Who is an American? Part II: Xenophobia

Bridging the silos of a diverse cultural landscape:

Xenophobia rises. Never disappearing, it recedes from prominence, and makes frequent unwelcome returns. Unlike the proverbial unwanted guest who merely stays too long, xenophobia terrifies the host with the possibility that it will never leave, and forever ruin the act of hosting, sheltering, and giving sanctuary. Close the doors, give no shelter, tear down the sanctuary: this is what the majority desires.”  Ronald R. Sundstrom is an associate professor of philosophy and African American studies at the University of San Francisco

Xenophobia has re-established its firm grip on American culture like a straight jacket, bringing about the ancient fear of “The Others”. These fears and partisan rhetoric have infiltrated all layers in the fabric of society. Is this simply the calm before the storm? Or is this the unmasking of ugly side of 21st century American culture; which is not too different from 19th America?

The storm upon the horizon is the Tsunami of change that denotes a c-change in America’s demographic landscape of which there is no escape.

An Old Scottish Prayer

“From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-legged beasties
And things that go bump in the night.
Good Lord, deliver us!”

“And though foreigners” too”  some may say. Yet the more freighting aspect of this reemergence of this primeval sentiment even among so-called believers in Christ; is that there seems to be a subliminal attempt to associate the moral decay of America with the ethnic demographic changes. The guilt by association, whether society buys into the stereotypes that all of undocumented immigrants are criminals and drug runners or that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the highest levels of our federal government so we must therefore brand any Muslim as a subversive etc.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Allowing fear to Brand every nationality or ethnic group that does not bear the physical characteristics to, or share the cultural traits of the dominate ethnic group as evil and un-American etc. is shameful. The Late Dr Martin Luther King in his famous I have a dream speech said:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skinbut by the content of their character.”

Sin knows no color, race, ethnic group or nationality for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The one thing that we must not do is fall back into the days of Japanese internment camps, Jim Crow laws and The Trail of Tears by bowing to some misguided new Manifest Destiny.

We have been here before. Know-Nothing bigotry is nothing new. Chinese, Irish, Jews, Italians, Slaves, and others have had their turns on this hot seat, with African-Americans perennially warned that they “don’t have a place here.’’ Now Latinos, who make up more than 15 percent of the US population (expected to grow to a quarter by 2050), are all but explicitly told that they can never be real Americans. Boston Globe By James Carroll October 25, 2010

Building the Bridge Together over the ethnic/cultural divide will take an effort from all; by trusting and dwelling in Christ’s unconditional love, therefore eliminating fear to bring about a new kind of unity, that of equality and not of arrogance.

Kevin Robinson Executive Director of Accord1




3 Responses to “Who is an American? Part II: Xenophobia”
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  1. […] homes, the cornfields of rural America, churches clothed in Norman Rockwell’s America, and in the xenophobic fear of “the […]

  2. Three-Fifths says:

    […] the cornfields of rural America, churches clothed in Norman Rockwell’s America, and in the xenophobic fear of “the […]

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