Fear of the Other by
(306 Stories)

Prompted By Fears and Phobias

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I’m a white woman who for years worked in a public high school in New York’s inner city –  in fact in the infamous south Bronx of Fort Apache fame.

I usually carpooled to work with fellow teachers  but at times took the subway from my upper east-side Manhattan neighborhood .  As you may know on any New York subway platform you’ll find  a motley crew of subway-riders waiting for trains.  That was true at both ends of my trip,  although the Manhattan station had lots more white folks in business dress,  carrying the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal,  heading to or from the office.

On the Bronx platform the faces were mostly black or brown reflecting the demographics of the neighborhood,  with fewer business suits,  fewer newspapers under arms,  and more guys wearing hoodies.

Was I ever fearful?  No, but it’s the white guy with the MAGA hat I’d worry about now.

– Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Characterizations: right on!


  1. Khati Hendry says:

    So true! I also worked for many years in a neighborhood where my white face was a definite minority, but felt much safer there than I ever would at a MAGA rally. It’s all about what brings you together.

  2. Dana,
    Glad you put it out there. Agree- this represents true gut wrenching fear- I can’t go there because I’m ready to embark on the new American dream- aka leave the US. The hat makes your piece truly chilling.

    I can relate to you perspective, having grown up in the white jewish suburbs where ‘the help’ came weekly riding a bus from the inner city of Detroit and then walking a ton to the house of employment. Those were among the kindest women I knew growing up and my heart is forever in the city.

    Powerful piece!

  3. Thanx Carol – our job is to get out the vote!

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