Days of Fear
Days of Fear
This chapter focuses on the climate of fear that plagued society in the 1980s. These fears, including fear of national decline, of enemies abroad, of dangerous classes at home, lay behind Reaganism’s positive and optimistic messages of an American revival. The foreign threats, in the Reaganite view, were Communists and terrorists. Anxieties over violence, violation, and disorder were often strongly racialized. White Americans generally associated this threat closely with cities and with black Americans. Many African Americans, and sometimes members of other racial minority groups, also lived in dread of violence from government authorities and vigilantes. While America’s political elites, from Reagan downward, did not create the climate of racial fear and tension in the 1980s, they did little to stem the toxic tides of fear and anger, and may have contributed to them responding crudely and opportunistically—sometimes on a strongly bipartisan basis—to public concerns about crime and disorder.
Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .