Xenophobia, the fear or hatred of those who differ from us, is real! This is an unfortunate fact about life on this planet that we call home. It must be said outright that the prejudice experienced by people, especially Black people, is not just based on the color of skin, as is so often said. The differences are more than skin deep, they are biological and cultural. Black people experience the world in a very different manner than Whites, Asians, Hispanics, and others. Because of the nature of racial differences, it has been said that scientists can actually create medicines that target people based on their genetics.
There are also psychological and emotional differences between the races. Some of these may be biological, and some cultural (which actually might be biological in origin); it has long been acknowledged that Black people inherently demonstrate a certain ability toward syncopated rhythmic expression as seen in African drumming and dance, jazz, rock, and rhythm and blues. Whites on the other hand, tend to express themselves in a different fashion, as exemplified by traditional “classical” musical composition. These are no more “technical” than those created by John Coltrane or Ornette Coleman, but there is a difference in cadence and instrumentation.
Though there are these differences between the races it is NOT to say that a crossover expression can’t be demonstrated. In fact, today in America, and elsewhere around the world, the racial twain seems to be meeting. Black people who become interested in other cultures are able to master them, and the same can be said of whites and others who have become enamored of Black cultural expression. In other words, there is a fluidity in the human family expressed by the ability to move from one mode of expression to another when desired.
Even though this is the case, there are some very real racial divisions in America and elsewhere. For whatever reason, Black people seem to be disproportionately hated by many ethnic groups.
The question is this: is it because of behavior, xenophobia, white supremacy, or something else? If it were merely xenophobia or behavior, it would seem that other non-white races would be equally maligned. Though they too often face prejudice, Blacks seem to outrank everyone in this regard. This situation has resulted in an illogical hatred and perception of Black people that is so prevalent that many Blacks actually deny that they are “black.”
This situation is dire and threatens to destabilize the very fabric of our existence in America. Recently, former president Barack Obama returned to Chicago to host a panel of young people dealing with various civic engagement topics at the University of Chicago. It was broadcast on Facebook Live.
The questions and responses were innocuous, with Obama smiling, laughing when appropriate, and telling jokes when necessary. He did not devolve into a diatribe castigating the current administration, and was even-handed in dealing with the panelists who represented diverse viewpoints. Yet, in spite of his exemplary behavior, there were numerous angry faces floating across the screen as well as a myriad of hate-speak comments aimed at him.
It was so pervasive that it was obvious that those listeners did not even hear what the panelists were discussing. They apparently were hearing a different conversation altogether that was somehow fabricated by their own hatred-addled minds. Many pro-Obama comments blamed the attacks on the fact that he was the first Black American president.
This is very troubling. Many of those criticizing Obama said that he was the worst president ever, that he should be in prison, and a number of other incredible things, while ignoring the quagmire that we find ourselves in during the current administration, altogether. It is as though there is a collective insanity visiting a large segment of the population who actually hate Obama so much that they cannot reason well. After all, Obama is no longer president!
If this tendency toward insane hatred does not abate, we just may find ourselves tipping the boat into political and social suicide. Hopefully, those with reason will prevail and save us. A luta continua.