F.E.A.R. by Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates

I’m Just Sayin’ Dr. T’s Column 04/27/22





Fear is an emotion that we all deal with in one way or another. Anyone who says that they never experience fear are either in complete denial or just plain lying. Fear can be described in many ways and often appears in varying degrees or intensity. It comes as a slight flutter or queasy stomach to outright panic, uncontrollable anxiety, or paralyzing terror. Fear is often used as a weapon or an instrument of control. Some people who want to control other people often use the thing or things that ignite the most irrational fears of those they want to control by a mere suggestion or insinuation. This is at the root of the “Culture Wars” we find ourselves in the middle of right now. Continual disruption, upheaval, and dis-ease, all for the purpose of gaining political power. The big and the powerful often use fear to intimidate, threaten and control those who are weaker and without resources. Fear of losing political power is what allowed a group of people, who reportedly came to the US Capitol to exercise their first amendment right to peacefully protest on January 6, 2022, to be whipped into a frenzied rage causing them to violently storm the US Capitol in an effort to overturn the results of a free and fair election. What started as a spark of discontentment and dissatisfaction became a wildfire of death and destruction that threatened our very Democracy. For the first time since the Civil War, insurrectionists threatened the foundation of the United States of America.


The meaning of the acronym F.E.A.R is False ,Evidence, Appearing, Real. In the case of the attack on our system of Democracy, the false evidence was and continues to be that the former president won the election by a landslide and that voter irregularities in several states actually “stole” the election from him. Months of investigation after investigation, and many many judgements handed down by courts across the country, along with multiple statewide recounts of the vote proved beyond any doubt that our presidential election in 2020 was one of the most integrous elections that we have had in our country’s history. There was no fraud. At least any fraud that could overturn the presidential election results. In short, Americans elected a new president on Nov 3rd, 2020, and he was fairly elected and sworn into office on January 20, 2021. Our new President is Joseph R. Biden. This is a fact. No matter how many times people shout, protest, and deny this fact, it will not change the fact. In a Democracy, it will take another election to change the current president to a new one if that is what the people choose to do.


However, there’s an ever-increasing majority of people within one of the oldest political parties in the nation that continues to spew lies and falsehoods regarding the last election. They continue to defend those involved in the attempt to overthrow the government of the United Sates of America by blocking the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in American history. The “Culture Wars” are a direct outcome of the tactics whipped up by these powerful people because they have not been able to articulate any policy agenda that truly uplifts the American people or serves in the “people’s” best interests overall. Instead, they ignite the base fears of their constituents by presenting false evidence based on lies and misinformation. They turn their attacks on already marginalized communities like black and brown communities, immigrants, the LBGTQI+ community and specifically trans kids and their families. False evidence regarding a class taught in graduate schools (usually in law schools) has become the “boogey man” created to scare parents and incite predominantly white communities into violently protesting diverse perspectives of history, society, and politics. They’re now banning books and prosecuting educators because of False Evidence Appearing Real. Until we return to actual science and facts based on REAL evidence, and not falsehoods whipped up in FEAR we will continue to be a divided nation some of us living in a world based on truth and reality, and some of us content to live in “an “alternate reality” having no concern at all the truth or the facts. And merely responding to their most base and irrational F.E.A.R..

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