Look around and everywhere you will see it. White people are afraid. This means the rest of us should also be afraid because, as history has shown us time and time again, when white people get scared, people of colour get hurt. What are white people afraid of now? Well, they are afraid the date of “Australia Day” will change; Aboriginal youth are dying but it’s white people who are afraid. White people are afraid of boats; detained child refugees have stopped eating and drinking but it is white people who are afraid. They are afraid of terrorism; Arabs live under a veritable scorched-earth policy of bombs, famines, occupations, drone strikes, dictators, disappearing journalists and all the insecurity and terror that entails. But it is white people who are afraid.
Fear is a curious emotion to contemplate in this context. Fear implies helplessness, powerlessness – we are scared a stranger may follow us down an unlit street, we fear impending natural disasters, we are petrified of that giant huntsman that’s suddenly appeared on the ceiling in the bathroom. We fear these things because we cannot control them, but neither, for the most part, do they control us. That is the point – fear, like pain, is a signal to run, to seek safety from temporary danger.
White fear is different. White fear is permanent. White fear is entitled. White fear punishes. It is a political tool and a formidable weapon that permits the powerful to claim victimhood, consolidating their power by feigning powerlessness.
[… W]hite fear is not really fear at all. It is an irrational anxious entitlement that has little to do with the presence of danger and everything to do with the perceived right to control, to subdue, to dominate.
Ruby Hamad on white fear.
Long quote, but… damn. Hamad fucking nails it.