Xenophobia Present Context
In the modern context, xenophobia has been broadly used to refer to instances of racism and discrimination. The terms xenophobia and racism are now used interchangeably. In reality these prejudices and differences based on skin color and cultures have been part of human history since time immemorial. The new-age definition of ‘xenophobia’ itself has come to mean segregation among peoples, as a social malaise.
Xenophobic feelings have a long and bloody history – from genocides of the past (Jewish Holocaust, African Apartheid) to recent instances of hate crimes around the world, including that of Indians attacked in Australia.
Even though popular culture equates xenophobia to racism, there is a fine difference between the two. While xenophobia is a feeling of hostility to anything foreign, racism proposes a theory of hierarchy where there is a superior, dominating race and a second subjugated race. It also advocates against cross-breeding between the two. However, the medical term ‘xenophobia’ is now used as a substitute for ‘racism’ in present contexts.
Xenophobia also results from misplaced nationalism (or regionalism, as the case may be). Nationality can be the fabric of a nation’s unity, but history is replete with examples of extreme nationalist feelings which turn the tide against migrants from foreign lands.
Is xenophobia (or, racism) as much a problem as everybody makes it out to be? (2✔)