Oct 18

A phobia is a fear of something. It can be almost anything, and it’s a perfectly natural thing. Everyone develops a few for one reason or another. But I fear that the term is being used now as something that everyone should fear. A conversation stopper.

Much like calling someone a racist, it now is being used to put someone on the defensive. It steers conversation away from any real issues and instead starts a backtracking of explanations about why they’re not and completely derails the discussion. When discussion is needed, it’s stripped away to the basic and left to rot in symbolism instead of dealing with the issues. We’ve needed many adult discussions about a lot of topic in the country, but when it’s dragged down to a simple name-calling exercise, we lose train of thought and the discussions and issues get lost in the turmoil.

Want to discuss the real issues with Health Care? We can’t because you’re racist if you don’t agree 100% with an African-American President.

Want to discuss the problems with Islam and how terrorism isn’t spoken against by even the large number of moderate followers of Islam? We can’t because you’re suffering from Islamaphobia.

The same occurs with Homophobia or Xenophobia, relating to homosexuality and immigration respectively.

The new definition of phobia today is being expressed as hatred, not fear. It’s falling into the racist category instead of something that can be explained for reasons in your past. A fear can be explained, a hatred can only be blamed. It’s being used to eliminate any worthwhile discussion. When discussion about any issue is fought against, it’s the discussion we most need to be having.

We’re long past due on a real discussion on race. An adult conversation that doesn’t pass blame or seek retribution. How do people expect things to improve if we maintain the current feelings about any topic? And my phobia is that it will never happen. Not with race or any other political phobia that is invented to prevent a conversation.

Have a conversation… There’s nothing to be afraid of.

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