Xenophobia in America
"Xenophobia: Intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries."
Many Americans today are pledged by xenophobia. An example of xenophobia that my generation is probably most familiar with, because of either experiencing it or witnessing it, would be the common discrimination against Muslims and Middle Eastern people. Because we have been dealing with the after effects of 9/11 since a very young age, teenagers today are very familiar with discrimination against these people.
Xenophobia is mostly caused by ignorance. If Americans knew how the presence of Al-Queda had ruined the lives of so many Iraqis, and that Terrorist groups and America-hating radical Muslims were an extreme minority in the Middle East, they wouldn't face the discrimination that they do today.
An example for xenophobia that has also been heavily discussed in the news recently is the issue of illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States. Many want to put in place more restrictions on immigration laws in order to prohibit immigration. People fear that immigrants from countries South of the border, not only Mexico, take American jobs and threaten American culture. These fears are also fed by ignorance. Many of these immigrants are working labor intensive jobs which most Americans would be too proud to work, and working them for lower wages than most Americans would accept.
Additionally, immigrants could never threaten "American culture" because the culture of America is a melting pot of cultures, all brought together by immigrants.
As an American, it is important to remember that we are all immigrants, or decedents of immigrants, and either us or our families have endured what immigrants today are facing. Our country was founded by immigrants looking to make a better life for the immigrants to come, in search of the same thing. Immigration is a vital part of America's history and nothing to be afraid of.