A New Year Revolution and Using Assertive Anger to Effect Change

A New Year Revolution and Using Assertive Anger to Effect Change December 31, 2018

Anger at Injustice
“Anger At Injustice” by Pat Green

Screw resolutions, let’s have a revolution! Violence against transgender people is still near an all time high. Two migrant children have died in border patrol holding facilities. Many Americans died in 307 mass shootings this year. White people are calling the police on black people for doing everyday things. A petulant and childish president with his russian…I mean republican comrades have the government in a shutdown for two weeks now with no end in sight. This nation has turned into a world gone mad with too many suffering due to some twisted and warped Conservative Christian White Nationalist freak show. In the face of this, we need healthy anger and revolution to change things.

I almost stopped writing this year when my child and I ended up as the conservative Christian target of William Lane Craig’s Podcast. Then when we faced the Christian backlash after our ABC News told our story, I got my fight back.  This also coincides with six weeks and counting of facing my own mental health. During this time of facing my inner pain I have rediscovered my self esteem and worth. I fought for everyone else, but not myself. Dr. Maya Angelou once said:

“I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”

Dr Maya Angelou also said something else that I appreciate and love:

“You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”

I can think of no better battle plan for revolution.

Be Angry

We should be angry when children die in American custody. When trans rights are reversed we should be angry. Blatant racism, sexism, rape culture, and Nationalism are things that we should be angry about. As the NRA continues to defend the indefensible there should be anger as more blood is spilled.

Anger at injustice is healthy and it is necessary if we are going to cry for revolution and for change.

Write The Anger

I am a writer so I am going to write about the anger and the injustice. One of the amazing things about the internet is that we can all be writers. Blogs, social media, and comments on important news stories and columns like this one. We can also write our elected representatives and tell them what we are angry about and what needs to change. We can write reporters and news organizations and tell them the stories we would like them to cover more and let them and their sponsors know when we appreciate their coverage of a story that matters.

Paint and Dance the Anger

Painting and dancing about anger is a fascinating sentiment. Art tells powerful stories and contributes to the social equity of a society. Towards the end of WWII, Pablo Picasso had this to say about art and politics:

“What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who only has eyes if he’s a painter, ears if he’s a musician, or a lyre in every chamber of his heart if he’s a poet – or even, if he’s a boxer, only some muscles? Quite the contrary, he is at the same time a political being constantly alert to the horrifying, passionate or pleasing events in the world, shaping himself completely in their image. How is it possible to be uninterested in other men and by virtue of what cold nonchalance can you detach yourself from the life that they supply so copiously? No, painting is not made to decorate apartments. It’s an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy.”

Art can tell the story of anger, struggle, horror and beauty. If you are an artist, paint the revolution, dance it, sing it, and even if you are an athlete, make a statement. I find it fascinating that Picasso used a boxer in his quotes decades before we would have Muhammed Ali’s protest and a transgender man win his professional boxing debut. Colin Kaepernick challenged football fans by kneeling and it inspired others to follow his stand.

Women in the entertainment industry have bravely stood against those who use power to molest others. These brave women have also used their platform to bring #metoo to the forefront of change. Many say artists should stay out of politics and society. They are wrong. If you are an artist (or an athlete), you have a critical role in revolution.

March the Anger

On January 21st, 2017, more than 4 million Americans marched in protest of the Trump administration nationwide. This was between 1-1.4% of the population of the United States. History was made and people took notice. Protests have their place in social change. Protest, march, and stand with and among even when it is scary.

Protest makes people uncomfortable. But it also brings attention to the plights of the people that people in power want to suppress and silence.

Vote the Anger

This year we have seen what voting can do. We have also seen what some are willing to do to suppress our rights to vote. A lot of people claim voting does not make a difference. If this were the case, why would so many be trying so hard to suppress the rights of so many to vote and why would the Russian government invest so many resources to meddle with our election process?

Voting matters more now than it has in a long time. Vote!

Do Everything and Talk About Your Anger

We must never stop talking about our anger regarding injustice. Keep talking about why civil rights for everyone matters. Never stop telling the stories. When we stop talking we are silent or silenced. It can be scary in the face of oppression and threats. I have been reminded how horrible people can be in the name or their god and warped ideals.

Heed the Warning: Don’t Become Bitter

In anger, there is bitterness. I do not know if this is true, but something that has been said while I have been in therapy is as follows. Depression is anger turned toward oneself and internalized. In other words, you are angry and instead of expressing it in a healthy and assertive manner, you turn it inward and let it destroy you. As Maya Angelou says, all it does is eat at the host like a cancer.

In expressing anger it is important to be assertive as opposed to passive or aggressive or passive-aggressive. Being assertive in this time is not only necessary, it is healthy.

Closing Thought

So let’s not make hollow New Year Resolutions we will not keep. Let us toast to a New Year Revolution.

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