Thank you for reading and for sharing this story. It makes sense, although it’s deeply troubling. Were all taught to be afraid of something, regardless of whether or not the fear is justified or stereotypical mambo jumbo. Sometimes our fears are confirmed, and then there are other times we waste years of our lives worrying about “what ifs” that will never happen. Stranger danger is the worst, because we’re taught to be afraid of people without understanding we’re judging them. It’s an implicit bias taught in homes that we carry with us for the rest of my life. When I enter an elevator, I always speak as if I’m entering a room for the first time or if I’m walking into someone’s home.

It’s a really horrible thing to teach kids, to be fearful of strangers based on looks or gender. I’m not sure what an uncomfortable position is? Is it flying on an airplane next…next to strangers? Walking out of the grocery store to my car alone? There are too many things we must do on a daily basis to live to worry about. I should hope we all aren’t burdening our fellow men and women with accusations and assumptions ingrained in us from childhood by our parents. Those burdens damage all involved.

Those in fear never really get to know people because they are taught to be afraid of them. Those who have been labeled as threats must carry the burden of knowing strangers (in particular White women) regard us them as threats for no reason at all. These people must go above and beyond to pacify their fear and fragility. It’s not fair, and it’s a shame. The injuries caused to all last a lifetime. We must think better of humanity. It’s part of our problem here in America.

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