XENOPHOBIA: "INTENSE OR IRRATIONAL DISLIKE OR FEAR OF PEOPLE FROM OTHER COUNTRIES."
We might feel as though we live in unprecedented times of Xenophobia, (fear and mistrust of "others"), but Ancient Wisdom tells us that "there is nothing new under the sun." We've been here before. And we'll be here again. Cultures naturally fear one another. Politicians capitalize on the fact that we don't know much about others, so it's easier to give in to fear. Different is dangerous. Same is safe. At least that's the prevailing perception.
. . . if only there was a way we could quickly and easily get a glimpse into other cultures . . .
Every once in a while, the world gives you examples of the path you'd like to take. We believe in the power of music to bring people together and we have been particularly inspired by Joe Strummer and Anthony Bourdain.
PATRON SAINT JOE
This series is inspired by Joe Strummer's BBC radio show, London Calling which aired 14 episodes from 1998 through 2001. Strummer played music from around the world and incorporated messages of peace, unity and understanding.
If there were such a thing, Joe Strummer would be one of the Patron Saints of the Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow. His insistence that we learn from one another guides us. We want to grow from the seed of musical exploration he planted and ask the question: can music help us understand other cultures? If so, that seems like a worthy goal. We should do that.
PATRON SAINT ANTHONY
This series is as equally inspired by Anthony Bourdain. Intrepid explorer of geography, culture, music, food, and people, Bourdain's seemed to represent much of what we strive for here. Former American President Obama summed it up well on Twitter: "He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown."
"To make us a little less afraid of the unknown."
That seems like a worthy goal. Let's do that.
“People fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer.
— Andrew Smith
FEAR BRINGS OUT THE WORST IN PEOPLE.
We're often suspicious of other cultures because we naturally perceive differences as threats. It is easy to give in to fear and it is easy to stoke fear in others. Fear ise a powerful motivator. Just ask someone running from a tiger, or today's politicians.
But we are better than this. Or at least we should want to be better than this. Fear separates. Fear tears down and divides. To reverse this, we must cast out fear. We cannot cast out fear without understanding. And we can't have understanding without knowledge.
MUSIC CAN HELP BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
— Mark Twain
Ideally, we would all travel. We could meet everyone on their "home court" so to speak. We would sit at someone's table, listen to their records and marvel in humility at the beautiful spectrum that is the human experience. How alike we really are and yet how beautiful our differences. The smells, sounds, food, and music. Then we might make progress towards understanding that leads to empathy. No need to be threatened, and every need to celebrate.
But of course, most of us aren't able to travel and remain isolated by geography and blinded by fear. It's easy to believe the worst about people simply because we don't know what else to believe about them.
Xenophobia thrives only when it's easy to write others off as "other." "Other" is easily perceived as less than human. It's difficult to help people to consider the beauty of other cultures, and much more difficult to foster attitudes of empathy, especially when so many loud voices try to instigate using Xenophobia.
“Music is very spiritual, it has the power to bring people together.”
— Edgar Winter
WE BELIEVE MUSIC CAN HELP FIGHT XENOPHOBIA.
Music is universally powerful. It is a window into culture. We learn about people from their music. What tunings do they use? How do they construct their melodies? What do they celebrate? How do they mourn? What do they protest? How are they like us? How are they different?
Sometimes we have to fight the fear of others. We can grow in this process by finding common ground. Music is a great place to start. Let us help.
Once a week, we invite you to take a 30 minute journey around the world through carefully curated playlists designed to open our ears to other cultures. We'll find music from around the world. You fight Xenophobia, promote empathy and help others.
Let's do this together.