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The written article Our Fear of Immigrants, constructed by Jeremy Adam Smith briefs on the causation of such issues, while providing rational explanations as well. The author claims that the overall fear can directly be linked to our genes and the evolution process as well. Throughout the entire piece, Smith utilizes pathos and logos as rhetoric’s to help prove the given points. As we know, pathos refers to emotions, and logic. The purpose of this article is to help explain and rationalize such fears held in the hearts of the majority, while also showcasing that immigrants are human beings. New entrants to one’s home country can be extremely worrisome and threatening as well, but at the end of the day, we are more similar than different. These families or individuals have the same goals and aspirations in life as we do, and most often are simply trying to escape a dangerous territory. Despite the common belief that this fear stems from current situations, it dates back way farther than that. This information can be extremely significant for several reasons. Primarily, realization of such ideas can help cultivate a new understanding of immigrants and can eventually lead to a more openness of such instances. Through the explanation of hierarchy, evolution, and in-groups, the author reals many truths about where this fear comes from.
Native Hierarchies not only feel threatened by oppositions of their own people, but newcomers alike. According to Datcher Keltner: “Any newcomer represents a threat to a person who has power” (Smith, p.753,2016). There is a high correlation between power and human relationships. The more power someone possesses the less concern they have for relationships and others. We can certainly see this in todays society, look at Trump for example. Throughout his entire campaign, he has discussed immigrants and deportation. Whether it was the African Americans, Mexicans, or Muslims. Trump has an enormous amount of power, and he doesn’t want anyone taking that from him. Although, not proven, I feel that many of these ‘terrorist’ attacks are simply made up. There have been several inconsistencies amongst these headlines. These attempts were made to persuade citizens that immigrants are dangerous and should not be allowed into the United States. By doing so, those of high degrees of power can assure that citizens are fearing immigrants, and they cannot be a threat to the elite. One reason that such people feel so threatened, is because unlike Americans, these people haven’t been brainwashed as much. Most often, they will want changes made, whether it be small or large, no one in power wants opposition to the scheme of things. They have made the laws and regulations to fit their personal interests, not that of the people. Therefore, when someone brings opposition, others will wake up to the truth as well. Which is something the elite try so desperately to stop. The author utilizes logic in this argument. It is only logical that someone in power would not want someone from a foreign country to overrule their power and governance.
The author also used evolution to help explain why we fear those who are different coming into our lands. The fear, as explained by Smith, is not necessarily the sort of fear we would envision. We do not necessarily think they will harm us, unless we follow the propaganda mechanisms listed above, but hear of survival. According to Mendoza- Denton: “at the end of the day, we’re motivated by resources-distribution” (Smith, p. 752, 2016). What the Psychologist is referring to, is the need for basic objects. Such as food, water, and shelter. In the past, these instances were very severe and threatening, because the world wasn’t developed as it is in modern times. Men hunted, and women gathered fruits and veggies. One area could only provide so much food and water, and if more people populated it, others would have to go without. However, even though these cases are completely different now, our bodies and genetics have adapted from our ancestors.
In my opinion, the United States, amongst other countries, should feel the least amount of threat regarding resources. I say this, because this country takes resources from multiple countries, and have way more than what they need. Not to mention, that so much food is wasted and thrown out here. Food that could be used to support immigrants coming to this country. Since we no longer harvest and hunt, the scarcity is somewhat dismissed. When can you remember a time you went to the grocery store and the shelves were bare? That’s right, never, not to mention there are so many grocery stores to choose from. I remember watching a video last week, it was a man outside of Walmart. He was next to the large garbage cans in the back, there were mountains of food being thrown away. Not to mention, that most of this food was neither damaged nor expired. He asked a manager if he could take some of it and he denied him. The Corporate greed is at such high levels, that they wouldn’t even donate this food to even the needy. As we can surely see from this example, there is not in any way, shape, or form scarcity here in America. It may exist in other countries, for instance third-world countries, but certainly not here. Although, it was said that human nature is to hog resources, there are more than enough in this country, that no one would need to hog anything.
Lastly, the author uses the point of in-groups to help explain such fear. However, it’s not necessarily a few of immigrants, rather a preconditioned notion. According to Fiske: “we care deeply about our in-groups” (Smith, p. 752, 2016). An in group can refer to race, gender, age, whatever links you to another person. For such examples in this essay, American citizens would be the in-group being described. However, by excluding immigrants, we are inadvertently out casting people that share more in common with us, even if they weren’t born here. Why should someone be excluded simply on the premise of where they were born? I mean, rationally thinking, we are all human, with similar goals. The author uses pathos in this section, because such ideas really evoke emotion in audience members. Being an out-group member in the United States personally, I can certainly relate to what these immigrants feel. No one likes to be unincluded especially for such petty reasons such as this. If we started realizing that we are more connected than separated, the world would advance significantly.
Through the appeals to both logic and emotion, the author reveals several conclusions as to why we ‘fear’ immigrants in this essay. In essence, the fear is not really there, however, we are greedy and selfish for the most part. Through the explanations of evolution, in-groups, hierarchies, we can begin to see why immigrants are not warmly welcomed into the United States. We as a human race, should certainly look past such differences and understand that conditions in other countries are far worse than our own. Most often, immigrants desire to leave their homelands because of tragic issues. Whether it be war or inadequate job markets, we are all of from the same God.
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