Xenophobia and Xenophobic Attack
Xenophobia is a general failure to accept others caused by unreasonable, illogical or unjustified strange fear of strangers. It is a dangerous disorder as it brings out ranges of emotions like a biased attitude to violence and attacks on a stranger.
Xenophobic people don’t find comfort in the presence of strangers. Trying to establish comfort makes them hostile and abusive. The adverse effect is extended to society and as well as the economy of a country or a locality.
Xenophobic Inherence in Human
The truth in life is that no one is totally comfortable meeting a stranger. While some people adjust to overcome such discomfort, others find it very difficult to overcome such natural inhibitions. Those that can overcome it easily make friends and acquaintances while the phobia lives with others for a long time. The latter group sees strangers as an object of the disorder due to expected mismatch in culture and ways of life.
So, xenophobia and the consequent attack has been with man since the creation. In the olden days in Africa, strangers were arrested and sometimes being killed if he wonders into an unknown land and territory. The attacks to strangers were later stopped by colonisation, sovereignty and independence. Nations started living together under a country and then began to have organised laws and constitution. The coming together of nations or countries to form unions makes people accept strangers. The relationship between a country and the others were defined, and xenophobia was guided and reduced by law, only to exist as natural inhibitions.
Causes of Xenophobia in Modern Days
In the modern-day society, many countries face the problem of unemployment and the consequent brain-drain. Citizens of the countries face competition for jobs and sharing of resources with foreigners. Such competition for jobs ignites feelings of deprivation among as foreigners become a threat to available jobs. This is seen by some as stress to the economy and the general lifestyle of the locals. Therefore the fear of such competition breeds fears, biased attitude, violence and attacks. Violence and attack are for foreigners to leave so as to buy their comfort and confidence in the home country. However such comfort has a negative impact on the economy as such will limit talents and resources into the country or locality. Also, Xenophobia increases when foreigners are associated with crimes and illegality whether in part or whole.
Xenophobic Attacks as Anathema
Decades ago and in recent time were examples of xenophobic attacks and damages: Holocaust to Rwandan genocide was xenophobic induced, the internment of Japanese- American during the second world war, the Saco and Vanzetti case, Ghana Must Go of 1983 in Nigeria may also be mentioned even though it is targeted at illegal immigrant, but it became a slogan in Nigeria to affect even the legal immigrants, the 2008 Alexandria Riot in South Africa in Gauteng, Durban Mpumalanga that claimed the lives of about 62 persons, hundreds injured and wanton destruction of immigrants property. It seems most strange that in Xenephobic attacks should continue in South Africa after the end of Apartheid till the recent time. However, Xenophobia attack is not peculiar to South Africans, it is also in other parts of the world and takes different dimensions.
Prevention and Solutions to Xenophobic Attacks
Reactions have trailed the recent xenophobic attacks that triggered reprisal in Nigeria, but very few of the reactions have proffered solutions to what to do to stop xenophobic attacks, especially the root causes, apart from the inherence in inhuman to fear a stranger that can always be suppressed and overcome over time through advocacy and laws. Campusaga Media snoops to find that the solutions to xenophobic attack include:
- Legislation against xenophobic attack: one of the people that spoke to Campusaga media told our reporter that xenophobic attack is not a crime in South Africa as no one has been convicted over the years on that. Though that they are sometimes arrested, and later to be released. If there is legislation, and citizens are convicted of the xenophobic attack, definitely others will take dressing
- Good leadership and economic growth: when there is good leadership, it will in turn help to improve the economy of a country. An improved economy means the provision of employment to the unemployed citizens and the foreigners, appreciable GDP and per capita income. When the living standard of the citizens is good, they will think less of the foreigners that came to their country to make money.
- Equally, if the countries economy is good, it will be less attractive for citizens to seek for greener pasture in some other countries. They will like to stay in their countries rather than becoming a foreigner in some other countries.
- Law enforcement agents in each country should live up to expectations and be able to protect foreign citizens and human right.
- Citizens should do well to be legal migrants and shun illegal business and crime in foreign countries.
- Strong Campaign against xenophobic attack and advocacy as in racism.
- Encourage Diversity: ethnic and racial sentiment should be shunned as they breed xenophobia even among the citizens of a country.
Stop Xenophobic Attacks, we are Africa, we are the world, and collectively, we can make it better.
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