Center of the American Experiment Deals in fear

To the editor:

Thank you for commenting on my letter to the editor (oct. 6), Ms. Madetzke. Since you referred to, Dr. King’s admonition that we judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, we must remember that this was his dream in 1963 and it remains one today. Until he was killed, Dr. King struggled against “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism.”

Dr. King never dealt in fear. His focused on how to overcome fear, he never stoked it. Consider his 1957 sermon, “The Mastery of Fear or Antidotes for Fear.” Near the start, Dr. King notes that, “the problem of fear is one of the most serious problems of modern life. It leaves so many people psychologically wrecked and spiritually dejected.” He reminds us that Jesus was “continually saying to his followers ‘fear not’ ‘Be not afraid’ Be not anxious.'”

For Dr. King the antidote to fear rejects purposely scaring people. King hoped we would confront our fears with courage and through love. He wrote that, “we can master fear not only by facing it and understanding it; we can master it through courage….We must constantly build dykes of courage to ward off the flood of fear.”

Along with courage, King promotes love as a cure for fear. For King, “the New Testament is right in saying, ‘there is no fear in love, but perfect love cast out fear.”‘ 

To end racial injustice, Dr. King recommended the same combination of courage and love.

“The whole system of racial segregation is buttressed by a series of irrational fears–fear of losing a preferred economic position, fear of losing social status, fear of intermarriage, fear of adjusting to a new situation. Numerous white people spend sleepless nights and haggard days attempting to fight these corroding fears. They seek to cast out the fear by diverse methods. Some follow the path of escape. They seek to ignore the question of race relations altogether….But how futile are all of these remedies. Instead of reducing fear, they bring deeper and more pathological fears, fears that leave the victims inflicted with strange psychoses and peculiar cases of paranoia….”

The Center of the American Experiment deals in fear because they have nothing else to sell. To realize Dr. King’s dream, we must have the courage to confront injustice where it exists and the love to hear and believe the voices of those suffering from discrimination. I do not fear Critical Race Theory, and neither should you. Let us move forward together, rejecting fear, and with the courage and love necessary to rid our nation of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism.

Jeffrey Kolnick



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