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  • The A to Z of isms - Xenophobism

  • Xenophobia is a term used to describe the fear and hatred

  • of the foreign "other".

  • It is a fear that the other, the less deserving foreigner,

  • will take away your way of life.

  • Xenophobia has a long history.

  • The Romans and Greeks labelled those outside their borders as barbarians

  • uncivilised brutes who needed to be conquered

  • for fears of them contaminating the empire.

  • And xenophobia is shaping the political debate today.

  • In the campaign for Britain to leave the EU,

  • we were starkly warned about the threat of the hordes of foreigners

  • supposedly swarming to the border of fortress Britain.

  • The prime minister at the time of the vote, David Cameron,

  • ushered in Brexit, in part by badly misjudging the power of xenophobia

  • when he assumed that people would not ...

  • Across the Atlantic, Donald Trump was elected on a wave of xenophobia

  • against the imagined ...

  • supposedly pouring across the border with Mexico.

  • {\an2}"Build the wall" is the perfect slogan of our xenophobic times.

  • Though it would be wrong to confuse xenophobia with racism,

  • though the two are often related.

  • Racism is more than the fear of the other.

  • It is a system of oppression based on the belief that so-called races

  • are superior to others.

  • Just as much of the Brexit vote

  • was based on the desire to curb white migration into Britain,

  • we have seen xenophobia in places like South Africa,

  • where migrants from other African countries

  • have been violently attacked by other black people,

  • who are themselves poor and lacking in opportunity.

  • It is a logic of scarce resources -

  • of the country being too full to sustain the outsiders.

  • And a reminder that you can be a victim of racism

  • and perpetrate xenophobia.

  • The Windrush scandal was caused by the hostile environment

  • a xenophobic policy aimed at squeezing out illegal immigrants

  • by making checks of documents routine in all areas of life,

  • including work, education and even visiting the doctor.

  • The unsurprising result was that many, including those who had legally

  • come from the Caribbean post-war,

  • lost their jobs or were deported to countries they had long left behind.

  • But it was also the logical conclusion of decades of immigration

  • policy that purposefully restricted immigration

  • from Britain's former colonies in the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.

  • The expansion of freedom of movement from Europe was a continuation

  • of welcoming white migration, whilst closing the door on people of colour.

  • Xenophobic fears are easy to stir when inequality increases.

  • The pain the so-called natives feel through poverty and inequality

  • are turned onto the foreigner trying to jump the queue.

  • It is no coincidence that following that increased inequality

  • since the 2008 financial crisis,

  • xenophobia has been on the rise across the world.

  • Thankfully there is a way to tackle this trend.

  • When society is more equal and provides for all,

  • there is no need to fear the other.

  • Thanks for watching! :)

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The A to Z of isms - Xenophobism

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B2 racism britain inequality fear brexit migration

Viewpoint: The difference between xenophobia and racism | BBC Ideas

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    Summer posted on 2020/04/23
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