Fear is a powerful emotion that can be harnessed and used for manipulative purposes. One of those ways is projecting fear onto others and portraying oneself as a victim. This tactic is often employed by individuals or groups who seek to control or dominate others by inducing fear and anxiety while also evoking sympathy and support. It’s a way to deflect attention away from one’s own actions and shift blame and responsibility onto someone else. A common area we see this often is in politics, where leaders and politicians use fear-mongering tactics to sway public opinion, gain support for their cause, and discredit the opposition.

But the topic of victimization can be very layered; not all individuals who present themselves as victims are doing so manipulatively. Many people genuinely experience harm or injustice. One example of this is within the Black community. Its history will forever be tainted by the fact that its people were oppressed, sold and bought into slavery, moved against their will, and subjected to unthinkable mistreatment. And despite slavery being abolished, the ripple effects of those actions still linger today through bias, discrimination, and unfair policies.

So yes, the Black community is a victim. But by accepting this as “fate” or “just the facts,” is that hurting the community at large? Who is the victor in this situation when we willingly play the victim? Who comes out ahead in the end? Where is the spirit of self-empowerment, a “hallmark of the Civil Rights movement?”

Being a victim is just one part of the story; when we allow ourselves to be manipulated by fear, whether from outside the community or within, it consumes and influences our every action. And the only result is becoming a people of inaction. How can we expect things to ever change?

So, how do we combat fear?  Here are five suggestions:

  1. Join or create community-based organizations: This can provide a supportive network of like-minded individuals with similar experiences and challenges.

  2. Utilize mental health resources: Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being, and it is important to seek support when needed.

  3. Seek out safe physical spaces: It’s important to find places where you feel safe and comfortable. This can include places of worship, community centers, parks, or other safe and inclusive public spaces.

  4. Connect with nature: Spending time in nature and engaging in activities such as hiking, camping, or gardening can provide a sense of peace and calm. It can also serve as a source of renewal and rejuvenation.

  5. Practice self-care: Taking care of one’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being is crucial. This can include exercise, meditation, reading, or pursuing hobbies and interests.

We mustn’t allow ourselves to be manipulated by fear projection and victimization. We must stop giving up control and allowing others to tell us how we feel and what we are capable of. Seek out safe spaces where your fears can be discussed, and surround yourself with people who help you feel empowered, secure, and supported.

Tell us your thoughts. How can we reject fear-mongering?