Breaking Fear Through Faith & Justice

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Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety. And at such a moment, unable to see and not daring to imagine what the future will now bring forth, one clings to what one knew or dreamed that one possessed. “

― James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name

The continual groans and pangs characterize a society on the brink through sorrowful voices we hear in expressions of fear. Fear doesn’t discriminate; in its essence, it displays as an overwhelming cloud that brings darkness to all under its shadow. Confusion and panic prevail under this darkness. Heterogeneous power dynamics influence how these expressions differ. 

Many in the dominant culture express apprehension of an increasingly ethnically colorful America. I can hear words saying, “How can I get back to a simpler time?” Subconsciously, simpleness is the yearning for a time when all “people knew their place.” This time was cloaked under laws and systems (Jim Crow and Segregation, Redlining, etc.),

Eschatological End Times Christian Speak can even echo the fear of a changing world. A familiar line says, “I’m just doing the best for my family, and I am not involved in any of that kind of stuff. I don’t bother anyone, and I don’t see color.” Words like these seem to offer an offramp to the White Working Class enchanted by the sinister racist companion of indifference.

White Working Class: a political term established to reinforce the social construct of whiteness. These same political forces dispatched and hijacked a sacred doctrinal belief. By dividing them into political/racial divisions, i.e., white churches are evangelical and black, and other churches of color aren’t. Though their beliefs are similar, they are merely Black, or Latinx, Asian protestant churches, etc. 

White, a legal term that afforded various privileges. Until 1952 Whiteness was the pathway to become a naturalized citizen. The struggle was in who was the latest group to be considered White. In marginalized communities of color, fear expressions are the mental trauma suffered by exposure to repeated acts of injustice that go unpunished. Police shootings repeatedly turn into reinforced racial stereotype, superspreaders. 

The deceased George Floyd was forced to defend his honor from the grave. His murder’s defense consisted of stereotypical (the big, black or brown man, out-of-control, and a junkie.) Women of color are not immune from such epitaphs, i.e., (sassy, sexually promiscuous women that deserved it.) 

The past offers only tears, pain, oppression, injustice, and death. America’s greatness is undoubtedly not there. What lies over the brink remains a mystery. However, we are neither helpless passengers on the train of the damned or unfortunate victims of fate. Scripture says it this way:

I look up at the vast size of the mountains— from where will my help come in times of trouble? The Eternal Creator of heaven and earth and these mountains will send the help I need. He holds you firmly in place; He will not let you fall. Ps 121 The Voice

James Baldwin concludes: 

“Yet, it is only when a man is able, without bitterness or self-pity, to surrender a dream he has long possessed that he is set free – he has set himself free – for higher dreams, for greater privileges.”

― James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name

The opposite of fear is faith. Just imagine if we refuse to give in to fear by breaking the cycle through selfless surrender, empathy ,and perseverance. In that case, we can triumph together in the fight for racial justice by embracing the faith to believe that we can make a difference. 

Kevin Robinson Editor/Publisher and President of Three-Fifths

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