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Biden’s “Xenophobia” Remark Sparks Controversy: Here’s the Meaning of the Word

US President Joe Biden recently came under fire for calling India, Japan, Russia, and China “xenophobic” nations while talking about the US’ reputation for welcoming immigrants. Now that has led many to ask what exactly “xenophobia” means.

Xenophobia means to have a fear of or hate people from other cultures or countries. It often stems from not understanding or being unfamiliar with those who are “different”. This fear can lead to discrimination or even hostility towards those perceived as “outsiders”. Xenophobia may cause divisions and prevent people from getting along. 

Speaking at a Democratic Party fundraiser, the President said that a major reason the US economy was growing was “because we welcome immigrants.” The 81-year-old Democratic contender further stated that China, Japan, Russia, and India were not faring well economically “because they are xenophobic. They don’t want immigrants.”

READ MORE: Xenophobia Hurting India and China Economic Growth, Says Joe Biden

Mr Biden claimed that “immigrants are what makes us strong,” adding, “We have an influx of workers who want to be here and want to contribute.”

The White House has defended President Joe Biden’s remarks, clarifying that he was “making a broad point” about the importance of immigrants in strengthening a country. 

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that India and Japan have strong relations with the US and said, “Our allies and partners know very well how much the President respects them. If you just look at the last three years, (the President) has certainly focused on those diplomatic relationships.”

She added that the President is always going to be really clear on speaking to issues that matter to the American people, further claiming “We are a country of immigrants. That matters. And we’ve seen these attacks. And so, the President is never going to shy away from that.”

Joe Biden hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a state visit last year, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited the White House in April.

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Source: NDTV

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