Xenophobia has accelerated rapidly in the western countries. According to you what solutions can be proposed by government and individuals?
If racism and xenophobia are attitude that we are taught, not born with, then the problems that come from them can be resolved. Discuss this view and give your own opinion.
Xenophobia means the ‘fear of the foreigners.’ It stems out of ethnic nationalism i.e. a strong affinity towards one’s own nation and ethnicity. In this essay, I will explain the factors that propel xenophobia in the West and suggest possible measures the government can undertake to tackle it.
As a wave of nationalism has swept the West, hatred towards foreigners has increased mainly in Hungary, Poland, Britain and America (Mammone 2016). According to the FBI, hate crimes have increased by 60% in USA (Ansari 2016) while Britain too is experiencing a surge in Xenophobia (Brexit-rise-xenophobia 2016). This is primarily due to distrust or hatred towards foreigners or holding one’s culture, language or ethnicity as superior.
Along these lines the government can adopt a few important measures to tackle Xenophobia; Firstly, criminalize Xenophobia. By outlawing discrimination, the government takes a clear stand on the issue. Also, the executive and the judiciary must be accessible to the immigrants. Secondly, focus on integrating immigrants into the host culture. Lack of knowledge of the host culture and the laws of the nation, limits the social, economic and political opportunities of the immigrants. The main aim should be to assimilate them into the society, not segregate them. Thirdly, encourage cultural sensitization of the host population. Educating native population on the challenges of assimilating is crucial for peace in the society. Due to ignorance and intolerance, it deters the native population in accepting foreigners into their nation. Lastly, creating awareness which must include the factual breakdown of propaganda and stereotypes revolving around one’s nationality.
Contrary to the theories criticising assimilation, the statistics produce proof of the acceptance of host culture amongst immigrants (Manning & Roy 2010) with a decline in poverty rates and education and home ownership becoming more likely with every generation (Myers & Pitkin 2010). One such famous example is that of the immigration of Southern Europeans in America, which led to the rise in Xenophobia and false claims of them being incapable of assimilation. Though, with time the apprehensions were proven wrong.
In conclusion, Xenophobia stems out of ignorance and a lack of trust in the population. If not tackled, it can lead to segregation and extreme distrust within the society. Moreover, social cohesion is integral to the development of a nation. This cannot solely be solved by individual participation. Thus, the efforts of the government play a key role in combating such social evils.
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