Jonathan Hettleman ’10 in The Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Sun published an Op-Ed piece by Jonathan Hettleman ’10 titled, “Separating People from Politics”. Jonathan currently teaches English in Cao Bang, Vietnam through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistantship. After graduating from Park, Jonathan attended Johns Hopkins University where he majored in Political Science and played baseball. In his article, Jonathan pulls from his experiences in the U.S. and Vietnam to question the basis of Americans’ perceptions of different cultures. He encourages the reader to engage in dialogue and cultural exchange with people from foreign countries and to not make judgments based on a country’s political history. 

“On a people-to-people level, however, Americans and Vietnamese remain distinctly culturally divided. In my work with young students, it has become clear to me that Vietnamese, for the most part, associate America with popular culture and opportunity. After living and working in Vietnam for over eight months, I’ve only heard a few remarks about the war, but I hear about Lebron James, Barack Obama and Taylor Swift on a daily basis.

Americans, however, across all age cohorts, associate Vietnam almost exclusively with the war. While certainly not a uniquely American trait, it is discouraging that we have trouble separating people from politics.”

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