In 2007, in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, over 36 Somalis were killed. Over one hundred places of dwelling belonging to Zimbabweans were burnt to the ground.
Our upcoming Xenophobia and Hatred podcast series will cover xenophobia and hatred going back to ancient times, all the way to recent genocides in Rwanda, Liberia, the Sudan and Sierra Leone. We are going to cover the genocides from history. Genocides that occurred in Africa and genocides that took place in other parts of the world.
History is filled with xenophobic genocides. In fact, if you ask me, there have been too many.
At the end of the wars between Carthage, in North Africa, and the Roman Empire – wars which are known to history as the Punic Wars – the Romans wiped out the city of Carthage. They killed everyone and everything. Carthage by the way was situated where the North African country of Tunisia is located now.
The Romans and Carthaginians had fought three wars, over centuries. But they didn’t start out as enemies. Rome and Carthage had traded with each other. For centuries they had existed in harmony with each other, and at other times they had been allies. However between 149 and 146 BC, Rome levelled Carthage, and wiped it off the map in a blaze of a horrendous genocide.
Some say that these wars had begun over economic issues. But it is important to note that by the time Rome wiped out Carthage, the latter posed very little threat to the former, economically or militarily. Because Rome had won the first two wars. Yet, Rome still felt the need to do away with Carthage.
Our upcoming Xenophobia and Hatred series will explore the different reasons given by Historians and other experts for xenophobia and genocides.
As some authors have noted, sometimes the reasons given for xenophobic violence are many times not true – even reasons given by the perpetrators of the xenophobic violence themselves.
It’s not to say that the perpetrators are lying about why they are inflicting violence against others, but it’s because THEY DO believe that that is why they are inflicting the violence.
Take the many cases where the reasons for xenophobic feelings are said to be economic – in those cases economists have ran the figures, and the results showed that the math doesn’t add up. The figures show that, first and foremost, most times the numbers of foreigners that are assumed to be residing in a given country are less than what the people in that country think.
Then you look at the number of jobs taken by foreigners – the figures there also don’t jive. So, researchers find that the economic reasons given for xenophobia are not real.
The other reasons given for xenophobic feelings are the crimes that foreigners are supposedly committing. But even the statistics for crimes do not reflect reality.
But what counts more than reality is perception.
So could it be that xenophobic hatred comes from someplace else? Someplace deeper and more sinister than what we want to admit?
Find out answers to these questions in our upcoming Xenophobia and Hatred podcast series.
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Check out our audio podcast episodes on this website.
Currently we are on the Cold War Pawns series. It’s a very gripping story of the Cold War and its impact on the African continent. Also, in the near future we are going to tackle the topic of Xenophobia and Hatred.