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These fears come from fantasy, prejudice and bigotry, nothing more. But it is a socially rewarded and praised form of bigotry among the elites.
Just imagine anyone writing in ThinkProgress that he was afraid of his black plumber because he "might have" been a Sharpton voter, a rapist or criminal.
January 9, 2017 11:43 am
A visit from a plumber left ThinkProgress senior editor Ned Resnikoff “rattled” due to fear that the plumber may have voted for Donald Trump.
The plumbing visit, which came four days after the 2016 election, became a harrowing experience for Resnikoff even though the plumber was “a perfectly nice guy and a consummate professional.”
“He was a perfectly nice guy and a consummate professional,” Resnikoff shared. “But he was also a middle-aged white man with a southern accent who seemed unperturbed by this week’s news.”
Resnikoff said his fear was rooted in the chance that the plumber knew he was Jewish.
“While I had him in the apartment, I couldn’t stop thinking about whether he had voted for Trump, whether he knew my last name is Jewish, and how that knowledge might change the interaction we were having inside my own home,” he said.
The “uncertainty” of the situation left Resnikoff “rattled for some time.”
“I have no real reason to believe he was a Trump supporter or an anti-Semite, but in my uncertainty I couldn’t shake the sense of potential danger,” he wrote. “I was rattled for some time after he left.”
Resnikoff says that he is does not often have a “sense of danger” because he is “still a straight, white guy who can phenotypically pass for gentile” and his “first name is pretty WASP-y.”
Resnikoff used his experience to explain how “ambiguous social interactions now feel unsafe and unpredictable in a way that they never did before.”
“Even if Trump is gone in four years, I don’t expect to ever reclaim that feeling of security,” Resnikoff concluded. “That’s just one more thing you voted for, if you voted for him.”
This might be the time to repost a 1991 essay by legal scholar Douglas Laycock that appeared in the law journal Constitutional Commentary, "Vicious Stereotypes in Polite Society."
A relevant quote is below.
"Academic hostility to serious religion is part of a larger cultural gulf in contemporary society. The Wall Street Journal denounces limousine liberals, the Beltway crowd, and the white wine and brie set. The people targeted by these labels denounce Reaganites, hardhats, white ethnics, or-if they are above a certain age-Archie Bunker types. Some of these labels target a cluster of attitudes, some target a specific group, and none are used with precision. But from either side, such labels embody a set of political and cultural stereotypes: a whole group of people all have the same bad ideas, and that whole group of people is dangerous. Just how extreme such stereotypes can be is illustrated by Wendy Brown's remarkable anecdote in the Yale Law Journa/.9 The anecdote is this: Emerging from a back-packing trip deep in the Sierra Nevada, Professor Brown discovered that her car would not start.w She enlisted the aid of a nearby sportsman, who spent the next two hours helping her get the car started. Her benefactor was culturally and politically very different from Professor Brown. He was wearing a National Rifle Association cap, he was surveying the woods for his hunting club, he was drinking beer and reading a porn magazine, and he had a satellite dish on his Winnebago. Professor Brown apparently disapproves of all these things, which is her right. So far it is a wonderful story about the best of America: two strangers who disagree on practically everything, ig noring differences of politics, sex, and social and economic class, cooperating in the wilderness to solve a serious problem faced by only one of them. If de Tocqueville had been there, he would have reported it to his readers in France.
But, Professor Brown reflects, it is fortunate that she had three
friends with her. If she had run into this man alone in the woods,
she "would have been seized with one great and appropriate fear:
rape."ll Perhaps she would experience this fear because rape is so
horrible that even a small risk looms large, and because at any time,
and with any male not well known and fully trusted, there is some
statistical risk of rape. I quite agree that rape is horrible, that there
was some risk, that if the man had a propensity to rape, isolation
and a gun would present a favorable opportunity and thus increase
the risk, and that Professor Brown would be naive never to think of
this risk. If her point were confined to this universal risk, it would
arouse little comment.
Even so, it is significant that this general fear of rape from any
unknown male is analogous to the fear of street crime that many
urban citizens experience when they encounter an unknown black.12
Both fears project on all members of a large class the dangers associated
with a statistical risk arising from the misconduct of a small
subset of the class.
This is the essence of stereotyping-to attribute
to all members of a group the bad traits of a few.
The fear of unknown blacks is widely deemed racist, and is
unlikely to be legitimated in the pages of the Yale Law Journal.
Treating all unknown blacks with visible caution may be entirely
rational to the risk averse, but it is properly condemned because it
imposes serious costs in racial isolation and ostracism on all blacks,
the great majority of whom are law abiding.
I3 Similarly, however
rational it is for women to take precautions against unknown males,
visibly treating all males as potential rapists inflicts costs on the innocent
majority and further strains relations between the sexes.
Whatever precautions may be necessary, it is important to distinguish
in thought and rhetoric between two propositions: ( 1) Some
men are potential rapists, and because it is impossible to tell which
ones, there is always some risk. (2) All men are potential rapists.
Proposition (1) is true, but proposition (2) does not follow from
Professor Brown's anecdote