Before I start, it’s important to know how white people constitute power.
Power, in the white world, is built on contradiction. In order to enslave, colonize, indoctrinate, one must first contradict. We see this a lot:
Example A: Black people are lazy. Let’s make them work on plantations while we drink lemonade on the porch and watch them. (Or, the modern day example: people of color are lazy and are on welfare. Make them work at McDonald’s for minimum wage while the CEOs make millions and billions that can be shared, especially since they sit at a desk all day and mindlessly shift people while the employees are doing the actual work, customer service, and cooking.)
Example B: Women are the weaker sex; therefore, they should do everything from raising the children, cooking all my meals, doing all my laundry, cleaning all my dirty spaces, satisfying my “manly” needs, making sure my social standing is right and hosting my friends, etc. But yeah, they’re the weaker sex.
Example C: Peoples in Africa are uncivilized because they are violent and tribal. Let’s take over their land, kill many of them, separate their families, make them learn our language and culture, so that they can labor for us, Europeans, who have split into different nations with strict ethnic divisions (i.e. French, German, Flemish, Dutch, British, Portuguese, Spanish, etc.). Who’s the tribal one? Who’s the uncivilized one?
Example D: Religious people have caused the majority of the world’s war. But science created the foundation of racist theory, colonialism, gas chambers, guns, etc.
The example I will speak about today is the theory that white people fear brown people; therefore, they take precautions to equip themselves to challenge this fear.
But white people aren’t really afraid. They simply want to remain in power. Let me explain, through use of the airport and its functioning.
I’ve been to the airport a lot lately: went to Chicago in April to tour the University of Chicago, and then went to Cairo for my birthday in May, and also to Oxford to visit my sister, and then I traveled to Boston at the end of May for an internship, and now I’m on my way back to Nashville. Anyway, there’s something I noticed of particular interest.
I’ve always known that most of the workers–janitors, personnel, etc.–are people of color, particularly because in Nashville’s airport, most of the workers are Egyptians and Ethiopians who recognize my dad and will say hi to us, maybe even help us through security. There was a particular time when someone helped me speed through security, and that’s what brought me to this conclusion, especially.
Another moment I should mention was when I was waiting for my flight to Boston, alone, and I noticed all the people of color working about me. All “freely” moving. I looked at the white people sitting around me, waiting for their flight, and how at ease they are with the people of color–their workers–standing, cleaning their crap.
The question then came to me in my own form of imagination, as many of you know I have an abundance of: if I wanted to bomb an airport, I’d be a worker. Lead the airport security peoples–predominantly white or Black, but not immigrants–to trust me, and then I’d one day come in…and…
Of course, I’d never do this, but it intrigued me that the people of color white people fear are not the janitors or the laborers, but rather ones like me–the ones who sit down beside me, share their planes and are of their social stance. Their fear is constructed on their hatred of people of color being social mobile.
White security officers will pat down a traveler of color like my Baba, stare at him as he passes through, stare at his children to see if he’s hiding something with them, but they won’t give two glances at the low-class people of color.
White fear, then, is molded from a people who don’t necessarily fear death or terror, but rather a people who fear equality.
I’m not suggesting that white people frisk low-class people of color, or that they frisk middle-or-upper-class people of color, but I’m arguing that their imagination of who’s dangerous is not what’s dangerous to mankind–or else, they’d be afraid of bombing Syria and seeing those dead bodies of children who stayed in refugee camps instead of schools and homes, dead from a white American-engineered drone and administration.
Instead, those who are classified by white society as “dangerous” are those who approach white space, those who desire equality–those people, like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr., are dangerous because they dared to be equal. (Both of these men were on the US’ terrorist list.)
If white people were truly afraid, they wouldn’t be afraid for just their own interests. Instead, they’d be afraid for the nation’s interests. Donald Trump would not have been elected, since he endangered many of white people’s maids, cashiers, or airport staff; people of color wouldn’t be stopped and frisked and killed while traveling to work or driving to visit their parents. If white people were afraid, they’d be afraid for everyone.
But they use their manufactured “fear,” to justify terrorizing others, for the assassination of others.
Al Qaeda isn’t more of a terrorist organization than the United States’ CIA. Both kill for their own interests, for their own sense of false, manufactured fear. Both destroy nations, shackle women, oppress minorities. Both terrorize. The only difference is that while white fear, being justified by white fear, is always offensive–“let’s bomb Iraq because they have weapons of mass destruction when, actually, we have 4,000 war heads and we found, later, that they have zero, zip, none”–and Black and Brown groups of violence are playing on a defensive field. People of color don’t act out of need to keep an imbalance of society, but rather out of a need to defend.
White fear, molded, manufactured, and justified by only white people, actually creates terror for all humanity. It is a means to oppress because white people have a victim-complex where they must always be the victims: they’re wolves, disguised as lambs. To keep up their victim-complex, they create fear. They attack. They’re usually wrong. And they don’t apologize or rectify their sins because, like a spoiled child grown to be an adult of degrading portions, their fear is made holy.
And this is why God tells people of color to never fear; this is why my mother tells me that verse from Hebrews that the first to go to hell are those who fear; and this is why I say, “The first to taste God’s wrath are those who made fear into a business, drinking the blood of the broken, without repentance–watch out, white people.”