Meg, after reading your dialogue with Violet, having a lively and emotional discussion with my 16-year old daughter, and now this article, I’m spinning on the anger question. Anger is a segment of that emotional road that has led to violent confrontations throughout our history. The release of anger has not always ended with the result people expected or wanted. To use a current buzz word, I think it’s about channeling that anger correctly, turning it to productive energy.
Ok, so I look like the oppressor, older white male (even though I wouldn’t wear that hair if you paid me…), but I watched my young-single-high school educated mother raise three kids and fight the “old bastards” trying to make a buck through the ’70s and ’80s. I recall conversations with a young hispanic woman at CSU Fresno, who was living mostly on rice and beans while she used her precious dollars to support herself through college to make more of herself than her friends. I’ve also had lengthy conversations with my two daughters who are trying to figure out what this all means to them, how it affects them. I’m doing my best to open my eyes, ears, and brain to the happenings of the past few years to see where our country is heading and it scares me.
I get the anger, but I don’t understand directing it against people who are at the same socio-economic level. I don’t understand committing acts that ultimately polarize social segments because of legal implications. But I also see the frustration brought on by responses that originate from ignorance and deception. So I spin some more on what to do…?
I admit that I don’t know enough about Ghandi (beyond what I’ve seen on tv, need to correct that…), Mandela, or MLK, but it seems to me they won out through conviction and love of what they knew to be right. Winning the hearts and minds of people through consistent non-violent actions and beliefs.
The women’s marches had it totally correct by holding to non-violence, the inclusion of the young (shelter your kids from acts of violence, but not from moral actions that speak the truth), and their numbers. What’s next? More of the same, more, and more until the uneducated become educated. No point is better made and enduring than through education and continued reinforcement.
Keep up the good word!!