Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bits & Pieces: Fear

Kaylea M. Hutson-Miller •

Fear is a powerful emotion.

I've watched as the events which took place last weekend Paris have had a crippling effect on people around the globe.

Rational people become, well, irrational, as the fear of ISIS creeps over them like a black cloud of doom.

Decisions, some of which could have long-lasting ramifications, are being made on a reactionary basis.

People are saying things on social media and doing things in the public realm out of character, all because of one word - fear.

ISIS didn't need to attack American soil. By instilling fear through its actions in France, the organization has created a tide of panic and angst sending ripples of fear around the world.

It's causing us, as Americans, to do and say things that harken back to actions taken during WWII.

Actions, which if history has taught us anything, were not part of America's finest hour.

It has politicians and common folks alike turning against refugees - much like the American government did in 1939 when Jewish refugees from Germany and eastern Europe on the German transatlantic liner St. Louis were denied entry even as it sat off the coast of America, inches from freedom.

It has people, it seems calling for an identification system for Syrian refugees already living in the United States. Similar, it seems, to the same identification system used by Hitler to separate out the Jews from others.

It seems as if we are one step away from establishing detention centers for refugees. A decision that ultimately led to the forced relocation and detention of Japanese Americans during WWII. Several of the camps existed in the western portion of the United States. Remnants of two can still be found in southeastern Arkansas.

It all comes from fear.

Fear of how the unknown will impact our families, our friends, our lives. Fear that our country could once again know the pain and loss of hundreds, if not thousands of lives, because of an act of terror.

Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

The anticipation, or fear, of an ISIS attack in the United States causes more distress for the time being, than an actual event.

Winston S. Churchill once said "Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”

It takes courage to put aside fear.

It takes courage to choose to help the widows, orphans and the oppressed fleeing ISIS.

It takes courage to remind our leaders we have learned a great deal since WWII, so history is not repeated.

It takes courage to lend a helping hand to someone in need.

Courage is the opposite reaction to fear.

May we all choose to have courage as we face the fearfulness of the future.

Kaylea M. Hutson-Miller is the managing editor of The Grove Sun. Have an idea for a column or story? She can be reached at or 918-786-2228.

Editor's Note: This was previously published in the 11.20.15 issue of The Grove Sun. 

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