“Do you know how old that line is?”

When European immigrants in 1840 (half of them Irish fleeing famine caused by a potato disease) came to the U.S., they were greeted by Americans saying the above line, while having rotten fruit and sometimes rocks thrown at them as they disembarked from their ships (Martin, 2002). Funny thing is that these same “Americans” ancestors, were also immigrants from England, who fled because of religious persecution from Puritans in 1620.

“Hmm people fleeing religious persecution by a sect of their own

religion. Why does this sound familiar?”

It’s interesting to look at the hate and fear people have of immigrants considering our ancestors were immigrants themselves.

“What gives some more rights than others?”

Well apparently it’s about how far back your generations go and how many of them resided in the country longer. I should mention this isn’t just an American issue. According to a YouGov Poll conducted in 2014:

“10% think immigration in the past ten years has been good for Britain, while 71% think it has been bad”

These results were backed up recently with the UK leaving the EU over economic issues, as well as fear and hate of immigrants (Bridgen et al, 2016).

“You have to accept us but we don't have to accept you!”

This is the message that is being sent to a global economy. We want to do international business and want relaxed laws as we travel, but we do not want to reciprocate this action.

The age of terrorism

This has not been easy since we entered the age of terrorism. Now it should be mentioned that terrorism had always been an issue. Hilter blamed terrorism for enacting the SS soldiers and implementing the Gestapo’s (Webbell, 2016).

Terrorism plays an interesting role on the human psyche.  The enemy seems desperate and the emotion of fear leads us to make poor decisions and take more unnecessary risks (Zhang et al, 2016).

“We ignore what we don’t see, just as we ignore the space that is to our back”

 

-Katagiri (Soto Zen Roshi)

 

It is easy to ignore other possibilities and give into our fears. This trait is inherently human. But if we are to let terrorists dictate how we treat people who are not our enemies, who will we label as our enemy next and how will this effect us?

Personally I fear an Orwellian society that uses fear to control people into making decisions. But that's just my personal opinion. 

Social Gelo with Angelo

Angelo Ferrer (M.S. Psychology)

References

Bridgen, P., Meyer, T., & Moran, B. (2016). Expense turns to investment: How the welfare state supports EU migrants’ economic achievements.

Martin, P. (2002). Immigration to the United States. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Webel, C. (2016). Terror, Terrorism and the Human Condition. Springer.

YouGov, (2014).YouGov / Sky News Survey Results. Retrieved from yougov.co.uk on June 22, 2016.

Zhang, Y., Chen, Z. J., Luan, M., & Li, H. (2016). Affect Intensity and Risk Preference in Life-Saving Decisions. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 38(2), 89-97.

 

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