‘What the hell is going on here?’

Populism is going on here. But in a new environment that history has not seen before. Hitler was democratically elected. It is easy to forget that the horrors of the fascism and the Holocaust (along with innumerable other mass extermination tragedies of history) were enacted by us, at the hands of the voting public and…

Does the internet make people racist?

Check email inbox. Scroll through Facebook newsfeed. Scan the headlines on 3 different news apps. Watch a Vivo music video on Youtube. Write a blog on xenophobia. It’s lunchtime on a Tuesday and that’s just how I’ve used the internet since I woke up this morning. How about you? If you’re reading this you probably…

The Media and Xenophobia

Think of everything you know about immigration. Who is coming, why they’re coming, what they’re like, what they’ll all do when they get here. Now try to remember where you’ve learned all those things you know. My guess is very little of it will have come from your own direct experience or any hard data…

The What and Why of Xenophobia 2

Part Two: What makes people xenophobic? In my last post, I described xenophobia as a kind of sociological phenomenon – almost as though it’s something that we are naturally programmed to feel. But if that’s the case, then why doesn’t it affect everyone in the same way? Why are some people One Nation voters while some are…

The What and Why of Xenophobia 1

Part One: Xeno.. what? Very few words in the English language start with ‘x’. Xylophone. Um, that’s basically it. What is this scary, foreign ‘x’ word? (And more importantly, how do you pronounce it?) I’m not embarrassed to admit I had to get to my second degree before I came across the term ‘xenophobia,’ and…

Prawns, slavery and racism

After recovering from the shock of the inhumanity of the Thai prawn slavery story, I began to consider its implications for the ‘phenomenon’ of slavery more broadly. While the passing of some 150 years since the abolition of slavery in the United States has many of us in the Western world convinced that slavery is…

Immigration – fears, fact and fiction

The recent European Parliamentary elections have been hailed by many as a victory for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). The results of the election reflect a growing concern over immigration, particularly from the European Union. One controversial UKIP campaign poster claimed that 26 million Europeans were after British jobs. The party was one of…