What goes on in the minds of violent xenophobes?

I am, because you are. Except, that is, if you’re Zimbabwean or Pakistani.

Xenophobia is a form of racism or prejudice where the xenophobic person has an excessive and irrational fear or anger towards anything or anyone foreign.

We interviewed Leslie Dikeni, Urban Sociologist and author of “South African Development Perspectives in Question” about the psychology of xenophobic attacks.

Economics are at the heart of xenophobia. These attacks take place mainly in poor, black townships. It’s a class issue. Foreign businesspeople from Africa who live in Sandton don’t face attacks.

Leslie Dikeni, Urban Sociologist

It’s true that these attacks are Afrophobic. Foreigners from Europe, for example, are safe from attack.

Leslie Dikeni, Urban Sociologist

There is an element of criminality in these attacks.

Leslie Dikeni, Urban Sociologist

The majority of South Africans haven’t been exposed to other parts of the world. They’re not exposed to cultures that exist outside of where they live.

Leslie Dikeni, Urban Sociologist

Some foreigners are very skilled. They understand how markets work.

Leslie Dikeni, Urban Sociologist

Listen to the audio for more detail:

Africa is rising, but how will South African companies do business when scenes of xenophobia fill the screens of our brothers and sisters up North?

Listen to the audio (scroll down) for our interview of Primedia Group CEO Roger Jardine. He says he will lead by example and talk about how corporate South Africa should not be silent on xenophobia.

For companies doing business in Africa to be silent on this issue is unacceptable. Businesses don’t exist in a vacuum.

Roger Jardine, Primedia Group CEO

This should trouble all South Africans. There is no way anyone can justify this gross violation of the human rights of foreign nationals. Especially considering our own history!

Roger Jardine, Primedia Group CEO

This article first appeared on 702 : What goes on in the minds of violent xenophobes?


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