America the racist. America the pitiful.

Oh, say, can you see

Our country, pitied.

The New Yorker reports that all over the world, America is viewed as a racist and pitiful nation. (And it’s not rad to understand why.)

America’s standing worldwide has sunk before, although usually over foreign-policy decisions, such as the invasion of Iraq, in 2003. The mood globally feels different now, Richard Burkholder, who was the director of Gallup’s international polling for decades, told me. Criticism is now focussed on American practices at home. “The United States was once a beacon,” he said. “I don’t see people looking up to us as they did before.” Fintan O’Toole, a columnist for the Irish Times, was blunter. “Over more than two centuries, the United States has stirred a very wide range of feelings in the rest of the world: love and hatred, fear and hope, envy and contempt, awe and anger,” he wrote, in April. “But there is one emotion that has never been directed towards the US until now: pity.”

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