People Political

Two angry people

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Mike Golby is a man in his 40’s, Catholic, married with kids, who lives in South Africa. I’m a woman in my 40’s, non-religious, divorced, with no kids, living in the US. Outside of our age and the fact that we weblog, we two also share one other thing in common: we’re angry people.

Mike continues the discussion about anger from this weekend, and in particular, the responses to it:

Why did people automatically equate anger, i.e. ‘intense dissatisfaction’ with rage, i.e. ‘violent anger’, as defined by the OED? Why are so many people who seek a fuller, more productive life so brittle, thin-skinned, and reactionary?

Good question, Mike. It does seem that the more we as a society seek to eliminate anger, the more acts of unreasoning rage occur. In the last few decades, where once anger was considered an emotion not unlike any other, now it’s considered taboo. And in that same time frame, where once a worker killing a boss would be front page news for weeks, now it’s becoming commonplace.

And like you, Mike, I puzzle at the extreme reaction to the Hesham Mohamed Hadayet shooting. An entire airport security infrastructure is changing based on one person’s actions; we see terrorist plots and government cover-up all based on a shooting that, from all indications, is nothing more than an example of a person going beserk.

In fact, Hadayet doesn’t seem that different from Benjamin Smith a white supremacist who went on a racist killing spree in Illinois and Indiana. Yet Smith wasn’t called “terrorist”, and we haven’t added to the police that exist on every corner in the country. Nor is Indiana University an armed camp – I know, my brother teaches there.

Making Hadayet into a terrorist solely because it suits certain agendas makes me angry. I am angry.

What the hell has happened to my country in that anger, in any form, is ‘bad’, but Bush and Ashcroft detaining a man without giving him due rights under law – under law – is acceptable?

What the hell has happened to my country that people support a president based solely on his ‘War on Terror’ without regard to any other of his actions and lack thereof?

What the hell has happened to my country that people get incensed because the Pledge of Allegience is declared unconstitutional based on the words ‘under God’? To make matters worse, these same people then have the audacity to say that this country was created on a platform of Christianity, and we should all accept this – my country was never based on the principles of separation of Church and State.

This really pisses me off.

How far will we go in selling our rights, our sense of decency and humanity, our membership in the world, our very souls, just to call ourselves safe?

Mike is an angry person. His anger speaks out every time he writes about injustice. Anger threads throughout his words, and forms a platform for his writing.

And we need more angry people, not less.

Update Make that three angry people.

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