COLUMN: Your anger is all you have left: don’t let them take that from you

Noah Pearson
Opinions Editor
You are entitled to your anger. Do not let anyone try to tell you otherwise.

This issue is prevalent and familiar for marginalized groups in America. Racism, erasure, anti-blackness, xenophobia, and every other “ism” and every other form of discrimination has stripped marginalized groups of almost everything.

When we react to horrific atrocities such as terrorists shooting up black churches or black men being killed by police on camera and the police getting off free, we often react angrily.

While this is a completely normal way to feel, the common narrative is that we are supposed to remain calm.  

While our people are executed, becoming enraged is compared to the actions of the individual who carried out the execution.

Some people go so far as to blame the anger of an individual for their own death, such as in the case of Sandra Bland after dying under mysterious circumstances while being held in jail for a traffic violation, or Korryn Gaines who armed herself against police who pointed guns at her newborn child.

This country has demonstrated since before its inception that it has no regard for the lives of individuals who do not represent the majority. It is unfortunately no surprise when monsters in this country act on their time proven ideals.

While we may no longer be surprised, we cannot allow ourselves to no longer be angry. There is no justification for oppression, and the only sensible reaction is anger.

So often the oppressor uses language like “he should have complied” or “she should not have gotten aggressive”. What makes this language so dangerous is that prior to analyzing it, it sound perfectly acceptable.

It is so easy to think “if I was in that situation, I would comply and leave with my life”. However, this is immediately disproved because there are documented examples of white men literally threatening to kill an officer while charging at them and not facing the same consequences as a 12-year-old black kid with a plastic gun.

This extends beyond police shootings. Often times anger is used as an excuse to dismiss genuine feelings of the oppressed.

All of the rhetoric about the left being anti free speech, all of the rhetoric about the left being dismissive and angry again seems very valid at first, but when one pays attention to why someone may be dismissive, it extends beyond simply getting frustrated, but being past the point of being able to have a conversation.

It is abundantly clear that the issue is not about one party getting mad at the other. What is happening is that people are using anger as an excuse to justify unjustifiable behavior. They know what is happening is wrong, but by pretending their issue is not about what is wrong but about the fact that someone is getting angry about it, they appear as the rational, and we appear as angry.

And we are the only ones who pay the consequences.