I hope some day I will write a dissertation about Levinas and intercultural contact. I don't have time now, but at least I can express my thoughts on this blog. Levinas says that a relation becomes ethical when I meet another person. The image I create of the other can never coincide with the real person. An individual is unique, he can't be reduced to the (supposed) characteristics of his group. So I should have an open mind for the real person and let go of my prejudices anytime.
Autochthony and exclusion
Here's another post about "Heidegger's Roots", which some important quotes:
Heidegger deploys the myth of autochthony as a way of excluding the non-German from his new cultural politics of the originary. What separates the Germans and the non-Germans is that the Germans remained in their original dwelling places of the ancestral stock while the others emigrated elsewhere; the Germans preserved the original language of the ancestral stock while the others adopted a foreign language. In this invidious comparison between the native and the foreign, the autochthonous and the allochtothonus, the "other" is designated as barbarian. In a culture where one's own national identity is precarious because of foreign invasion, lack of political stability, and the emergence of cosmopolitan, enlighted values, this turn takes on an important function - politically and otherwise. Germans will invoke the myth of autochthony as a way to assert their own national ideals and hopes for the future.
Such a maneuver is political to the core, even if it engages in a rethoric of the anti-political. And the logic of autochthony is always marked by such exclusion. Autochthony affirms the priviliged status of one group while at the same time desgnating the allochthonous groups as the "other". Heidegger's elegiac reveries about the homeland, rootedness and the Alemannic soil are all marked by the binary logic of inclusion and exclusion. The non-German, the "Roman", the "Jew", the female, the "Asian", the "liberal", the "humanist", the "barbarian" are all figurations of a philosophy that is committed to a myth of hierarchy and exclusion.