White Fear is Deadly

Rest In Paradise

Rest In Paradise

I don’t blame you if you haven’t heard of Michael Brown. The media is ignoring his fate. On Saturday, the Black teenager who was headed to college today, was shot 8-10 times by St. Louis-area police. What little was “reported” was egregiously misconstrued. Instead of focusing on the excessive police brutality that resulted in Brown’s gruesome death, media outlets turned their attention to nonviolent protestors who were exercising their First Amendment rights.

But as an independent blogger and Black women, it’s my inherent duty to shed light on the pervasive racism that is killing so many Black bodies.

Racism, at times, is manifested through white fear. White fear is a skewed emotional response to Blackness due to centuries of propaganda aimed at discrediting and mongrelizing people of African descent. Black people, and people from other racial/ethnic/cultural groups can be inflicted with white fear as well, due, in part, to the omnipresence of white supremacy.

Not all white people exhibit white fear, but there are a number of them that do. And this number is stocked with entitlement, privilege, authority, and weapons. These are the pretend militias that guard the border. These are the people who insist that President Obama is a Kenyan socialist fascist antichrist. These are the politicians that harangue, but then run scared when confronted by the minorities they target.

These are the people who killed Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, and so many others that we’ll unfortunately never know.

White fear is the moment when people of color stop becoming human, and start becoming monsters. We are untrustworthy and undeserving of sympathy, recognition, compassion, or justice.

Like all elements of racism, white fear is nothing new. Some early examples of white fear are when slave owners denied Black people the right to read because they were fearful of Black intelligence. Or when disgruntled white mobs destroyed prosperous Black communities in times of economic turmoil and political unrest. 

White fear is rooted in deep insecurity. Those who exhibit white fear feel inadequate and have qualms about competing with people of color if the playing field were leveled. So they continue to marginalize and oppress people of color, and petulantly decry minority achievement.

White fear really gets me when those that perpetuate it deny minorities as a whole, and posit that we’re a “post-racial, colorblind society.” They claim they don’t see race, and instead, are a part of the human race. What they’re really saying is that race makes them uncomfortable. They’re scared of it. Ashamed of it, even. So instead of acknowledging it, they cast it (and all it’s thorough consequences) aside as a happy accident of socio-biology.

White fear is an iteration of white supremacy. It’s an emotion that’s been implanted into white consciousness thanks to centuries of inaccurate portrayals of Black men and women in the media. White fear thrives on a fetishized depiction of Black culture, in which we’re dangerous and unpredictable, and thus deserving of immediate death.

Shoot first. Ask questions later. And leave an entire community in disarray.

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Arielle Newton, Editor-in-Chief. Get at me @BlackMusings. Get at us @BlkMillennials  

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11 responses to “White Fear is Deadly

  1. It’s just like the Palestinians in Gaza, they’ll go as far to make up sh** like kids are being used as human shields….don’t blame the missiles blowing up men, women, children, schools, hospitals, and neighborhoods killing 2000+ people. They do the same thing with black people in America….well trayvon did have weed in his system and he was wearing a hoodie….jordan davis was playing loud scary thug music…the dude that shot him feared for his life. White Supremacy/ Racism is institutionalized, and it’s these institutions that keep it going…the media, schools, government, etc. Love this post I’ll try to make it viral. Keep it up:)

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  2. Diversity today is more hypocritical than choosing between going left or right. After all, centuries of slavery, plus decades of finding out who we are, who we actually belong has been going up in smoke. Caucasians aren’t bad, they just have that hatred spirit towards us for as long as I remember and it’s difficult to get out of their system. It’s a impossible stain to get it off. Society today in this country shows that retrograde Jim Crow days where Blacks were just inferior in everything and they resort to kill and murder innocents. If other races can’t get along and heal their wounds, perhaps we should opt for segregation.

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  3. Great Post, it’s so saddening how little media attention these issues get. Yet, of course, the media will highlight the riots and the chaos, but not resort back to the real issue. When I hear of the things that happened to so many Blacks in America, it fills me with rage and sadness. We deserve justice.

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  4. My friends, yes my friends, letme start by saying I’m a white 42 yr old man born in Georgia and raised in the Lowcountry in SC just a few my miles from SC State and Claflin College. I have joined this blog because being a white man in todays world with a true desire to understand perspectives other than my own I feel it necessary to educate my self before developing opinion. I have witnessed bitter racism from many different races and cultures and I confess myself just saddend and heartbroken. The black community have endured so many atrocious wrongdoings and anger is absolutely understandable to any person wanting to see THE TRUTH. I have always believed a non racist and try and teach my 8 and 10 yr old sons the sons, But teaching children not to dislike black people is racist by definition is it not. Your people are victims of hate. Jews were victimsbofv hate by the Nazi’s, Muslims victims of hate by Christians during the Crusades. I am a member of the human race. I long for a world that doesn’t see color. I want my boys to know the culture of their ancestors. Hard working, care for your nieghbor, God fearing. They should know that there was a period of slavery where their Georgia ancestors may have showed extreme cruelty to a race if people through misguided beliefs. I will teach thisvso that they understand that by understanding the mistakes of the past , they may better understand the path to the future. A future of love for their race. The HUMAN RACE. ONE LOVE MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS. Hate is a learned behavior. Only we can teach the path so tjat our children may know love for all mankind. Thank You.

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  5. You compare someone who gets up and walks away while an activist is talking to another politician to “the people who killed Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride, Eric Garner, Mike Brown…”

    Really? So people that don’t have the same political ideology as you are evil. How come I get the feeling that if a Black politician were to do it you would see him or her as even MORE evil? How’s that for post-racial and color-blind? Irony always cracks me up.

    Spout off bigotry and ignore FBI statistics. Never ask yourself the hard questions. And continue to propagate a stagnant and broken community that steadfastly refuses to assimilate.

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  6. The national media is stuck on Robin Williams and when they do talk about St. Louis….they make sure that mention looting, outrage, and community erupting….words like that….not government sicks tanks and dogs on community, KKK stands side by side with cops, or cops call crowd n*ggers and monkeys.

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  7. Don’t you understand that a post like this will only incite more racism towards whites? You are literally an idiot and if you have this so-called black intelligence that is different than the intelligence of any other race then I don’t see it. If you incite racism towards white people then it will create the problems that black people have faced in the past. This in turn creates a more racist attitude towards black people from white people. Don’t you understand that you are helping a cycle of prejudice along by thinking like this? Think about and hopefully you’ll come to the fact that just because people aren’t the same color doesn’t mean they don’t have the same intelligence. I do see the shooting of Mike Nrown as an incidence of police brutality and most likely racism but that doesn’t mean that all white people are like that. This was one unfortunate incident but it’s not commonplace. It just gets a lot of publicity for it being racist which only fuels prejudices between races. The funny thing is that I’m not even white. I’m Hispanic and am criticizing your post because it is narrow-minded, ignorant, and arrogant.

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  8. Pingback: #IfTheyGunnedMeDown and Educating for the Power of the Counter-Narrative | Empathy and Activism·

  9. Maybe whites would not fear blacks whenever they finally decide to act like human people and not like primates with all of their anger, violence, criminality, and that “you owe me cause of slavery” mentality.

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