The privilege of fear

“Yeah,” he continued anxiously. “I’m okay. I guess. … Do you think they saw which dorm I went back to? Maybe I shouldn’t have told my roommate. Should I stay in my dorm and not go to the library tonight?”

This article was published weeks ago, and I have been meaning to share it.

“I taught my black kids that their elite upbringing would protect them from discrimination. I was wrong.”

Part of privilege is being able to be afraid. Unfortunately, this 15-year-old boy’s fear matters not to anyone, not even other black people. If we’re being candid here, when I cross the street in a parking lot, if I can see the driver of the car is white, I pay extra attention, because I am afraid that they will speed up and try to run over me. This may seem totally irrational, but you weren’t there one summer afternoon when I was in North Carolina , and an older white man put his car in reverse and tried to scare me by threatening to run over me with his pickup truck in the parking lot of a Hardees.

Being black and being fearless has somehow become synonymous. Even in our most terrified moments, look at Ferguson, Missouri, we are considered tough, violent, ruthless, unruly. However, fear is a human thing. Everyone is afraid something, and it is our God given right to be afraid and brave at the same time.

Read it all here.


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