When You Sense Danger: Is It Intuition or Prejudice?

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by Melody Fletcher on November 8, 2011

On Mary Carol’s awesome guest post last week, an unrelated question arose in the comments, the answer to which deserves its own blog post. Today is the day I answer it. Here’s the question:

What does Deliberate Receiving have to say about sensing danger? I’ve felt uncomfortable physically in a small town in Alabama and totally safe in the middle of the night in New York City. Despite the news, I feel as if where I live in Mexico is about the safest place I’ve ever been. Do we trust the intuition that a place or situation could be dangerous? And how do we distinguish between prejudice and intuition?

When we sense danger, how do we know if it’s one of our beliefs going awry, or if our intuition is telling us to get the hell out? When you’re afraid of a black man in a hoodie, how can you tell if it’s prejudice (i.e., ALL black men in hoodies are dangerous) or if this particular man actually means to do you harm? Are you afraid to walk through a neighborhood because of your beliefs about it or because your inner being is warning you not to go there? Should you ignore the fear and push through, or honor it and run away?

Time for some more definitions! Yay!

Let’s start by defining the difference between fear caused by prejudice and intuition.

A sense of danger caused by Prejudice: a false, blanket belief or negative association, which is causing you to see a situation as dangerous, even though it may not be. Example: feeling afraid while walking home in the dark. Seeing people of a certain race or social status as threatening.

A sense of danger caused by Intuition: vibrational feedback that is telling you that the action you’re about to take or the situation you’re in is not in accord with what you want (i.e. the situation is unsafe when what you want is safety).

Never ignore the fear

The thing is, when you’re in the moment of sensing danger, it doesn’t really matter if it’s due to prejudice or intuition. If you’re afraid, get the hell out. Let me explain:

I think we can all agree that if your fear is due to intuition, you should act on it. But what about if it’s prejudice? Wouldn’t acting on that make you a bad person? If you run away from the black man in the hoodie and he turns out to be a really nice guy out for a jog, doesn’t that make you a racist bastard? Well yes, it might. But we’ll get to that later. The truth is, that in that moment, when you’re afraid, you have no way of telling if your fear is due to a belief or actual intuition. And you don’t have time to evaluate it right then and there, because either way, you’re most likely in danger.

If you have a belief that black men in hoodies are dangerous, then guess what you’re likely to create in your reality? That’s right: dangerous black men in hoodies. Never mind that you are surrounded by black men in hoodies all the time who are brilliant and wonderful people, and that the white guy in the suit could totally be a serial killer. Your belief will line you up with what you’re afraid of, even if it has to truck in a dangerous black guy in a hoodie from another town, because yours doesn’t have any. So, even though your belief may make you a racist bastard, that belief will also work hard to prove you right. Intuition or not, get out. You don’t have to run down the street, waving your arms, screaming “Stranger danger! Stranger danger!” Just be aware of your surroundings and get some place where you feel safe.

Work on your prejudices when you’re safe

This doesn’t mean, of course, that you should just accept your fate as a racist bastard or that there’s nothing you can do. There’s just not much you can do in the moment, when you’re scared. There are exceptions to this, of course. For example, you may have set the intention to get over your racism, which brings you together with a black man in a hoodie who, through a series of hilarious circumstances, the story of which I would describe here but for the danger of one of you racist bastards stealing it and selling the movie rights, eventually turns into your best friend. But generally, when you feel like you’re in danger, it’s a good idea to remove yourself from the situation.

But…once you ARE safe again, it’s time to work on your racist bastardism. Bastardy racism? It’s time to work on your prejudice. There. This will take a bit of soul searching. Keep in mind that I’m using a rather blatant and extreme example here, to make a point. Your prejudice could be far more subtle than this. Limiting beliefs come in all shapes and sizes. You may be afraid because it’s after midnight, and you formed a belief as a child that the monsters come out after midnight (remember that beliefs are generally NOT rational.) You may believe that men with mustaches are liars and so you feel that the mustachioed salesman is almost certainly ripping you off. Perhaps you’re afraid of snakes and so the plumber with the snake tattoo (that you didn’t even consciously notice) gives you the creeps. The point is, if you suspect that your reaction was not due to intuition, but rather part of a larger pattern, you’ll want to get to the bottom of it.

