Xenophobia lingers in modern society

Xenophobia lingers in modern society

Elena Thompson, Reporter

Xenophobia, by definition, is the dislike or hatred of foreigners, and due to current events it has become a very pressing issue. The Syrian refugee crisis has heightened many people’s awareness of xenophobia, however a large amount of people still don’t know what it means or don’t care.

This prejudice can be seen in many examples of world history, the most obvious being the Holocaust. This event was caused by xenophobic and anti-Semitic attitudes, as it vilified and rejected Jews and other ethnicities from the mainstream culture. Other xenophobic actions are exemplified by the Klu Klux Klan, the Indian Caste System and the Rwandan Genocide.

Even though those examples of xenophobia are many years old, the mindset is still very present today. In the June of 2004 European Elections, 25 representatives from neo-nazi or extreme right wing parties won seats in major states.

Another modern example of xenophobia is the surge in Islamophobia, the hatred of Islam,  after the attack on the World Trade Center. 1700 incidents of abuse against Muslims were reported in just the first five months after the World Trade Center attacks. This stream of violence was also targeted at Muslim communities.

“Over two dozen U.S. schools for Muslim students were forced to shut down because they received too many bomb/death threats,” said @feminismvibes from twitter.

Many DHS students feel very negatively about the issue. Freshman Kylie Fitz believes that xenophobia shouldn’t exist at all.

“The word phobia makes me feel like it’s a spider that needs to be crushed. People shouldn’t be treated like that,” said Fitz.

Freshman Payton Azhocar feels similarly.

“Xenophobia is one of the most irrational fears I can think of. Immigrants have done a lot of good for our country,” said Azhocar, “Your best friend could be an immigrant, but you wouldn’t know how much they had to offer because you’re afraid of them.”

Freshman Indigo Farmer believes the xenophobic attitudes of the U.S. Government has caused the U.S. Damage

“Because the U.S. is afraid of other cultures, we’re missing out on a lot,” said Farmer.