TEJ: Our Fear of Immigrants & Anti- Intellectualism: Why We Hate the Smart Kids

Our Fear of Immigrants

  • Numbers of minors crossing the border are increasing by double compared to last year. “More and more children like Rodrigo are crossing ht border, many without parents or guardians. During ht past nine months, 57,000 unaccompanied minors have been caught trying to cross the border, double what it was during the same period last year” (NFGW, pg. 751). The numbers of minors, without parents, trying to cross the border is increasing but why?
  • Its “natural” exclude out of group members because it’s just something that your brain does. “Threat centers in the brain light up on perceiving an out-group member, while neurotransmitters like oxytocin seem to facilitate both in-group bonding and out-group exclusion.” (NFGW, pg. 752) When confronted with someone that is not from your group your brains defense kicks in and produces chemicals that warn you in a sense.
  • Prejudice is also another “natural” thing because of fear of disease. “The biological architecture of prejudice also hints at the fear that immigrants bring disease – people from faraway ecologies may carry different pathogens…” (NFGW, pg. 752) People fear that immigrants bring disease that will affect us.
  • Stereotypes allow for justified abuse and exploitation. “The stereotypes can then be used to justify abuse and exploitation…” (NFGW, pg. 753) Stereotypes created for immigrants leads to mistreatment.

Anti- Intellectualism: Why We Hate the Smart Kids

Quarterbacks are remembered but not academics. “Nearly all of the grading seniors will remember the name and escapades of their star quarterback; nearly none of them will ever even realize that their class produced Arizona’s first national champion in Lincoln-Douglas Debate” (NFGW, pg. 759) Graduating seniors will only remember the quarterback achievements but not that academic achievements. Why?

The label “nerd” excludes people labeled the term and is worse because it results in lack of social content. “Sadly, this becomes somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy; “nerds” are excluded from a social activity because of their label, and that label, in turn, intensifies through the resulting lack of social contact” (NFGW, pg. 760). If you are labeled a nerd you will most likely have less social contact and therefore excluded from social activities.

Society looks down on smart people. “Regardless of the causes of anti-intellectualism, the effects are clear and devastating; society looks down on those individuals who help it to progress, ostracizing its best and brightest” (NFGW, pg. 762).  People who help progress society are looked down on and excluded for being smart.

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