Ask yourself some tough questions

Use the following series of questions to determine if your reaction was caused by limiting beliefs or your intuition. You have to be honest with yourself here. No one wants to admit to themselves or anyone else that they’re racist, prejudiced, or judgmental. But if you don’t admit your feelings, you can’t release the beliefs and change your reactions.

What was it about the situation that caused you fear? – Can you isolate the component that caused you to react negatively? Your intuition would never focus on any one element, but simply be a general feeling prompting you to change locations.

Have you ever been afraid in a similar situation? – Can you see a pattern? Do you generally hate going into that neighborhood? When you think of a black guy in a hoodie, do you get anxious (even if you don’t want to?) Don’t deny your feelings out of shame. Get to the bottom of them so that you can release them.

When you think of any of the elements that were present, do you still experience fear? – Again, be honest with yourself. When you think of the salesman’s mustache, do you still get the urge to slap it off his face? A reaction based on intuition would not cause a negative reaction after the fact. There’s no trauma and no trigger. Beliefs have triggers.

If you’ve uncovered a negative belief, keep going:

Can you think of any examples that prove this belief to be “true”? – Look for other examples in your life of how this belief manifested. How many creepy men with mustaches have you met?

Can you think of any examples in your life that prove this belief to be false? – This may take a moment, but don’t give up. You will find at least one example that proves you wrong. You’ll remember that your best friend’s dad, who you adored, had a mustache. Or that the football coach, who was one of the most inspirational people you’d ever met, was a cool black dude who often wore a hoodie. How could you have forgotten that? Here’s an example that completely disproves your limiting belief. How could you have simply dismissed it all these years?

You’ll find what you’re looking for

When you have a strong, negative association, it’s like you’ve placed a filter on your brain. You actively look for examples that prove you right, and automatically dismiss those that disprove what you know to be “true.” So, while you adored your football coach, your mind didn’t place him in the same category as “dangerous black guy in a hoodie”. He was just your coach. The same mechanism is at work when I hear a person in Spain declare that they hate foreigners, for example. When I then point out that, ahem, I’m a foreigner, too, they blink and respond “well, but that’s not the same. You’re not like those other foreigners.” Say what, now? They know me and like me and so therefore their brain, defying all logic, simply places me in another category, even though I’m clearly also a member of the offending and threatening group.

But if you change the filter and begin to look for examples of people (or situations) that meet the offending criteria but who were NOT threatening or mean or creepy or whatever, people who completely disprove your belief, you will also find those. And at this point, faced with ALL the evidence, your brain will have no choice but to reevaluate that belief and declare it bogus. Beliefs tend to be all or nothing, so it’s completely possible to blow a lifetime of negative examples away with one positive one.

Keep focusing on the positive examples

Over the next few days and/or weeks, spend a few minutes each day focusing on that positive example and reinforcing that new view. What you’re doing is integrating that new, higher vibration, making it easier to react from this new, higher place the next time one of your old triggers shows up.

How I overcame my crippling neighborhoodism

To illustrate that this technique works, I’ll give you a personal example from my own life. There’s a neighborhood in Barcelona – the Raval, which I’ve never been particularly fond of, especially at night. Blonde women tend to get yelled at in filthy, disrespectful ways there. At least that’s been my experience. So, every time someone wanted to go to the Raval for dinner (this neighborhood just happens to be chocked full of awesome bars and restaurants), I’d complain about how uncomfortable I would be. I’d focus on the apparent danger while I was getting ready and while in the cab on the way to my destination. And low and behold, I would often manifest situations where the cab, for whatever reason, couldn’t drop me off right at the door and I’d have to walk a ways through this hated barrio. Well, one afternoon, I was walking through the Raval with two friends who also happen to be blonde, when three rather scary looking men started to follow us. They made some threatening noises and when we sped up, so did they. We ended up ducking into a bar and staying there for a couple of hours. I remember I was so scared that I was shaking.

Well, when I got home that night, I decided that enough was enough. I’d clearly created an association with the Raval and danger. I had a lot of friends, even blonde ones, who had never had a problem in that neighborhood and yet here I was manifesting one uncomfortable and even dangerous situation after another. I had to do something before I got myself robbed. So, I sat down and began to list all the positive things about the Raval. I focused on the fact that none of my friends had any issues there, that I had a petite, blonde girlfriend who’d even lived there and had loved it, the fact that I had never really had a basis to be afraid of the neighborhood in the first place (the proof came after the belief was formed), and that I actually rather enjoyed the shops and restaurants in that part of town. At first, it was a bit hard to find reasons to like the Raval, but as I spent more time on it, it got easier. All in all, I spent about 20-30 minutes shifting my energy.

