Back in the day, my high school choir went on a trip to France. To keep the students from wreaking complete havoc, our conductor would constantly repeat the same saying: “Don’t be a dumb American.” At first, I wasn’t sure what he meant. But then, as our trip began, I realized that the French have negative preconceptions about people from the United States. Many seemed to think that we were a bunch of ignorant, fried Oreo-eating, Honey Boo Boo-watching idiots. Thankfully, our choir conductor made us conscious of our behavior, and helped our group prove that Americans are not all rude, culturally insensitive stereotypes.