Difference between Racism and Xenophobia

Racism vs. Xenophobia

What is Difference between Racism and Xenophobia? Most people believe that the concepts xenophobia and racism have the same meaning, but it is not so; because these two terms refer to totally different things.

Difference between Racism and Xenophobia

Xenophobia is defined as “aversion, rejection or hatred of foreigners.” It can also be said to be “a fear of what is not part of one’s culture”. On the other hand, racism can be defined as “the thought or idea that one race is better than others.” Racism may be one of the ways in which xenophobia manifests itself, but without a doubt, both terms do not refer to the same thing.

The xenophobic despises or fears the foreigners not necessarily because of their race, their color … but because it is foreign to their culture. Fear or rejection towards immigrants is a very common and an example of xenophobia. This can be very dangerous because it could lead to violence or hostility against this social group.

On the other hand, racism is characterized by racist people taking into account the race of those whom they despise. For racists, skin color is an important factor. Racists treat those they consider to be an “inferior race” with hatred and disrespect. An example of racism we saw in Adolf Hitler, who ordered the murder of a large number of Jews as an inferior race.

Xenophobia is a broader term than racism and has something to do with fear of the unknown. Racism instead, focuses especially on one aspect: the color of the skin.

Key Differences between Racism and Xenophobia

  • The concept of xenophobia is broader and more encompassing than that of racism.
  • Xenophobia is the fear or rejection of foreigners, while racism is hatred towards someone who is considered to belong to an inferior race.
  • For the racist the color of the skin is an important factor, but for the xenophobic the reason for the rejection is based especially on the fact that the others have a different culture; regardless of race.