I often post stories from other countries as I find what happens there instructive. Wisdom is looking at the mistakes of others and learning from them without having to make the same mistakes yourself. This kind of violence is abhorrent. Of course we all know that in the end the choice to be violent or not is an individual one.
It’s a particular kind of weakness of mind that blames others for your misfortune when they had nothing at all to do with it and a particular kind of wickedness to do violence against them. You are not defending yourself, you are taking revenge for a perceived wrong that has no basis in reality.
According to the linked article, “Civil society efforts have fared little better in arresting the violence. Many organization, foreign and domestic, have responded in a classic “garbage-can” fashion, matching ready-made solutions to problems they only poorly understand. The results include innumerable marches, education campaigns, rights awareness symposiums, and social cohesion summits.” It also states, “…both the government and civil society are culpable.
The government continues to sideline xenophobic violence the same way it does most violence affecting poor South African communities. It has naturalized anti-outsider violence by blaming it variously on criminality or the natural resentment poor South Africans feel towards those they perceive as “stealing” opportunities from them.”
Though I understand what they are trying to convey I personally am reticent to allow any excuse for violence of this sort.
I don’t believe it’s proper to say that it is a result of immigration or a result of government policy. I think it’s a result of personal choice. In American we do face an immigration problem. It’s a small one compared to some other countries to be honest. For the most part the immigrants to America and Americans get along and become friends. We are prosperous enough that we don’t fear the immigrant.
I get tired of seeing headlines that a such and such crime was committed by an illegal immigrant. This fact is put in there to sensationalize the immigration debate as if to say, “see, immigrants really are bad!” When of course, they aren’t. There is a somewhat valid argument that if the person had not entered the country illegally they never would have been in that place at that time to commit the crime. That much is true but it is also true of any other individual criminal. We can always find something to say “if this one thing had not happened then the crime would not have happened either”.
For me, and probably for a lot of you, the main issue with immigration is respect for law and security of our borders. America currently enjoys statistical full employment – which means we cannot say immigrants are “stealing” jobs. I mention this because I think it’s important, as we discuss the practicalities of immigration reform, that we ensure the rhetoric isn’t too heated or aimed at the people coming into our nation.
Framing xenophobic violence as a question of immigrant victimization invites divisions between neighbors