Americans should have a little fear

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 30, 2001

Sunday, September 30, 2001

The Natchez Democrat

The teenager whizzed past, music blaring. The low-riding truck

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was packed with four rather innocent-looking teens.

Glancing to the side, I chuckled to myself and thought, &uot;they

think they have the world by the tail.&uot;

Didn’t we all at that age?

Then as the truck went past a &uot;No Fear&uot; bumpersticker

heralded their attitude from the back of the heavily tinted window.

No Fear is a brand of sport clothing and merchandise squarely

aimed at a youthful market.

A few years ago, the brand was a great marketing gimmick. It

spoke to a generation’s confidence and carefree life.

Somehow it doesn’t seem to fit anymore.

All Americans – from 15 years old to 80 years old – need to

have a little fear.

America should be afraid of ever again taking for granted security

at home or abroad, after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.

Our country should fear how this affects our children and take

steps ensure they continue to feel safe in their homes.

We should fear the ugliness the attacks have sparked in our

own country.

Since the attacks dozens and dozens of hate crimes have been

reported against Arab Americans, Muslims and anyone who is mistaken

for one.

America became an ugly, evil place during the 1950s and 1960s

for blacks in America, just because they looked different.

We should be afraid of letting the same dark underbelly of

America rise to the surface again.

America should fear additional attacks. As long as evil exists

in the world, horrible things can happen. Having a little fear

and concern may help us prevent it in the future.

Our nation should be afraid that we do not lose our resolve

in the impending battle on terrorism. The fight will be one with

many unknowns. As military experts have said, this will be an

unconventional war.

As the battles begin, Americans will most certainly lose their

lives. As difficult as it may be, American must remain united

and determined to see the battle against terrorism through until

the end.

We should be afraid of only halfway eradicating terrorism.

This battle is an all or nothing venture.

Americans should be afraid of letting the attacks turn our

country into a fortress. Although security issues are now seen

in a new light, one of the precious things about America is the

personal freedom to travel within our borders unimpeded.

The terrorists took advantage of one that freedom to plan and

coordinate their attacks.

It will be tempting for our country to crack down on those

freedoms. If we do, the terrorists win.

The terrorists will have succeeded by making us change the

lifestyle we hold so precious and the one the terrorists despise

so much.

No don’t get me wrong. I don’t think America as a nation is


Fear doesn’t mean we’re weak, only that we’re more aware.

And, just like those fearless teenagers, American needs a heightened

sense of awareness.

Kevin Cooper is editor of The Democrat. He can be reached

at (601) 445-3541 or by e-mail at