Short answer, it's not much better if at all. It's still unwarranted pride in something which we had little to no choice and/or influence over.
I think it's much more important that we think of people as people before they belong to a nation, adhere to a (non)religious/political philosophy, possess an ethnic heritage, are a particular gender, have a particular sexual preference, etc... We have a bad tendency towards thinking in terms of us vs them. The most important things about humans are what we have in common and what brings us together, not our differences or what drives us apart.
All I can think of is that people can change their citizenship, but not their race/ethnicity.
Nationalism ... is like cheap alcohol. First it makes you drunk, then it makes you blind, then it kills you. -Dan Fried
There's a difference between "nationalism" and "xenophobia". Unfortunately now a days is hard to differentiate one from another.
I agree there's a difference. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your country, its values, and historical achievements as long as you are not xenophobic. In fact, As an Iranian, I am very nationalistic about Persian history for example and at the same time as an American I am proud of the fact that we stand up for freedom, democracy, and human rights.
You know, that's a very interesting way of seeing it.
I have to agree with you...fierce nationalism is akin to racism.
Especially when a person has a derogatory attitude about a person or
persons, based entirely on that persons country of origin. And since
countries in many parts of the world are not so ethnically diverse,
that would be a direct response to that particular ethnicity they dislike.
In america, nationalism is often cloaked in religion, many times leaving
anyone who is not a believer in christ, out in the cold.