This is such a vital topic right now. The xenophobia is a symptom of a much greater malaise. The crises in the world are all connected. I believe the problem is fear that is experienced unconsciously – decisions running from the reptilian part of the brain. Fight or flight. Once conscious (can be trained through meditation, self-reflection parallel appropriate new actions), people can disassociate from the fear and strive to be the positive change they want to ultimately see – i.e. take courageous decisions to be loving, stand up against injustices, break out of the black-and-white Hollywood nonsense and understand that everything is connected.
We are fed with many lies / mistruths in society and the media through images, symbols and speech that lead us to believe we are separate from one another, victims of a mechanical, “Darwinist” world and therefore 1. don’t need to take responsibility for our actions that harm the planet or other people, 2. have little hope that things can change because we don’t employ the science of change within ourselves. That is the downward spiral.
The other option is to strive to become master of one’s life. To become conscious of all we do, say and think. This way we can form new personalities, inspire one anther to create harmony rather than divisions. Then we can then see through media propaganda, cultural pressures and advertising that help create the addictive consumerism that is fueling corruption in media and mega-corporations that manipulate the media. The whole paradigm is largely defunct: creating social breakdown, ecological meltdown, more hate.
The alternative “everything to be understood as connected” paradigm would be to take 100% responsibility for our actions. It can only start from the self. Love breeds love, war and hate breeds war and hate. When we change ourselves, we inspire more of the same, more hope in ourselves, through struggle and proof and that has significant influence on our surroundings.
Sorry I couldn’t come down to join the discussion and hear peoples’ views.