Are you Angry?
Really, deeply angry? Please tell me that you are. We should all be so very angry. I know that should is never OK, and that people should never be told how to feel… but right now… oh, I do hope that we are all joined up in a massive, collective, clenched-fist-grasped-tight-in-angry-clenched-fist around the world way – really, truly angry.
When a white man – preening and pumped with privilege – strolls through tear-gassed peaceful protesters to hold aloft a Bible as though to say ‘And, you know, God is on my rubber-bulleting side’….
Then anger rises like a pure cloud – shimmering black and white like a thousand beating wings – filled with heat, heart-break and the power to shout “Put down that book of hope and revolution – don’t you twist our mysterious ways of Love to justify your hate. You will never find the gods you love written within those pages.”
When he casually drawls that he will “dominate the streets”, whilst newsreels show the mourners and the marginalised, the peaceful and protestors, the minorities and the masses crushed and de-humanised… When the anthem and great prize of patriarchy – ‘power over, over-power, power over, over-power’ – is bellowed across the streets by the bully-boy gods of capitalism, homogeny and ‘presidential power’…
Then anger billows like clean laundry on the line, captured by a buffeting wind and setting sail with whole intent: “No More!” to power over, but “Power With and Power To! Power With and Power to…” and carried by a wind of change won’t my anger meet with yours up in the clear blue, not knowing the destination but setting sail for change?
And when a black man that I never knew suffocates beneath the knee of an oppressor that I’ll never meet…when life is crushed and death prevails… when the strength of the mighty is felt yet again upon the neck of those judged less safe, less precious and – ultimately – less human because of their skin colour….
Then anger surges like labour-pain, deep within my bones and forcing me to my feet. I am not black, but I am minority. I am not man, but I am sister. I will not meet George Floyd or lay my flowers where he met his curb-side death, but I live among my black and brown neighbours and encounter maybe something of his experience in them each day. So I will bring my minority anger, and I will stand as a sister-in arms – bright anger coursing through the fingers I use to weave each word and web of solidarity. From my own privilege I will offer up my anger alongside others, still dreaming that together we can create a world where those four little children will be judged by the content of their character.
Power with those who protest, and power to them to bring change. Power with all us who are angry today, and power to us all to bring change.
Are you angry? If not, wake up.