a shooting incident. I was also angry that someone had brought a gun onto the complex and shot someone.

I am astounded that in America we have the right to own and purchase a gun. I normally don’t think about it because I don’t want to think about the fact that anyone I see on the streets or at a store could have a gun on their person. But deep down, I am scared. Sometimes I am scared to be outside, or anywhere around people, knowing that there are people who own guns. But most of all, I am scared that those guns might be in the wrong hands. After all, we’ve seen what happened recently when a gun was in the wrong person’s hands and they decided to go and kill someone just because of their race, skin color, or simply because they were there.

I know that this freedom to own a gun (the second amendment if you will) will probably never go away, at least anytime soon. Many people in this country furiously defend that amendment as the right to bear arms and to defend themselves. I don’t know if we should have stricter protocol on who can purchase and own a gun. I don’t know if we should just eliminate guns entirely. I don’t know if we should focus on helping people with mental health issues or eliminating racism and hatred. There isn’t really a clear cut answer to this multifaceted problem. I just know that I do get scared in this supposedly great country of the free simply because people are allowed to possess and carry a gun.

Lack of Universal Health Care

In America, unlike many developed countries around the world, we don’t have a universal health care. In America, healthcare is privatized so each individual American is responsible for their own healthcare. This means that Americans can elect to purchase an insurance plan either privately or through their job, or they can choose to forgo having any health insurance. Many times Americans don’t have health insurance simply because they can’t afford it. Let’s face it, health insurance in this country is expensive. And if you want the best, then you can expect to pay top dollar for it.

In this country, we do have a health care option for people who are extremely low income or people who are elderly and retired (Medicare / Medicaid). While this is a great option for people who are low income, the problem is that it covers only a select group of people who are under a certain percentage under the poverty line. Another problem is that not every hospital or doctor takes this form of insurance. It’s possible that you may have to settle for substandard service, or not have the freedom to choose the doctor that you want for your needs.

During the Obama Administration, President Obama introduced ObamaCare, which was I believe an attempt at universal health care. It is a marketplace in which people can purchase health insurance at a lower cost with some help in the form of government subsidies. It is an option for those who are self-employed and thus may not have the option of getting health insurance through their job. It is also an option for those who don’t qualify for Medicaid. But the problem with this is that, again, not every doctor or hospital will take the health insurance you purchase through Marketplace, resulting in possibly substandard or inadequate care.

Not having universal health care is, I believe, a serious concern for America. And yet, I don’t see it coming to fruition anytime soon. It is my understanding that many Americans want the option to choose, whether or not to have insurance. They want the freedom to choose an insurance instead of having just one universal healthcare. They also don’t want the government to tax them even more than the government already does. But I think that the Medicaid program should simply be expanded so that more people (if not, all people) can be eligible. We already pay for this program through our taxes, so why not expand it so that more people can benefit from something that we are already paying for? Also, wouldn’t we pay less ultimately through a universal healthcare than through what people pay now (which is sometimes hundreds of dollars a month), saving money in the long run?

And the way that it stands now, it feels if this country doesn’t care about its people and their health. If people are allowed to just die simply because they don’t have the right health insurance, then what kind of country is this? If people aren’t allowed to have the best quality care possible simply because they don’t have the money or resources, then again what kind of country is this? I believe that a country whose primary focus is the long term health and longevity of its people is a country that will ultimately thrive.

How White is the Default Race of America

Anyone who lives in this country knows that white is the default race of America. It is everywhere. First, have you noticed that people who are perceived as white are just called Americans, even those who are in fact immigrants from a European country? And yet, people who are not perceived as white are identified as African American, Asian American, Mexican American, Native American, and so on, even those who are fifth or sixth generation Americans? People who are not white have these additional monikers attached to American, as if they are not American enough. It suggests that minorities are just immigrants — backward, exotic, different, and not white.

Second, in the media, in politics, and in everywhere important, there are white people. Of course, people of European descent are still the majority race in America. So, from that standpoint, it makes sense that there would be more representation. But at the same time, when you have exclusively white representation in all areas that matter, then it makes you think that America — the country of immigrants — is really a country full of white people. That is why when someone sees someone who doesn’t quite look like their definition of what a white person should look like, they get curious and ask that infamous question where are you from? or what is your nationality?. That is why anybody who is non-white is perceived as foreign and consequently un-American.

