Yes, I'm Angry. Why Aren't You?

[Content Note: Emotional auditing.]

To the Ostensible Progressives Telling Us to Settle Down, to Get Over It, to Stop Being So Angry:

If you have even the merest capacity of imagination, it shouldn't be difficult for you to conjure your emotional reaction if you were a citizen, or resident, of a country that promised liberty and justice for all, and then that country elected (not by popular vote) a president who ruthlessly campaigned on myriad bigotries and relentlessly suggested that liberty and justice were really just for some, and those some didn't include you.

If you are indeed in possession of the capacity of imagination, you have no doubt concluded by this juncture that such a scenario, coupled with a lack of immediate recourse, might make you angry.

So the idea that a marginalized person exhibiting anger is somehow overreacting, or hysterical, or "crazy," or just plain wrong in some way, is actually quite indecent, not to mention rather daft.

Here's the other thing: If you are a person of privilege who fancies yourself capable and desirous of doing meaningful ally work, you will never, ever, criticize the tone of a person who does not share your privilege for being "too angry."

And you will never do this because, if you are indeed capable and desirous of doing meaningful ally work, not only will you have internalized an understanding of the perfect rationality of the anger expressed by marginalized people, but you will also share that anger.

How can any decent person look at a political and cultural landscape of increasingly violent hostility toward marginalized people and not be angry, right? Good, I'm glad we agree.

In which case, I presume you're actually glad for my anger, and that of other people targeted by this administration, because you know that the opposite of anger, for a progressive, is complacence—and there can be no progress if everyone is perfectly complacent with the way things are.

Progress is dependent on people who get angry, because anger—productive anger, motivating anger, directed anger, rational anger—is the root of much valuable progress.

We angry folks know that positive and needed progressive change comes by virtue of anger.

Progress ain't fueled by rainbows and gumdrops.

The fact is, if you're not angry, you're probably not helping. And if you're preoccupied with policing our anger, you're actively hurting us. And we've got plenty of that already, thanks.

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