Week Twenty-Seven: Xenophobia and Us.
So, I've been told I actually have to get up in the morning and leave the house tomorrow before work. This is a frightening ordeal, I swear! But as a result, you have the blog up the night before. This week is once again a political blog. I believe it's that week again!
It also relates to what I'm doing though, so no worries! In my English course, I am writing a research paper. It's an exploratory research paper, full on APA style and everything, and we were allowed to choose a question that made up perplexed. It took me a good three days. What perplexes me. What can't I come up with some sort of an answer for in a minute or two or less of thought.
It came down to one thing. Why is there so much xenophobia in science fiction. As it's an exploratory essay, the question changes as we explore it, and what I've come up with is somewhat frightening. The ultimate answer, to all I can tell, is because fiction is a mirror of real life.
In Word War Two, a lot of sci fi depicted the aliens almost as German Nazis. During the time of Yellow Fever (anti-Asian time period), the Asians were the bad guys. In foreign fiction, ti's the Americans who are the bad guys.
And now? Now there are tow bad guys in American Science Fiction. Two forms of xenophobia stereotypes available. They are ones based on Hispanics, and ones based on Muslims. This scares me.
Make no mistake, I am xenophobic myself, though only mildly, I honestly hope. And it takes a good deal of bravery to admit that in today's overly PC world. But what scares me is that we have gone from having good and bad Muslims, to all Muslims are bad. And while not all Muslims are terrorists, there is often the feeling that all terrorists are Muslim.
That would be like saying that not all Christians are homophobes, but all homophobes are Christian. You see the problem here? It's all in the generalities. Statements like that, not the fiction we read, increase xenophobia.
I interviewed two different sci fi writers for my essay. One of them put it very nicely, when I asked why he included xenophobia as part of his writing:
“...after 9/11 there's been a massive wave of anti-anti-American sentiment, or against stuff that isn't even anti-American, but just different. To be honest, it scares me. It's no different than either of the Red Scares or the Anti-German sentiment in both world wars. In a way I'm projecting that fear into my writing, to help draw attention to it. Hopefully it's helping people realize that what they're doing, while not as extreme as what I write, is the same thing.”
His writing is very xenophobic. It makes Hitler seem downright friendly. It's scared me sometimes. But what's scared me more is the sources and the studies I have found that state that the government has encouraged the xenophobia, the anti-religion, the anti-anything that might demand we act reasonably sentiment. It's scary.
Our nation is scary now, on the inside. I would love to talk to someone who went through the Red Scare about it. I may just do that.
One Final Byte: Washington knew the power always corrupts in government.