To be xenophobic means to be afraid of foreigners. I got cold chills when I remembered this word.
It got me thinking about the history of the United States. Growing up, I'd always heard that we thought of ourselves as a country made up of a "melting pot" of all different kinds of people and nationalities. It's a lovely thought, but I don't think that's how it's worked out, really.
We've had a history of discriminating against various nationalities of people throughout our history. The Irish, the Italians, the Germans, the Japanese. And we can't ever forget the First Peoples.
Given the events of 9/11, and now the Boston Marathon, I can't help but wonder if our collective xenophobia is going to be ratcheted up again, this time against people from the Middle East.
I sincerely hope not. Some of the most consistently kind people I know are from that area.
We have to keep remembering that every group, from every part of the world, has a few bad apples. We have to remember not to color everyone with the same crayon.
Let's all keep clear heads.