I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend lately – people are becoming more and more xenophobic. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at all the anti-immigrant sentiments floating around these days. And in case you weren’t sure, the definition of xenophobic is:
- An exaggerated or abnormal fear of strangers or foreigners.
- A strong antipathy or aversion to strangers or foreigners.
Don’t think that this describes society today? Think again:
- Italy cracks down on immigration
- Anti-Immigrant Sentiments Overwhelm Italy
- The Globalization of Anti-Immigrant Sentiment
I hope you will notice that this is not confined to just the United States, either.
This is more than a little bit troubling.An awful lot of post-apocalyptic sci-fi stuff that shows nations with very strong anti-immigration laws – off the top of my head I can name V for Vendetta and Children of Men. I’m not saying that one necessarily follows the other (correlation does not imply causation, after all) – but still, it is very… troubling.
What is perhaps even more troubling is that this is not new. Anti-immigrant sentiment seems to come and go in cycles – looking back through history shows periods of very strong anti-immigrant sentiments in just about every country at one point or another in their history, and often multiple times. Here in the United States, even people like Ben Franklin voiced what would today be seen as very vocal anti-immigrant views.
Of course, that was over 200 years ago – you’d think we’d have made some sort of progress along the way, right?
Or is this another case of “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” or something?
Whatever happened to “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free?”
Something to think about before you head to the voting booth this year. (Assuming your vote gets recorded correctly; but that’s another blog post entirely.)