It boggles me that America is viewed as a country in which only white people are Americans. Actually, I would even say that many people view white and black people as Americans and view Latinos and Asians as foreigners, thanks to the media as depicting them as people who came to this country illegally or spoke broken English. And that is disappointing. America is a country of immigrants. It has always been that way from the very beginning. There is no true American as all of our ancestors have come from Europe, Asia, Africa, and everywhere in between. In fact, my own ancestors have come to this country seeking a better life across many different countries.

And yet, even today in 2021, America is still seen as a white man’s land and not as the land for everyone and anyone seeking a better life. It is why just a few years ago, the then-president wanted to build a wall to keep out Mexico. It is why that same president also separated and sent people back to their country of origin to suffer from poverty and alienation. It is why even today people are still standing behind the #BlackLivesMatter and #StopAsianHate movements to fight for what we should have had in the first place: true equality amongst everyone.

See also: 5 Most Annoying Things About Being Half-White

Death Penalty is Still Legal

This issue is one that is very controversial, with people on both sides of the fence, and some even just straggling it. But did you know that America is the only developed country in which the death penalty is legal? It is the only country in which people, even young children, can be tried as an adult and then subsequently killed by the government. Due to the complications on both sides, I know that the death penalty is here to stay. But the system is still pretty broken.

Personally, I believe that the death penalty should be illegal. I don’t think it’s right that we have the right to kill someone, even if that person has done something heinous and awful. I am certainly not saying that those people should be allowed to roam free in the world. But what I am saying is that there are better, more humane ways to deal with the problem. I think we should focus on rehabilitation instead of punishment. We should not say that certain people are hopeless and won’t amount too much, but instead focus on helping them change their negative behaviors. We should focus on helping people learn how to redirect the negative energy so that one day they can be more positive members of society. I believe that people can change. We just have to give them a chance.

The problem is not the death penalty, but that some people don’t think, get caught in the moment with their emotions, and then do the horrible deed. Some people have the misfortune of simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, hanging with the wrong influences, and simply not knowing how to control their emotions.

Obviously, the issue is deeper. In order to have a more humane, civilized, and caring society, I think that we should focus on treating people with mental illnesses, teach people from a young age how to manage their emotions correctly, and eliminate hate. We should reform the educational system so that we are teaching these things to our children. We should also reform the prison system so that we are teaching everyone behind bars how to manage their emotions and deal with negative situations appropriately. I believe that everyone has the capability to change, if they want to. We should teach them the necessary skills and give them the opportunity to change. People do make mistakes but they shouldn’t be punished with the ultimate punishment.

Treatment of Women

Finally, the last thing that annoys me greatly is the negative treatment of women in America. We may be able to vote in this country, something that we weren’t allowed to about a hundred years ago, but women still face discrimination in this country because of the gender that they were born as. Women still get paid less than their male counterparts, even if the woman might be more qualified for the job. Women still have to get permission from their husbands to get certain surgical reproductive procedures done. Women still have to fight to be seen as something more than just cute or emotional. Women still have to face men who treat women condescendingly as if they were mere play things and not to be taken seriously.

If that’s not enough, women still have to face the burden of always being treated differently from men. Women can’t go around topless in public, though a man can. Women can’t go to certain places that men can without judgements and stares. Women are perceived as the weaker sex, even though I can argue that women are definitely stronger in everyway that it counts.

The fact that women are seen almost as second class citizens or objects to be controlled by the ones in power (or the men) shows that America still does not respect women. And I believe until America can finally respect and treat everyone (men, women, non-binary, transgender) as equals can America rise above what it has continued against for decades. Only until these ridiculous stereotypes on what a man or a woman is is eliminated can we rise above all the hate.

See also: 5 Most Annoying Things About Being a Woman

What bothers you the most about the United States of America?

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Hi! I'm Helen and I am a 32 year old biracial millennial mom raising two multiracial children. I am a writer, English consultant, and social media manager. I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic.

30 thoughts on “5 Things That Annoy Me The Most About America

  1. As a Canadian, people around the world don’t differentiate between us and our American neighbours. You’ve hit on three key differences between our nations: the right to own a gun, universal healthcare, and the death penalty.

    Sadly, our countries are aligned on white being the default race, and the treatment of women. We like to think racism doesn’t exist here, but it’s alive and well. The attrocities we’re learning about related to our treatment of our Indigenous people are all the proof we need of that. As for the treatment of women, we have a long way to go on that front. As an aside – women can legally go topless in public in Canada – but no-one actually does it.

