NOT OF THE TRIBE: INTER-EUROPEAN OPPRESSION, WHITE-ON-WHITE CONFLICT AND GENOCIDE, FEAR OF THE FOREIGNER
By T.K. McNeil
The Roots of Difference
Human beings are tribal. By definition. Whether it is literally in the context of a family, or a tribal group, or a nation, there is always an “in” group. And as the Newtonian law of opposites tells us, there is also an “out” group. There has always been a fear of foreigners. Also known as xenophobia. Such is a biologically determined certainty.
Persecution Of “Out” Groups
What is not certain, or even particularly static, are the qualities that separate the “in” groups and the “out” groups. There are some factors common to many situations but no single indicator that determines whether a group is accepted or rejected. Not even what is called “race” or “culture.” There being cases of persecution between groups of similar if not the same, or close cultural and racial backgrounds. On going hostilities have existed for thousands of years.
A Classic Rivalry
Nowhere is this basic fear of foreigners between similar cultures clearer than the history of war between European nations. Something that dates back over 7,000 years. Including noticeable examples such as the adversarial relationship between the city states of Athens and Sparta, which remained snippy even when both were threatened by the full might of the Persian Empire.
White As Snow
The fear of foreigners was palpable during the Winter War. The general term for the failed attempt by the Soviet Union to invade Finland at the beginning of World War II. Famous for both its short duration, three months, and the mighty Soviets were soundly beaten despite having nearly three times the troops and equipment of the Fins. During the war, a single Finnish sniper, Simo Hayha, nicknamed “The White Death” because he dressed in all white camouflage achieved heroic status. Hayha earned 505 confirmed kills, some sources claim 542 confirmed kills, over the three-month period.
Neighbor Versus Neighbor
Not to mention the xenophobia-stoking door-to-door attempts of the newly liberated Serbians to take over their neighbors after the collapse of Soviet Yugoslavia in the 1990’s. What is now known as the Yugoslav Wars. The last of these being the infamous invasion of Albania in 1999. A major war crime by white Europeans against other white Europeans that saw the leader of the Serbian government, Slobodan Milosevic, ousted by his own military.