Immigrants and fears

Article published on Sept. 21, 2007
community published
Article published on Sept. 21, 2007
There is no need of statistics, studies and research on media to realize that, especially in the past years, immigrants have become the main threat to our “advanced” (?!) societies…it is a weird feeling of suspect, worry and outrage that affects the great majority of population, even those who make an effort to remain open, civilized and informed.
Values such as respect, freedom and solidarity that we too often consider to be obvious, are everyday exposed to new prejudices and stereotypes that seem softer, but that are in fact more dangerous and long-term ones. Words are the key. Innocent, cold, unquestionable words that, without us being conscious of it, do influence our way of thinking and acting in our everyday routine. Even if we are willing, how can we avoid such linguistic changes and the result of such (harmless) meanings: emergency, clandestine, organised crime, illegal immigration, extracommunitary, degradation…these are linked terms that are bound to be so. Who is responsible for this –or at least shares this responsibility? We can only make a hypothesis, but we cannot deny that the meanings that the media spread do certainly have an impact on the perception of our reality and of their problems; therefore on us, on us and them.

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