Welcome to the 2013 A to Z Challenge!
This year, I’m focusing on two themes: Emotions and grammar,
depending on which letter we’re on each day.
Today’s an emotion day!
X is for Xenophobic: Unreasonably fearful of or hating anyone or anything foreign; irrationally fearful of that which is strange; intolerant, prejudice
Oy—X! What to do for X. There are no grammar topics for X, and xenophobia is the only emotion word I could think of. I’ve never had to deal with it myself in any of my own writing, but after last week’s bombings during the 2013 Boston Marathon and the revelations since, I thought it relevant.
Wikipedia says “Xenophobia can manifest itself in many ways involving the relations and perceptions of an ingroup towards an outgroup, including a fear of losing identity, suspicion of its activities, aggression, and desire to eliminate its presence to secure a presumed purity.”
I think this can be applied to both the young terrorists as well as those in this country who automatically jumped to conclusions about who they were and why they did what they did. It’s about being conditioned, either by those we are closest to or by events that have somehow affected our lives and shaped our worldview.
Xenophobia is about mistrust and fear, anger and hatred, anxiety and worry. It’s more than just being prejudiced. It’s having a totally biased opinion of an entire culture and is a relatively new phenomena since the media has made our world a very small place.
We are fully aware now, and that awareness sometimes makes us uncomfortable, because awareness does not mean we understand. In fact, this awareness makes many feel threatened because they do not understand; they do not agree with that culture’s way of life, whether that life is defined by race, creed, or sexuality.
None of us like to think that we share or exhibit any form of xenophobia, but think about it for a moment. When those bombings happened in
did you instantly point to any one group as responsible? Did you believe religion to be at the
core? Were you surprised by who the
culprits really were and why they did it?
Truth is, it’s human nature to be suspicious of those we do not
understand, because we are tribal and feel the most comfortable around those
most like ourselves.