The next time I went to have dinner with friends in the Raval, I spent another 5 minutes in the cab on the way there focusing on my new, higher vibration and reinforcing it a bit. Can you guess what happened? Nothing. Not one cat call. Not one uncomfortable situation. And no feelings of anxiety or fear. I was completely comfortable. It wasn’t that I did a better job of dealing with the ugliness. There was no ugliness to deal with. It was like I was in a different neighborhood, one I’d never noticed before. There was so much community, there were children playing in the streets (yes, at night. It’s Spain, people), and people of all nationalities living together harmoniously. The men standing in groups on the corners were actually discussing football, not having potentially violent arguments. What had seemed like a threatening place was actually full of families, living ordinary lives (ok, yes, also prostitutes, but honestly, they’re not threatening. Not to the women, anyway…). But my filter hadn’t allowed me to see that. It had shown me only the darkest of shadows and matched me up with only the scariest of people (whom you can find anywhere). It wasn’t that those three men hadn’t actually been scary. It was that my belief had continuously created scary situations, and once the belief was gone, so was the scariness. My filter had turned me into a neighborhood-ist bastard. I’m sorry Raval. It shall never happen again. I promise. We cool now, baby. We cool.

So, the next time you find yourself feeling uncomfortable in a situation, or even afraid, or if you react in any way that you don’t like, take the time later, when you’re in a safe place, to evaluate what happened. If you uncover a limiting belief, shift it by focusing on examples in your life that disprove the belief. And then, sit back and watch your world mirror your new vibration.

{ 21 comments }

Steve November 9, 2011 at 00:05

You raise some interesting points about sensing danger. I have noticed before in some people that their fear is raised a lot becuase of prejudice. They get scared of situations that I don’t think are anything at all to be afraid of. One person I know in particular senses danger all the time when I’m around him. Although I can see he is acting on false assumptions, he is completely blind to it. Another thing I’ve noticed about sensing danger is that people seem to be more likely to sense it when in an unfamiliar situation.

Melody Fletcher November 9, 2011 at 17:15

Hi Steve,

Welcome to Deliberate Receiving! Truth be told, almost all fear is caused by negative beliefs. When we manifest real danger into our lives, we had fear or worry about something for a long time before that, but were ignoring it. The actual danger is just a larger manifestation of the same issue. Fear of the unknown is pretty pervasive. I’ve noticed that people who travel a lot, who have exposed themselves to the stress of living in a foreign country and culture seem to do much better with this -they know they can handle the unknown and are no longer nearly as afraid of it… :)

Huge hugs,
Melody
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marc van der Linden November 9, 2011 at 00:33

Great post, Melody. I’m impressed!

Fear is one of this negative emotions which is not so easy to beat. The most difficult part is to make the distinction between real and imaginary danger. Not reacting on a fear sensation, can be dangerous, but reacting on imaginary danger can limit your life – like you show in your example. They feel exactly the same and we tend to make our decision to act on this feeling. Your question method provide a new way to make the distinction between imaginary and real danger.

Thanks for sharing!
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Melody Fletcher November 9, 2011 at 17:16

Hi Marc,

Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m so glad you found the post valuable. :)

Huge hugs,
Melody
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Kim November 9, 2011 at 18:55

Hey you! Great post!

I love it because, I can relate it to any scenario. For example, you know my issue with my weight. Well, I have this belief that every time my husband loses weight, I gain weight and vice versa. Also, anytime he comments that I am losing weight, I quickly gain it back soon after the he says it. I have the belief, therefore I manifest or draw those results right to me like flies on s@#*t! Your posts are so universal….love ‘em.

Kim

Melody Fletcher November 9, 2011 at 23:16

Hey Kim!

Thanks so much, chica! Wow, get rid of those beliefs. Why would you gain weight when your husband loses it? Do you think there’s some kind of fat balance in the world and you’re responsible for keeping it? In that case, Americans have been hoarding more than their fare share. Give it back, Kim! Give it back! LOL.

