This topic is a sensitive one on a whole new level. A result of the survival legacy passed on from generation to generation in the African diaspora. The 'Anger within' speaks to the result of trauma still endured without a viable outlet for expression. An anger with no where to escape to. Yet for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction... so eventually it must be released.
The first issue to address is the false narrative that somehow anger is ALWAYS negative and should not surface for any reason. This definition of a 'good citizen' has been propagated for generations. It gives those with even legitimate reasons for anger to be forced to hold it in. Holding the anger until it manifests in unhealthy self destructive ways that often have the victim of injustice at a loss for words or expression. The anger gesters until it bursts out violently and then the instigator now points fingers and as a result redefines the situation, invalidating the anger of the victim. The victim is now trapped within with little chioce but to self destruct. Anger can be galvanizing forces of good if channeled properly.
Secondly we must address how we handle these provoking issues... anger while can be negative isn't necessarily always evil. It all depends on what we do to our internalized anger. Do we find healthy means of releasing said anger or do we succumb. The choice seems clear but when dealing with multi generational pain, there is almost no choice at all. Classical conditioning of 'PAVLOVS DOG' takes over and you begin to bark despite no harm being done to you. You look crazy!!!
We face this anger alot when the Afrimerican Culture Initiative only refers to Racism in context of cultural issues assigning no blame in a search for solutions. The African diaspora isn't always pleased with this approach because while we deal with the results of systematic injustice we look forward to solution and not back to divisive racial tensions. The reason we do this is simple... Anger clouds judgement. As we are in the business of cultural solutions that endeavor to find healthy outlets for the valid anger within, it is counter productive at best to work with such a great amounts of anger.
Lastly, There's also the fact that the narrative can easily be changed to focus on the 'angry black man' rather than the issues of injustice. This is part and parcel of the struggle we face. As we spoke about in last November's blog 'Bend the Knee', maintaining control of the narrative is just as important as the issues we are raising. Otherwise we will be talking about disrespecting the flag and military instead of the many lives taken by systematic injustice in the African diaspora.
In the individual being strong enough to take the injustice and still be focused enough to effectively combat any combatant is the key. So the question is are we strong enough? Are we strong enough to control the 'Anger Within'? We are... but we need the support systems offered by our cultural roots to be able to withstand and effectively come out on top. Strong family and community support, strong education and focus on being the adult in the room all help to clear our minds when confronting injustice. I often tell young men that imagine being the boss, the don of a mafia family or the president of the United States of America... so in essence any great leader. Imagine all the hate you will get from all angles. Most of them begin nodding. I now say think of your lives and how much hate you get then multiply that by a million. They nod with more vigor this time. I say imagine all the pulls and pushes one gets emotionally, spiritually and sometimes even physically ( in terms of health effects e.g. Obama's white head of hair after 8 years). I now ask...what do you call strength with so much at stake...being the boss and all? Is it striking back at any person who attacks you like our current president...or withstanding the pressure and making informed measured strategic decisions on how best to deal with those who strike you? The answers are that most end up looking at Obama as the stronger leader... but it somehow different when it is their real life... meaning in real life you don't wanna look like a punk!!!
I now teach them of African cultural values I have learnt over the years to gain self control in the face of even ignorant opposition. I ask what tangible thing has your 'enemy' taken from you in his insults? Then I ask what tangible thing do you gain from reacting and striking back with anger? Usually the answer is no to both answers. They now talk of intangible things that are taken...like respect and power... I reply that the only one that can take your respect and power is yourself...Look at Trump. There's a bit of laughter at this point. If you are not losing or gaining from an interaction ... I advise it is best to leave it alone. Noone there is paying your bills or leading your family... so there is no threat to you your power or respect plus YOU HAVE SOMETHING GREATER TO LIVE FOR ( can you name a few of these things?) to be concerned with trivial arguments and name calling. I often say the best revenge is to have you enemy come to you seeking help not knowing you are the the cause of all his problems. Thats Power!!!
On a community level, I see so many rightfully angry organizations and people who feel slighted by American society and are looking for retribution, respect and sometimes even attention from the powers that be. They want to be heard. Often I rarely see solutions to the problems just people looking to express their grievances. The symptoms of our issues in the African diaspora persist while we watch black panther to instill the recognition we deserve but still there's no remedy for the cause of our ailments. The key is to not turn to anger and violence to remedy our situation. The Baltimore protests over police brutality were simply turned into a gathering of angry black thugs by the media. So what did they gain in the end and what did they lose? They gained more negative press and lost an opportunity to help those affected by police brutality. Even the NFL stars who are doing things right are being mislabeled so talk less of if anger and violence are involved. Peaceful, sustained and deliberate protests using the tools provided by America to turn the system against any aggressor is the best way. Not guaranteed but long term 'PEACE AND UNITY' are the best ways to defeat the 'ANGER WITHIN' and save our souls...
Using a combination of attitudes brought forth by the 2 most prominent civil right leaders Rev. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X , we say let's move forward by 'Any Peaceful Means Necessary...'