Xenophobia – intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries
How many times have we opened up a science fiction book and xenophobia was one of the reasons for antagonism between humans and aliens? Or one set of aliens and another? What about fantasy stories where there's a war because one kingdom despises the people of another just because they worship another god or are different from the antagonistic kingdom? How much do we see in our own world today?
I have heard more xenophobic statements in the last ten years than I have in my entire life. People, not just in this nation but around the world, have expressed their distrust of, fear of contamination from, and violent diatribes against people from other countries. It's both sad and disturbing.
We are in a world of global communication. Get online and you can reach people in most areas around the world. There are places too poor to have internet access, but they can be reached in other ways. The point of this is we can speak to millions of people. And there are some who are being silenced by their own governments.
The fear of outside contact has led to the stifling of open communication in those countries. They don't have the rights we do. But how free are we? There are things we've been hearing in the news, reading in stories online, that make me wonder just how long it will be before we are silenced.
Xenophobia is a terrible thing. It leads to misunderstandings, wars, and suffering. It closes borders. It stifles communication. It deprives people of outside ideas, which could expand knowledge and creativity. Open borders help open minds. Open minds lead to understanding. Understanding leads to peace.