What is xenophobia
Categories
Bullying Identity Racism

“Go Back to Your Own Country” – What You Need to Know about Xenophobia

So, What is Xenophobia?

Xenophobia (pronounced ‘Zeno-phobia’) is a dislike or prejudice towards people from other countries. The ‘phobia’ part is a bit problematic really, because Xenophobia isn’t actually a ‘fear’, it’s a societal or political problem. A bit like homophobia – when we say ‘-phobia’ we imply that it is an irrational fear that can’t be helped when in actuality, it can be helped.

And nope, it’s not a bizarre fear of xylophones. That would be Xylophonophobia (true story – it’s a real thing).

An example of xenophobia would be a group of people at school, excluding Sandra from activities because she is Polish. They are not scared of her, they are prejudiced towards her because of her nationality.

Racism often gets mixed in with Xenophobia and the two often come hand in hand, however, xenophobia usually refers to a persons nationality and culture rather than exclusively their race. Unfortunately, there has been a significant rise in Xenophobia in the US and UK in recent times. The term, ‘go back to your own country’ gets thrown around a lot 🙄. If you’re on the receiving end of Xenophobic abuse, remember that the problem lies with that person, not with you.

Reasons why some people are Xenophobic:

  • They are unfamiliar with a particular nationality
  • They had a bad experience with one person of a particular nationality or heritage and therefore associate bad feelings towards everyone of that persuasion
  • Because of something that happened historically between various countries – for example: WWII
  • Ignorance or narrow-mindedness (so they don’t like, what they don’t know)
  • Prejudice
  • Belief in stereotypes (particularly negative ones)
  • Blindly following what the media says about immigrants (which is usually always negative)
  • Racism
  • Intolerance to religions other than their own
  • Inexperience with diversity – fear of the unknown
  • Not agreeing with the politics of a person’s country of origin
  • Opposition to the cultures of other countries/nationalities

Are you experiencing Xenophobic bullying?

A sharp increase in the (often negative) discussion of immigration both in the US and the UK online, in the media and in schools, means that more people are experiencing Xenophobic bullying and bad attitudes towards their nationality and culture. For example, in England ever since the European Union Referendum, hate crime has increased by up to 100% around the country.

Examples of Xenophobia and Xenophobic bullying include:

  • Making fun of someone’s nationality
  • Making prejudiced assumptions about a person based on where they come from – for example, saying that all French people like to eat snails.
  • Imitating or making fun of a person’s accent
  • Saying that someone is not welcome because they are from a different country
  • Actively excluding someone from events or conversations because of their nationality
  • Saying hurtful things about a person’s culture
  • Assuming that one culture is better than another
  • Physically harming or attacking someone because of their nationality
  • Sending hurtful comments online about someone based on where they are from/where they were born
  • Hating an entire country because of something that a handful of people from that country have done in the past
  • spreading hateful messages about a culture or nationality on social media.
  • Accusing immigrants of ‘stealing jobs or national services’ from the native inhabitants of a country.
  • Using derogatory names or ‘nicknames’ to refer to a person from a different country.
  • Not employing someone because they are foreign, even if they are fully qualified for the job and speak the required language fluently.
what is xenophobia

Reporting Xenophobia

If you’re experiencing negativity at school or work which is based solely around your nationality or culture – you should report it. Xenophobia is considered to be a hate crime and you should not have to put up with it. We are lucky enough to live in a multicultural society which means we can share and enjoy lots of different traditions, foods, languages and cultures which is something that we think should be celebrated, not used against someone.

Start with reporting it to an adult such as a parent or teacher first. If it is serious – report it to the police. You can get full advice on how and where to report hate crime in our Ultimate Guide to Hate Crime, below.

If you need further advice, check out:

If you’re unsure and would like to talk, join the DTL community where you can get advice from our awesome digital mentors or chat with other users about xenophobia today.

RSS FORUM CHATS

  • Problem with teachers (shyness)
    Hi everyone, this is my first post here. I have a problem that's making me feel rather down, so I thought I should share it here. My problem is related to my college teachers. Namely, I was always rather shy when in the presence of teachers. I have attended all the lectures I needed some […]
  • Feeling heavy about Long distance
    So me and my boyfriend were long distance for about a year ,until last September when he moved in with me , recently iv had to move back to my home town(huddersfield) as out tenancy agreement was up ,and he had to go home (Bristol ) as is dad was very sick ,so we've been […]
  • i cant bring myself to look in the mirror
    i cant bring myself to look at the mirror . most my life ive been made fun of looking a certain way. it started when i was 12. honestly no kid that young should even be worrying about their appearance like that. recently ive started to like my appearance but when i feel this way […]
  • What does it mean if your girlfriend forgets your birthday??
    NOTHING HERE?!?!?!?!?
  • Bullying
    Hey there I'm getting bullied a lot and it's getting on top of me. Not all people do but most. What should I do? Thanks.
  • I need help!!! 😓
    HELP!!! PLZ!!!!!!!!