Xenophobia or Crime
So, what is Xenophobia?
It is a deep-rooted and irrational dislike, hatred, fear or prejudice of/against people from other countries. In the passed few days in South Africa there had been yet again a spate of xenophobic attacks on foreigners, and to some extend South African. Clearly this is uncalled for and should be condemned categorically.
But why is this happening? Is there more to this than what meets the eye? Can we afford to sit back and do nothing about it? Who is responsible for these attacks and who is responsible for stopping them? Is there any benefit to perpetrator in attacking foreigners?
Clearly there are more questions than answers and as human being, we get afraid of things we don’t understand, things we don’t have answers to. I have opinions though about this and am going to share same with you, the way I see it.
Why does this happen? Well, perpetrators act these way because they know they can get away with it and their wrong actions would go unpunished. There are two things that motivate us to act or react the way we do, namely; a carrot and a stick, or an incentive and a punishment. Lack of punishment leads to lack of discipline for most of us. The more the incentive than the potential punishment, the more likely the action.
We would continue doing the wrong we know we could get away with.
An incentive in most of these attacks is at least one of the following:
1) an illusion that perpetrators lives would be better off without foreigners in the neighborhood.
2) looting and stealing the belongings of foreigners for personal use, and being able to get away with it. (carrot without a stick, that is)
Is there more to this than what meets the eye? Yes, a resounding yes! I believe criminal elements are at play here. Firstly, there are many foreigners of all shapes, sizes, colors and nationalities. Why are these attacks perpetrated against predominantly black (or non-white) foreigners by people who look similar to them? The only logical answer to this question is; nobody can give what he doesn’t have, but everybody can only give, even if a portion, of what he gives himself! What does this mean? This means that if you have hatred on the inside of you, and you live with this hatred daily, that is what you are going to give the world. If you feel worthless and useless, that is the way you’d treat those around you. Foreigners in this instance are therefore just scapegoats and easy targets at the receiving end of the pain these perpetrators feel and hatred they have about themselves.
The media won’t tell you about how many South African are killed each day by South African, how much hatred inhabitants of these country have towards the state of the nation they way they experience it, government incapacity to deliver basic needs and make unselfish decisions, and their lives being stuck in poverty without any imminent escape. The media won’t tell you that there are groups of people contracted to create chaos on social media and misinform those who listen to them; the potential carrot for this individuals is better than people’s lives they could destroy. May our good God grant us wisdom to differentiate fact and truth from man-made devil-influenced lies meant to create chaos and plant discord amongst brothers.
Things like these happen because some of us, even occupying public offices of influence, fuel the fire and make irresponsible comments on many fronts, so we should try by all means to refrain from commenting is such a way that would influence people negatively and make them more scared, scared enough to want to pick up arms and kill.
None of us cannot afford to sit back and fold our arms, we are all responsible as inhabitants of this country, both foreigners and South Africans, to solve these problems. We are all responsible for giving to and taking from this country as the one sided affair is not going to work, but begat animosity.
Lastly, I want to tell a story of two individuals, both South Africans.
– One had a convenient store next to foreigners stores. When the mob came to loot and steal, his store was also looted. He was not discriminated against, but he wishes he was..
– The other one was applying for a bank loan the other day, and the bank consultant on the other side of the phone thought he was not a South African due to how he sounded on the phone. He was asked several times if he was really a South African, an no matter how often he said he was, the consultant didn’t buy it. He was discriminated against, but he wishes was not. Well, these two individuals are born and bred South African.
The world is not fair and bad things happen to good people. What is happening is more of an opportunistic criminal acts, mostly because there is no stick, or at least a carrot is much bigger than the stick. Clearly we all want to feel wanted and accepted and not to targets to criminals nor irrational self-hating mobs. But, it happens sometimes.