    1. Hey! Yeah there are definitely things that both countries need to iron out.
      But as a Canadian, how do you feel about the rest of the world not differentiating between Americans and Canadians?

      1. It’s frustrating at times. It’s like growing up in the shadow of an overachieving older sibling that you can’t get away from.

        But there are so many good things about the relationship between our two countries. How many other nations can say they share a 5,000 mile mostly-undefended border with very few problems? Over the years, the relationship has been mostly friendly with the odd trade conflict thrown in to keep things interesting.

        Years ago, there was Molson Canadian beer commercial where the guy went on a rant about all things Canadian. It ended up with him screaming. “My name is Joe and I AM CANADIAN!” It kind of summed up how we all feel sometimes.

        But I love our American neighbours. I have a lot of friends in the United States and usually travel to the US at least 4 or 5 times a year. I miss it and hope they reopen the border soon.

      2. Yeah, it’s great that the two countries have such a great civil relationship. And your analogy comparing them to siblings is pretty accurate. I just wish that we had a similar relationship with Mexico.

  2. Even if that had been a shot directly into the sky, someone could have still got hurt. I was surprised when I found out how often those bullets come back down and hit people.

  3. The lack of universal health care also bothers me a lot. Like why is it called the “United States” of America when not everyone has access to basic health care? :(. The part where you wrote about default White America resonates with me too. The media is always saturated with whiteness and there are only a few representations of diverse America in some films or tv shows.

    Mari | http://www.dazedmari.com

    1. Yes, it is disappointing that we don’t have universal health care or how whiteness is everywhere and that minorities are the ones who stick out and are seen as exotic and foreign. 🙁 But things are changing and there is more representation of minorities and mixed race people on tv shows and movies.. but I wish we had more of those back in the 90s and early 2000s when I was growing up.

      Thanks for reading.

  4. Really interesting post. I have some friends in America who echo all of those concerns plus the huge differences over politics, something we definitely have in the UK. I was an International Scout in Florida many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, and I learnt a huge amount about myself thanks to the amazing patience everyone had on the camp with a very callow young man! The only thing that really bothered me was the fact that the guy in charge of the camp who was a scouter of 35 years standing went to his private club so he could drink in an all white setting. It was the only overt racism I noticed but perhaps the people on the camp as scouting people were more open to difference.

  5. I’m against the legality of guns. It’s just too easy to reach into your pocket and shut someone dead.
    As for the way women are treated, it’s the same all over the world. Unfortunately, it’ll take longer than 100 years to change millennium of misogyny.

    1. Yes, it is & that is what scares me about guns. But as someone pointed out in the comments, most people won’t do that because most people are law abiding citizens. So that in itself is reassuring.

      Thanks for reading.

    2. I’m in two minds about guns. I’m against ownership because they’re too easy to misuse. But, I think people should have the right to defend themselves*. I think the “middle path” of strict background checks and proficiency checking would do a lot to eliminate the incapable from owning guns.

      * Defending oneself with a gun is not like in the movies. My experience testifies to this. Quite unexpectedly, a woman at a camping site who was clearly mentally disturbed pulled out a large calibre handgun and fired a few shots. One of those rounds travelled to the path where I was standing (trying to figure out what the commotion was) and struck me in the groin. A .357 calibre round does a lot of damage and I lost my scrotum and both testicles.
      I had my gun on me, but that helped not one iota.
      The epilogue is that the woman ended up in an institution and, with the current regulations, will be able to legally carry a gun again when she gets out. Hopefully she doesn’t shoot somebody else’s balls off.

  6. On your 1st complaint: Leave! You don’t belong in America. THAT is a foundational principle of America, with all the good a bad that goes with it. Note, however, I say the same thing for the same reason to those on “my” side who’ve an issue with homosexuals serving in our military.

    On the lack of universal healthcare: Sorry, won’t work here. It’s both a matter of size and how Americans address healthcare and health/aging/dying in general. And… ObamaCare never and couldn’t work. We DON’T have the medical personnel to do it and the economics of it would have beggared the doctors, especially specialists such as Anesthesiologists.

