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We Have Nothing to Fear… But Fear

we have nothing to fear but fear2 copy

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Adam Weatherall

11/16/2013

 

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 “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

When F.D.R (Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt) stated these famous words during his first inaugural address he was speaking of the causes of the economic crisis and the moral implications of the Great Depression. Roosevelt was not referring to the racial theodore-waferanimosity and fear that is evident in our land but I believe his words can be applied in general towards all fears felt by a society. Including recent headline grabbing events like the murder of Ms. Renisha McBride. Last week’s news saw Theodore Paul Wafer’s name trending. Mr. Wafer is a Detroit-area man who claims he accidentally shot and killed a 19-year-old woman he thought was breaking into his home. He was charged Friday with second-degree murder. Charges were only filed after nearly 5 days of pressure from her relatives seeking an arrest. Mr. Wafer also was charged with manslaughter and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the November 2 shooting of Renisha McBride, who authorities say was intoxicated and possibly disoriented following a car crash before Wafer shot her on his Dearborn Heights porch. McBride was unarmed and there was no evidence of a break-in, also she was shot through a locked front door. When this case first came to light, lines were quickly drawn speculating the perceived level of racism associated with this case.

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Hot button names like Trayvon Martin, and Oscar Grant began to be tossed about, even before details of the case had emerged. The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said Renisha McBride’s alcohol level was 0.218%. The legal limit for drivers in Michigan is 0.08%. The report said McBride also had marijuana in her system when she was shot in the face by a homeowner after approaching his house after a car accident. Normally in a case where no fault can be found on behalf of the victim and cause of death is obvious, an autopsy is omitted unless specially requested.  And frankly the status of Ms. McBride’s sobriety is irrelevant to the facts pertaining to the case. Lawyers for McBride’s family claim she was simply looking for help after the accident, while those representing the homeowner said the 54-year-old man’s actions were justified…

renisha mcbride protest

    C.S Lewis once stated “An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.” We as human beings often attempt to reason our own explanations of our actions by seeking justification to both our conscious and society at large. But there is no explanation for the loss of human life, no reasoning, and no logic. No matter your perspective on the tragic loss of life that occurred this past November 2nd in a sleepy suburb just outside Detroit, we the public can never know the true intentions of harbinger of that tragedy. Just as with George Zimmerman, the same can be said of Theodore Paul Wafer. We can speculate and collect facts to suite our beliefs, but we will never truly know if racism was indeed a factor. We do know however, based on the facts presented, that fear was a factor in this case. It was fear that made Mr. Wafer come to the door at 3.am clutching the butt of a shotgun rather than the drawstring on his bathrobe. It’s fear that robbed Ms. McBride’s family of their loved one this holiday season of that we can all be sure.

    I don’t know how to stop the murders of people like Renisha McBride, or the school shootings that currently plague our nation. I don’t know how to stop racism and sexism, or homophobia, or how to quell any other reneisha-mcbride-665x370-664x370mental fire that burns with hate. But I know the root cause of all those problems listed and a great many more is fear. It’s fear that separates us; it causes us to lock ourselves behind deadbolts and glare at the world with a fish eye lens perspective. Through our peep holes it’s fear that makes us aim our weapons at the front door, and it’s fear that pulls the trigger. In order to conquer a great many scourges to the human condition it is clear to me that we must first conquer fear. For in a world that exists devoid of fear perhaps there could be a future for Ms. McBride; a future where we ask questions first and shoot hopefully never. But until that day folks, I hope logic will prevail.

Pictures featured from Top to Bottom: Theodore Paul Wafer, Protest for Renisha McBride with friends and family, and Renisha McBride

Wafer’s call to 911 after shooting Renisha McBride

Adam Weatherall
Adam Weatherall
Adam Weatherall is the political correspondent for PowerFist.Us a company whose mission is to spread truth and justice to all within it's reach, but more specifically to cover news stories that are often times pushed aside by larger media organizations.