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Fearful Privilege


This essay considers the economy of fear on the streets. Hierarchies of race and sex govern who can walk where and when. An economy of fear mirrors the distribution of racial, sexual and material privilege. The privilege fear, and the less privileged suffer for their fear. The privileged, who have more, have more fear. The less privileged, who have more to fear, are feared more. Fear marks the erosion of liberty, equality and fraternity. Nominally public spaces, already open to some more than others, are narrowed further by fear. Fear closes spaces, courage opens and maintains the commons.