    On the White Race: It’s our country, built by us and for us – and yes, through the use of other races, who were often thought of as tools or beasts of burden. It was shaped from the very beginning to be a place where those with the culture and values of Whites could thrive. If you can’t happily handle that, leave – probably for Asia, since that’s your only option and a poor one with hapa children.

    On the death penalty. *shrug* I’m in favor of it BUT hate how it’s handled. [It’d be a long rant]. So, while we’re not in real agreement, we’re on the same side. Who would of figured?

    On the “treatment of women:” Cultivate some awareness and some gratitude. America is one of the best places for women in the entirety of the world. Even Western Europe only matches – and sometimes exceeds – us in urban areas and among the more affluent (which you obviously are).

      1. Primarily and formatively a Western and Central European immigrant country. And, even then, assimilation was the de facto requirement for success.

      2. Well, how if native Indian also demanding such assimilation? Will you?
        My friend, a garden filled with various kinds of flowers is more beautiful than just one flower. Don’t melt them into a mixer.
        Btw, I salute you telling the truth.

      3. Absolutely, America IS an immigrant country, something that some people seem to conveniently forget.

    1. Hey! Thanks for reading & giving your opinion.
      First of all, while I understand where you are coming from regarding guns, what is the good in having a gun other than self defense? Or hunting for fun — I don’t think that is right either. Guns are just violent & too often people use it as a solution to their problems.
      Second, I agree with you that we probably won’t ever have universal health care because of how Americans feel about it.
      Third, I disagree with you regarding America being a country built by white people or being a white man’s country. America is an immigrant country. All of our ancestors immigrated to America from different countries — Africa, Asia, Europe. Despite coming from different countries — most had the same purpose which was to seek a better life. Even today people come to this country in search of a better life. Despite the annoyances that I outlined, America is still a pretty good country. but it could be better.
      Fourth, I agree that the way it is handled is also bad but we need to restructure the entire prison system anyway.
      Fifth, I agree that America is still a great place for woman compared to other places. I am thankful that I live here and during this period instead of living in another country, or being born several decades earlier. But still.. I still see a lot of injustices against women today in this country that shows how society views women or the inequality of the genders.

      Again thanks for reading!

  7. The argument regarding the dangers of guns can be applied to just about anything else. There are a million ways to kill, and far more effective than pistols or rifles, and on a grander scale. The reason for explaining what is so obvious is to put the reality in front of readers on the fence. Following stats, and I have to account for rhetoric, propaganda, lies, and personal observations and experiences, we know law-abiding citizens don’t wantonly kill, but defend when necessary. And I can’t “worry” about how someone “feels” about personal protection because we have to look at individual liberty and rights as well as our self defense. And I can’t allow for creative “language” or ten dollar words, so I speak frankly, right to the point. I’m not saying anything that many have realized and written before, but I put it there as a reminder.

    1. Yes, you are absolutely right. Despite how scary guns can seem, as you point out, there are other methods of destruction. If guns were illegal then people would find another means 🙁 And as you also point out, most people won’t randomly go on a shooting spree. It does happen unfortunately but most people won’t . And that too is very reassuring .

      thank you for reading!

  8. The law-abiding don’t commit atrocities. The current propaganda efforts have nothing to do with safeguarding, and those who research, realize the drug dealers and underground arms dealers are benefitting from all these anti-gun, anti-constitution legislations. I know. It’s hard to follow the rabbit down the trail of reason, but our freedoms depend upon it. Far too many never really take the time to listen, observe, research, know their history, because that takes a lot of time. We get it. But it’s your childrens’ freedom at stake.

  9. HI Helen. I have an interesting perspective because I was born in the U.S. and lived there for first 2/3 of my life then moved to Canada. The first two points on your list are definitely beyond debate if one can think clearly. The problem is that some people think gun ownership has something to do with security/safety and freedom. Both of these beliefs are crazy. I can attest for a fact that the Canadian health care system mops the U.S. “system” on the floor. The thinking and feeling behind Canadian healthcare goes a long way to soften the general social climate here, to make people more concerned about others, and to lessen the crazy and unhealthy cultural wealth split between doctors and the general public which exists in the U.S. As for the death penalty, I think this has something to do with the obsession towards Old Testament Biblical thinking in the U.S. Many who consider themselves ardent Christians do not really grasp the reality of the Crucifixion and Resurrection in Christian philosophy. If they did, then agreeing with the death penalty would be an abomination to them.

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