Hugs!
Melody
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Fred Tracy November 9, 2011 at 19:24

Wow! That sounds really scary with that group of men. Strange to think that you may have been manifesting that stuff the whole time, but that’s just the way things work.

It seems like you got some really great results after only 20 to 30 min. of shifting your energy. Is it always so quick?

Oddly enough, I was wondering about this very thing today. I was wondering how we can tell the difference between our biased conditioned beliefs, and our true feelings, when it comes to our emotions.

This article does a great job of explaining just that. Yay!
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Melody Fletcher November 9, 2011 at 23:20

Hey Fred,

Yeah, we’ve all go out irrational beliefs. Unfortunately, I’m no exception (as much as I’d like to be, believe me…)

20-30 minutes of really focused energy work can undo years of “damage” yes. The trick is in the integration – in making sure that you don’t fall back into the old vibration out of sheer habit. so it’s best to follow up a little bit over the next few days, with just a few minutes a day. Energy work carries a tremendous amount of leverage. But you have to be ready to make the shift. If a fear is too big, or you’re simply unwilling to let it go, then you have to wait and be patient and kind to yourself until you ARE ready.

It’s nice when crap comes together like this, isn’t it? ;)

Hugs,
Melody
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patricia November 10, 2011 at 03:05

I have one child that did not experience any fear at all until she was 16 and to get her through some counseling we had to put her on a drug regime to calm her down so she could converse and figure things out….the first thing she was afraid of was her tennis practice – she had been playing since she was 4…she did not want to be strange in front of her coach and thought he would hate her and she could not play a simple tourney that day either.

As the medicine took effect she began to understand that her boyfriend beating her up was scary and not okay…that the friends she had were harmful to her …and she opted to stay on the meds until her second year of college when she felt she could control her emotions herself.

I learned so much from this kiddo, having to talk her through the emotions of so many situations and other people’s actions and motives. I had to figure out my own prejudices before I could help her…it was raw, but so amazing.
She now has very real responses to people and situations and yet is still very brave and courageous – all though long term memory sometimes fails her – we all have cell phones and she can also ask several of her loving friends.

I on the other hand have benefited greatly from being this teacher/mother/ loving person. I now know when to go into a drug dealers home for the children and when to back off and call for assistance. I know when to talk to homeless people and when one of the fellows could get someone who is agitated to calm down….I have found that most people are very good hearted….even the criminals when you treat them with kindness…and I know when I need to back off and move out of the way.

I do like just being at home right now though best of all….I went to the store yesterday because I needed “Smaller” slacks to wear…and spent 2 hours talking with an old friend who had lost her job and was very afraid…all the clerks were eavesdropping so as I finally had to leave, I passed out my Wiseears cards and Patricias Wisdom cards to all 5 folks….always teaching…sometimes it feels good just to be still at home – very safe and loving.
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Melody Fletcher November 10, 2011 at 16:31

Wow Patricia,

If I’m ever in a gang fight, I want you by my side. LOL. Your daughter was obviously a powerful teacher for you (and you for her, of course). It’s so great when we can see how our most difficult trials ended up benefiting us. Everything you went through then has made you who you are today, and given you mad skills with which to help others. How beautiful is that?

Huge hugs to you,
Melody
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Sara November 10, 2011 at 12:20

That´s an interesting one! Intuitive knowledge vs. prejudice/false beliefs!
We all have our prejudices, some come from our own experiences, some from projecting other peoples perspectives on situations.
Usually I think about situations in which I tend to reject people due to my prejudice (rather than my intuitive notions), or in which I am the object of rejection by others (due to whatever, what I don´t know). It is said, that we project our own blind spots, the unresolved parts we can´t accept in ourselves, on others, and try hard to battle them there. This makes sense somehow, because the way we are, comes from our current perspectives on things, and our understanding of them – which can change, due to our individual developments. So, if someone is an asshole or a lunatic hater to us, we encounter a perspective we are not ready to concern yet.
As you have pointed out several time, there are no evil people, but just dark places/low frequencies people may entertain, and we all get there from time to time. And can get off of it again and again.
I usually have a hard time to get through these dark places, but I sense it as natural, vital digestive process to eliminate my toxins, I don´t really try to change my perspective intellectually, this would rather hamper the process. Actually part of the problem is, when I try to get control over things intellectually, rather than just try not to be in the way of what happens naturally – releasing toxins (on every level of my being). The perspective lightens up anyway with time, and I don´t need to make peace with all my enemies in and outside myself at the occasion – they will come around again, to bug and torture me, and I´ll have to let them doing it as long they are released organically, out of my system. (Then new buggers are awaiting me around the corner, but I´m experienced, you know..). :-)
Great subject, great approach! Thanks!
Sara

Melody Fletcher November 10, 2011 at 16:35

Hi Sara,

I’m glad you enjoyed this one. :)
Of course, you’re right. Everything that happens to us is a mirror of our vibration. But that doesn’t mean that we have to stay in a situation that’s highly uncomfortable or dangerous, just because it’s probably a “growth opportunity”. That fact that it’s come to be dangerous simply means that we’ve been ignoring the issue for a long time and it’s built momentum. But we don’t have to make the shift right then and there. We can do it later, when we’re safe, or even just allow it to happen naturally and gradually as you do (very nice approach, by the way).

Thanks so much for adding your valuable insights, as always.

Huge hugs,
Melody
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Julie | A Clear Sign November 10, 2011 at 19:53

Hi Melody,

I had this one tested out for me recently when I was approached by a stranger with a beer in a paper bag begging for money at my car in the middle of the morning. Ironically, I literally had nothing on me, not even a penny. Another time, I was at a drive through and a man who looked like Jesus on crack came begging and even crossed the street to come beg again, looking right at me and talking to me – this time I actually had a dollar and was going to give it to him on the off chance that he was more like Jesus incarnated than a crack addict but a car came up behind me and beeped. Either way, no giving for Julie! lol

The point is, sometimes it is a dangerous situation and we need to just get the heck out and other times it’s almost like (exactly like?) they are manifesting to give us a chance to get over ourselves.
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Melody Fletcher November 10, 2011 at 22:11

Ha, Ha, Julie. Yep, the Universe is always going to give you chances to get over yourself. Love that. It could be that you have a slight bit of resistance around giving money to “bums” and that’s what manifested. Or it could be that it was not in their best interest for you to give them money. I usually use my intuition when it comes to homeless people. I love to give to them, but only when I know it will actually help them. How do I know? I don’t. But my intuition does. I don’t care if they buy booze or drugs with the money. If I was on the street, I’m pretty sure I’d seek relief any way I could. I don’t judge them for that. But sometimes the only way to move upward is to hit rock bottom first and I also don’t want to interfere with that process. Again, I can’t possibly know when that is, so I let the energy tell me. Interestingly, this also generally keeps me from giving to those who pretend to be homeless and just do it as a scam (I do have a bit of judgment around that…)

Huge hugs!
Melody
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Pete Goumas November 11, 2011 at 23:27

Hi Melody,
It is a very nice and interesting post.You have beautifully shared your review on sensing danger by intuition or prejudice.I feel sometimes it is difficult for people to get rid of sensing danger because of prejudice .Most of the time fear is because of negative belief that is present in person heart.
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Melody Fletcher November 12, 2011 at 21:40

Thanks Pete!

Welcome to Deliberate Receiving!

Hugs,
Melody
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Mary Carol November 15, 2011 at 03:08

Thanks so much for addressing my question, Melody!

I’m having one of those slap-your-head, why didn’t I think of that moments, your advice is so spot on. Get out of the bad place and then think about what happened. Yes! Works whether the place is a location, a person, an event, an emotion,…

Some prejudices are easier to spot than others, like – really good looking men are schmucks — haha. Others are tricky little buggers that sneak up and bite you in the ass. Ouch. For me, one emotion I can’t seem to rationalize (figure out, get over) is a deep urge to keep moving houses. Not exactly a prejudice, maybe not even a limiting belief – who made the rule that it’s better to stay put? I just moved, so this is my 12 months to figure it out before the contract ends. And I do love the new house, especially now that the Internet is finally connected!

Hugs to all, and thanks again for an insight-full post!

Mary Carol
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Melody Fletcher November 15, 2011 at 17:15

Hi Mary Carol,

I can personally attest to the fact that really good looking men are not all schmucks. I know several of them (some of them are even straight! I know, right?) and they are really nice guys. At least in my reality they are… He, he.

Well, my first question to you would be, are you happy moving all the time? If you are, you’ve got nothing to figure out. But if you’re getting a bit tired and would maybe like to stay put a bit more, grow some roots even, or just have a permanent base to call home, then you can start looking for perspectives on this that feel better. I don’t move as much as you do, but man, I’ve moved a lot in my life and I always consider myself a temporary resident. Over the last few years, I’ve realized that I maybe want to stay put a bit on one place (I’ve been in Barcelona for 8 years, but still feel like I have one foot out the door.) Settling down in one place feels too confining to me. But the thought that feels good to me is to have multiple residences an to bounce between them. Permanence and flexibility all in one. So, that’s my vision for my future. My point is, it doesn’t have to be either/or. You don’t have to give up your freedom to settle down. You can find the combination that works for you.

Huge hugs,
Melody
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Mary Carol November 15, 2011 at 23:11

Hi Melody,

I agree in my conscious mind about beautiful men – my best friend in Alabama is gorgeous and also straight, and I feel like laughing whenever I see him, he so totally proves my prejudice wrong.

Confining is a good word. A little less weighted than trapped. Thank you. I’m really happy moving, and have put some thought into why it makes me so happy. If I could get the same high staying put, it would save a lot of boxing up. One thing I’ve identified is that I love creating beautiful peaceful spaces – maybe I can volunteer to help set up art shows? Hmmm…

Thanks again for your thoughtful response. It helps a lot to have someone trusted (that’s you) say, well, maybe it isn’t a problem.

Mary Carol
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And speaking of racism... September 24, 2013 at 23:19

It could be useful for me to point out alternative prejudice scenarios here, because there is an awful lot of “black men are” in the above essay. Black people are kind of scared to death of you whites, too. I’m black and terrified of white women because of howlingly horrible, traumatic things white women have repeatedly done to me. I got tired of manifesting it, so today I just generally Stay Away From White Women. So does my sister. We both notice the drama quotient in our lives has dropped because of this choice. Er… dramatically.

So does this make me and her racist bastards? Sure and so what. The fact is some white women are dangerous, and many white men will agree with us on that point, especially during an American divorce proceeding.

Just a minor point so you don’t begin thinking all your readers are white women and instinctively afraid of black men. Some of your readers are black and just as scared of you. Not meant as snark. Just a sensitivity lesson. This essay could be a little more sensitively put. It wasn’t, and the snark comedy bits of “yer a racist basterd if…” didn’t make it any less racist, and now you know.

Rick September 30, 2013 at 05:34

I appreciated the general law of attraction message of this article, about telling the difference between intuition versus one’s own fears. I have found that this really does become relevant when dealing with any set of people or places, because what happens is that regardless of its general nature, one will attract the best or worst of anything (individual, group of people, city, any experience) based on one’s own thoughts and vibration. For example, I have attracted being eaten alive by mosquitoes, being bitten only once, & (consciously using the LOA) being totally left alone by them & being their “friend”. However, at the end of the day, until mosquitoes evolve into vegans, one is still dealing with blood-thirsty insects who have a motivation to bite you. The same with sharks, or a neighborhood filled with gangs looking for victims to rape or rob. I appreciate the african-american commenter’s post above, who has attracted bad experiences with white americans and seeks to avoid them, and I understand his offense at the term “racist bastard”, etc in the article, referring to people are conscious of racial differences and seek to protect themselves from negative-intending individuals of another race. I am coming at this from a different, but analogous pov from the commenter above – I am a white american, who is aware that there is a huge amount of black on white violent crime in the US (including frequent robberies and some of the most brutal rapes and murders imaginable), while in comparison there is virtually no white on black crime at all. This is a fact that almost all Americans, including African Americans, are aware of, virtually as a matter of common sense (ie why someone would even think to be scared of a African-American in a hoodie), but is almost never allowed to be addressed in a public forum. Realizing this does not mean that I “hate” African-Americans, but it does mean that as a white American, I face the reality of the country I live in and take measures to deal with it. In light of dangers like this, I actually use the law of attraction to focus on & attract both protection and safety (from criminals of any race or ethnicity), as well attracting only good people of all backgrounds and positive interactions with them. I also intend for peace & safety for my loved ones, especially female relatives, since it is women who often end being the victims of some of the worst crimes in 2013 America. I have no intention of hurting anyone because of their race or ethnicity, not even their feelings, but if thinking about & using universal laws like this, to protect myself and those I care about, makes me & the African-American commenter just a couple of “racist bastards”, then so be it.

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