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We are all xenophobes

November 10, 2014

scared

We’re all xenophobes; hardwired to fear the “other”, the “different”.

Some understand this and engage their brain to fight instinct with reason. Some deny it, dress it up with pretty little bows and call it something else.

I’m tired of bows. I’m tired of those too lazy or too frightened or too rigid to engage their brain. That is it and that is all.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. John permalink
    November 10, 2014 5:15 pm

    I wonder if we are perhaps not hardwired to fear but rather to know or understand that there is a “not-me” too. That might make us curious more than afraid.

  2. November 10, 2014 6:59 pm

    I respectfully disagree – we might be hardwired to be wary but I wouldn’t say “fear”. Many people go on holiday partly to engage with people who are ‘different’, and some – irrespective of what country they come from – feel the people they meet are friendlier and better company than the people they live amongst. But if you (e.g.) lived in Syria or Iraq, you might consider fearing the “different” common sense rather than xenophobic.

    Your reference to “pretty little bows” is difficult to comment on unless you are more specific and offer some examples.

    • November 11, 2014 1:10 pm

      Fles (see below) pretty much nails it: “a conscious decision to be better than our instincts…”

  3. November 10, 2014 8:41 pm

    I think you’re right – we have to make a concious decision to be better than our instincts, and the fact that we can make that concious decision is what sentience is all about: it’s making the decision to be better than our base nature, freeing ourselves from the chains of our biological programming. Getting past prejudice is about choice – it’s actually a liberation of ourselves.

  4. November 11, 2014 4:46 pm

    It’s partly a matter of how you define xenophobe – it can mean strongly dislike as well as fear. I’d say there plenty of people who don’t have to overcome any hardwired inclination to strongly dislike others who are conspicuously different.

  5. Spencer permalink
    November 11, 2014 4:49 pm

    I think people are taught to hate not born to it, the fear is part of the process ( I will not call it education) of dehumanisation that is particularly strong at the moment in this country and it is both ugly and destructive. Unusually I find myself in agreement with Nietzsche who said ‘Ignorance is as structured as knowledge’. What is making it worse is we live at a time when in politics and in the media (guardian apart) truth is rare and the lie the currency. Feeling a stranger in such a situation is quite natural if you have a conscience and have retained your thinking capacity. All power to your pen and long may you continue.

  6. November 12, 2014 10:20 pm

    Yup.

  7. William Tamblyn permalink
    November 13, 2014 10:34 pm

    As soon as we learn to distinguish “self” from “other”, we realize how vulnerable we are and we come to identify with those who are seen as “our family”, “our tribe”. Thank goodness some of us are able to outgrow that… From: sturdyblog To: wmtamblyn@yahoo.com Sent: Monday, November 10, 2014 11:36 AM Subject: [New post] We are all xenophobes #yiv6524162886 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6524162886 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6524162886 a.yiv6524162886primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6524162886 a.yiv6524162886primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6524162886 a.yiv6524162886primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6524162886 a.yiv6524162886primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6524162886 WordPress.com | sturdyblog posted: “We’re all xenophobes; hardwired to fear the “other”, the “different”.Some understand this and engage their brain to fight instinct with reason. Some deny it, dress it up with pretty little bows and call it something else.I’m tired of bows. Tha” | |

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