Difference Between Xenophobia And Racism

It is common to use the words xenophobia and racism without really knowing their difference. For this reason, on many occasions it is used incorrectly, since these two terms do not have the same meaning. In this article we explain all their differences and similarities so that you can distinguish them perfectly.

Xenophobia vs Racism. Main differences

  • The term xenophobia refers to the rejection of immigrants by natives. Instead, racism consists of contempt directed at a different ethnic group, either physically or culturally.
  • Racism bases its prejudices on the cultural and ethnic superiority of one group over another. On the other hand, xenophobia has as its firm arguments the social and cultural dangerousness of accepting immigrants in a country.
  • Xenophobia is always directed at any migrant regardless of nationality or ethnic group. For its part, racism maintains its prejudices towards a very specific cultural group (black and white, for example).
What is the difference between racism and xenophobia?

What is Xenophobia? Difference Between Xenophobia And Racism

The fear or vehement rejection of the foreigner or immigrant is called xenophobia. This rejection can range from slight contempt to physical violence. These factors are usually due to a feeling of “patriotism” or a high sense of belonging to your nation.

This can be influenced by race prejudices (although they are not the same) only given the cases where race and patriotism converge is when this attitude can become quite hostile.

Characteristics of xenophobia Difference Between Xenophobia And Racism

Starting from the most common form of xenophobia, which is the so-called “cultural superiority” that has left its ravages in the history of many countries, such as the case of the Kurdish massacre perpetrated by Saddam Hussein.

Although, for the most part, it is the fear of losing valuable jobs or the sup plantation of the “national identity” that has more weight in this type of hatred towards migrants.

Xenophobia is more of a social and political stance than a metaphysical thought as is often the case with racism. In most cases, immigrants are blamed for the worst crimes in order to promote such thinking in society, which is obviously fueled by the prejudices of the person in question.

What is racism?

This term refers to the exaggerated appropriation of a certain ethnic group with respect to other ethnic groups (having a sense of superiority), which can lead to the contempt or marginalization of a certain group of people.

Some of the most relevant historical acts of racism were undoubtedly the Jewish holocaust and the racial war between whites and blacks in the United States (It is worth mentioning the colonial era in Latin America). Racism is considered a very dangerous position on a social and cultural level.

Characteristics of racism

The main characteristics is the belief of having an ethnic superiority based on physical differences (skin color, eyes and even height) creating a “conflict” between two ethnic or cultural groups.

And based on the fact that racism is governed by social prejudices and fears that its objective is to “defend the purity” of the race or the identity of its group. This is also corroborated by a well-established cultural tradition.

Today racism is a condemned and prohibited practice in most civilized countries. All and so, unfortunately, this type of manifestation of ethnic rejection continues in some parts of the world. Especially in European countries and in the United States towards Arab and Islamic migrants (Islamophobia).

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