Xenophobia can "come and knock" on every door. It is a global threat an no one is safe! Find out what it is and fight it within yourself and in your community.
Xenophobia could be a common thing for all humans, because it derives from the word “phobia”, which means fear. The first part of the word means “alien” and together xenophobia stands for the fear of strangers or alien culture, looks or traditions.
People and cultures are amazingly different. No wonder people get used to their “own thing” and become afraid of the strangers. Xenophobia is not the only fear known to people. By the way, scientists have discovered over 40 thousand phobias. Some of them are very common, while others are rare.
What is xenophobia?
Sometimes word “xenophobia” is used to describe the rejection and fear of foreigners or people coming from other lands, cultures or origins. It may be applied to describe the fear and rejection of people with other color of skin, too. However, that would not make a full meaning of the word and the fear. Sometimes, people become xenophobic to other people or new concepts developed within their own country or culture. Xenophobic people reject anything new or strange that does not fit in or breaks down their old system of values, principles and opinions.
The truth is our planet has developed at least 22109 cultures!
All the nations have different clusters and layers of population and ethnic groups within them.
On the peaks of xenophobia escalations people may start fighting each other even within their local communities rejecting or trying to destroy all those, who differ from them and their traditional ways of life.
Now, as it has been already mentioned xenophobia can be found anywhere in the world. That is why it is so important to learn what it is; its impacts on local and global communities and the ways of coping with fear. xenophobia is a global and personal problem for each and every one of us.
Main xenophobia manifestations
If left unattended and untamed xenophobia can express itself through various forms of irrational behavior. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Lack of tolerance;
- Cultural discrimination;
- Religious discrimination;
- Gender discrimination
The apex of xenophobia manifestations is war, military conflicts and murder.
Xenophobia impacts on the world’s community
For many centuries xenophobia had its damaging impact both on global and local communities.
It destabilizes peace in many countries or regions of the world; which, in its turn leads to economy destabilization.
It fosters the decrease of economic and trading business connections in many countries. Presently we may see its menacing manifestations in Eastern Europe, where it has led to many conflicts between Russia and Ukraine.
3 major global and local impacts of xenophobia:
Xenophobia hugely affects economic stability of many countries. International conflicts evoked by xenophobia close up many prospective markets for businesses; xenophobic outbursts endanger the prospects of tourism in various regions of the world, as it has recently occurred in SA. Seven people got killed during this xenophobic incident and already several countries of the world reacted by not advising their citizens to travel to SA this summer. Such a situation may lead to significant financial consequences for the region.
- Education and development
People with xenophobic mindset become unable to accept or learn new things and ideas that have come from other cultures, ethnic groups or continents. Such approach significantly limits one’s abilities and options in education. Lots of people in the world hold on to their “classic” or “standard” form of education, which robs them of new opportunities and skills.
In some countries xenophobia is evoked by limited employment options. Foreigners come and take the jobs locals could have gotten otherwise. This is one of the strongest reasons for xenophobia outbursts. Nevertheless, certain countries may not have enough of highly qualified pros to handle the jobs and xenophobic approach to employment may considerably slow down country’s overall development.
Xenophobia impact on Nigeria
The recent xenophobic outburst in SA evoked a certain reaction in Nigeria.
These countries are old rivals and this additional strain may add up to the existing problems in their relationships and the stability of the entire region.
Despite the obvious reaction and disapproval of xenophobia in SA, Nigeria still has some similar problems to handle.
Nigeria alone has over 370 tribes.
Some of these tribes are not getting along well with others, so it creates a perfect soil for xenophobic escalation in the hearts and minds of people.
The lack of discussion of this problem in the community and inability to grow tolerance and mutual acceptance may lead to some sorrowful consequences. What is xenophobia? It is global problem.
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It can produce some devastating results; that is why one has to be aware of it and fight the root of the problem instead of fighting, foreigners, strangers, outsiders, or strange and new concepts and ideas. Here is the great "I have a dream" speech of Martin Luther King Jr. Let it inspire you to be tolerant to other people, who are not like you: