©2019 The Anti-Racist Educator.

Xenophobia

Xenophobia is prejudice against people who are viewed as being 'foreign' or 'from another country'. This often gets confused with racism: racism has more to do with skin colour and facial features while xenophobia has more to do with nationality, language/accent, culture and ethnicity.

 

Many white minority ethnic groups tend to experience xenophobia, especially if they are recent migrants (e.g. white Eastern Europeans in the UK facing hostility, magnified by Brexit). Over time, descendants of white migrants tend to face less xenophobia as major differences (accent, names, etc.) become less significant compared to the majority white ethnic Scottish population. In contrast, black people living in Scotland for decades will face racism no matter how "integrated" they become due to skin colour.

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Examples of xenophobia include:

  • a white Scottish person showing prejudice against a white English person (both share the same racial identity, language and nationality, but their perceived cultural/historical backgrounds may be different).

  • a white Italian person showing prejudice against a white French person (both share the same racial identity, but their nationality, language and cultural/historical backgrounds differ)

  • a brown Indian showing prejudice against a brown Pakistani person (both share the same racial identity and possibly language, but their nationality and possibly religions differ).