Xenophobia is the fear of foreigners. It can be manifested as barring of immigrants, refusal to do business with people from other backgrounds, and victimization of foreigners.
Xenophobia is an incongruous affliction in the United States. After all, most of us here either came from someplace else, or descended from someone who did.
When the first European settlers came to the New World, they were welcomed and assisted by the indigenous people already here, who were amused by the ideas that the newcomers brought with them, such as ownership of land. And what did the white people do? Though some lived in mutual harmony with the natives, others murdered tribal people, and eventually the American government drove them from their lands and forced them onto reservations, out of sight.
Part of the problem of xenophobia comes from perceiving the person who doesn’t share our background as being “other,” ineligible to join our society, automatically deemed inferior due to being different.
No one has the right to judge another person. We’d most likely be wrong, anyway. As fellow human beings, we have much more in common with each other than we do differences.
I know I’m over-simplifying things. But simple is not wrong.
Marvin Gaye’s song is as timely today as it was 49 years ago: