Fred Clark recently posted one of the most powerful endorsements of anger at injustice I have ever seen. It’s especially relevant to ex-fundamentalist bloggers, since we are regularly accused of anger and bitterness, as though having emotions invalidates everything we say.
Imagine a big muscle-bound biker walks up, knocks you over and steps on your head with his giant steel-toed boot. You respond, “Hey, get off! What do you think you’re doing?!” He laughs down at you and says, “Why should I?” You answer, “Because you’re hurting me!” And he says, “You can’t possibly argue with me while you’re this emotional. I’m going to stand on your head until you calm down enough to present a rational argument.”
Because that makes just as much sense as telling women to be less emotional about patriarchy.
Slacktivist: When a lack of anger reveals a lack of love
Most anger is a response to and a response against something less abstract and more tangible, actual and factual: Injustice, oppression, harm, cruelty, pain, deprivation, suffering, want, intimidation, bullying, tyranny, evil.
In response to and response against such harms, anger is not irrational, it is obligatory. It is precisely “what the evidence warrants.”
When confronted with injustice, cruelty and harm, a lack of anger “is a sign that you are subconsciously” failing to love those who are suffering from that injustice, cruelty and harm. If you love them, then you ought to be angry — and that anger ought to compel you to act on their behalf.
Amazingly, our teachings have so programed our minds that if the very thought that a person might be bitter enters our brains, we instantly shut down like a computer firewall protecting itself against a virus. I think for the most part, we can’t even help ourselves anymore. It’s become an involuntary knee-jerk reaction that just snaps the moment the “B” word is spoken. Our ears instantly become deaf, our attention span goes blank, and the walls of self protection shoot up.