Xenophobia is a curse on humanity , and probably the whole of the animal kingdom too. Fear of the different , fear of the “not one of us”. These are my own observations on this abhorrent subject , but there are more authoritative links at the end of this piece.
Xenophobia (from Ancient Greek meaning 'strange, foreign, alien', and 'fear') is the fear or hatred of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. It is an expression of perceived conflict between an ingroup and an outgroup and may manifest in suspicion by one of the other's activities, a desire to eliminate their presence, and fear of losing national, ethnic, or racial identity.
Xenophobia has been with us since we crawled out of the sea and probably before that, and while it sometimes takes effort to accept differences , we should always make that effort.
It is usually used these days in reference to human races but you have to remember that essentially the whole of human evolution started in Africa and over millions of years spread all over the globe.
Due to surrounding , climate and a million other things we have developed different skin colours , different features , different habits , different diets , becoming different creatures but with a common ancestry.
One of Xenophobia’s worst effects is racism , the excuse to demean , denigrate and put down someone because of their skin colour. Exclude them from jobs , pay them lower rates and even put them into slavery. Sometimes this is applied because of sex too , women are still treated as second class in so many instances . Why? Because they are women.
As a teenager, I was at a party having a great chat with a black guy , and then his white girlfriend came and started verbally attacking me for being racist and not agreeing that her black boyfriend was superior to me. He looked very confused and nonplussed. I said well he might be better at some things than me (he was obviously in better physical shape) , but I might be better that him and we were both human. She got angrier and angrier at me and her boyfriend was not too happy.
At the end of the night he told he was obviously a tick box on her list and they had split. But this sort of thing can destroy mutually beneficial relationships.
I was in hospital recently and there was a guy in , treated the hospital staff as though they were there for his whim , disturbed the ward , demanding to be taken out in a wheelchair for a cigarette at two in the morning and someone had been smoking in the ward toilets too. It wasn’t the fact he was not a native that made him like this , it was the fact he was an arse , but this sort of behaviour gives fuel to the xenophobes to blame ills on certain races.
So many times in pubs and taxis I get the “Ah but UKIP or Britain First have a point” , to which I reply “Yeah they identify racists who need locking up” , usually stopping further conversation.
Xenophobia is scary because it destroys looking out for each other. I live in a road with some amazing friendly and helpful Asian , Turkish and Romanian neighbours. My barber is Turkish , a great guy who often gives me boxes of Turkish delight when I get my hair cut.
All the different races in my area enhance my life , with their amazing cuisine , food stores , help and support, but it disgusts me when I see xenophobes including politicians and media saying they can be trusted , they are stealing our jobs , or any other denigrative statement.
I am proud to have friends and work colleagues from a huge diversity of races and my only problem is sometimes pronouncing their names . I certainly never worry about engaging with someone who is not white or English.
Xenophobia and Racism go hand in hand and both must be checked. If you push away people because of their race then you need to think about the justification you have for this. Deal with it or it will destroy you.
Our play in song will be Peter Gabriel’s “Not One Of Us”
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