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Xenophobia in American Society

Xenophobia, racism, and gender discrimination are, unfortunately, common tendencies in the world, which hinder people’s equal rights. This inequality in American society is the most noticeable, since many people face discrimination, disrespect, and even violence because of their skin color or religion at the same time with democratic values’ proclamation. This paradox one can notice throughout history, since the country that is practically formed by immigrants rejects them and fears. Consequently, American xenophobia is a habit of the past that people cannot overcome for centuries.

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Modern xenophobia is not much different from the processes that took place centuries ago, although it would seem that progressive American society must overcome its bias and prejudice. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the American government created the conditions for foreigners to fill the labor shortage and boost the American economy. Next, they deported foreigners from their country as soon as labor was no longer needed, and the workers became “job thieves.” Today, the government proposes to build a wall, refuse visas to residents of Arab countries, and does its best to protect America from foreigners carrying threats. These tendencies show deep historical and outdated roots of xenophobia, which were born when tribes feuded for lack of food and perceived any outsider as an enemy.

In modern society, xenophobia does not have enough justification for its existence, since most foreigners come to the country and become Americans despite their religion and skin color. Migrants do not come to the United States to destroy a local culture or devastate the economy, but only to benefit themselves and the society in which they live. They create their ethnic communities in which they honor their traditions, but at the same time, they embrace American culture. I can’t entirely agree that equality and acceptance in the United States is an absolute myth because if it did not exist, it would not be discussed in society. However, the constant debate about immigrants and minorities often reinforces xenophobia even further as they focus on people’s differences. “White America,” defined by white Americans Catholic or non-religious Americans, is afraid of foreigners only because the political forces incite this fear in them and pass laws that turn society into the past.

However, it is true that most often, only migrants who have white skin and are Catholics will eventually be able to get rid of the prejudices and discrimination of society towards them because they “merge” with it. At the same time, although equality exists on a legal level, and a migrant has a chance to build a career and achieve significant success, routine discrimination usually does not disappear if a person’s skin color or religion cannot be hidden. This discrimination can be unintentional, but it shows that a person is perceived as a stranger.

Therefore, xenophobia in contemporary American society is a primitive historical fear of outsiders, combined with a bias that, in most cases, lacks rational justification. This fear is fueled by discussions in which people, for personal reasons, find the negative aspects of migrants, as well as the laws that the government passes to protect their territories and citizens from “outsiders.” As long as there is a concept of “us” and “them” in the world and American society, xenophobia will not disappear, since it will be used as an instrument of influence and political interests.

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