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Bottomline:  Xenophobia, racism,religious intolerance and tribalism are identical twins with the same genetic composition. It would be hypocritical to scorn one while praising the other.

The world is on fire and all you can do is watch it burn. That pretty much sums up being a millennial right? As the most advanced species in the world, we are tasked with deciphering situations before making decisions on a daily basis. Ranging from the most complex, like launching war missiles to an enemy country to the most basic, like wearing sandals on a muddy day. The decisions we make constantly, not only shape the lives we live, but also help in molding our personality.

Spawns of the dark prince; words are inherently meaningless, that is why when you say one word so many times, it jumbles into itself so much so, that you hear it as a foreign terminology that has nothing to do with the language in use. Take xenophobia for example, say it consecutively for about a minute (no seriously, just try it), you will find out that it turns into a mush of letters, where they scrape the roof of your mouth, curl up your tongue, rid you of air, but have no meaning or sense.

Xenophobia: the fear or hatred of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange, involves perception of an ingroup towards an out group and can manifest itself in suspicion of the activities of others, and the desire to eliminate their presence to secure a presumed purity.

This very detailed explanation of the word from an extremely reliable knowledge source (Wikipedia) will help us put things into perspective. Xenophobia, a word that was basically a novelty to many people but has recently been tossed around the internet so casually you would think it has ties to the Kardashians. This word guest of ours has not even come as a pleasant visitor who brings bread and leaves their shoes by the door, oh no, it comes smack dab in the midst of an accusing statement. It first made its debut in a sentence involving Nigeria, South Africa and our least favorite word, hate.

The breakdown: In case there has been a power outage in your area or you have not had internet the past few days (or both), let me update you. There have been attacks on foreigners in South Africa, xenophobic attacks, which are directed at residents of various ‘other’ African countries and their businesses. Seen in videos doing rounds in the internet (the millennial’s favourite being social media twitter specifically) where mobs are seen looting shops, burning business premises and attacking the business owners.

There has been an outcry from other African countries, especially Nigeria with millenials in South Africa trending the #BokoHaramChallenge after revenge attacks on installations owned by firms associated with the xenophobic prone country to show their ‘appreciation’.

Claims that the violent acts are a result of foreigners taking up employment slots ‘belonging’ to native inhabitants of the Cape of Good Hope The Zulus, Xhosas Et al, actively condemning them to further poverty after ‘centuries’ of apartheid rule. A retaliation because of the vices brought in by foreigners such as drug dealing and the murder of a taxi driver( now do you see how ‘desire to eliminate thus securing presumed purity’ comes into action here?).

The claims are weak at best. Xenophobic attacks have been going on in South Africa for years now, the most outstanding year of such attacks being 2008. The most disheartening part of this ordeal is the misplaced anger, where the wealth of this country that is associated with black foreigners is less than one percent (0.00001%, staggering!) whereas majority of the wealth is pocketed by a small percentage of whites bourgeoisies who control factors of production. Acts of hate being showcased is akin to a child who gets their candy taken by an older child and decides to punish a much younger child (who had nothing to do with the first incident) for it.

But the gag is: Is it a result of post apartheid hangover? A case of the man who bites the hand that fed him? A cry for help? A system of governance that has failed its people? The test of brotherhood in Africa? Ignorance? A festering wound incurred by a country that refuses to heal but sends it into madness?

There is no excuse for the violent acts against fellow ‘dark skin’ Africans in South Africa, there is no justification for the acts of crime that has continued for years. This is not an isolated incident, there must be a deeply ingrained source of loathing for fellow blacks that has refused to stay in its banks threatening those who border it. The laxity of those in charge containing the matter says a lot. If you hate what you see in a mirror, breaking it does not solve anything. Xenophobia, racism,religious intolerance and tribalism are identical twins with the same genetic composition. It would be hypocritical to scorn one while praising the other.


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