Anger / Race / Hate

Anger and hate are only the same thing to people who have not yet moved beyond the childhood notion of hate, which is: Hate = Anything I Am Pissed About Right Now. No. Hate is much stronger and less fleeting than that.

I am angry, that much is certainly clear. The things I’m angry about or the people I’m angry at? I don’t hate them. I’m just frustrated and annoyed. I deal with my frustration by blogging, by trying to make people understand why I’m angry, by trying to fix things so they don’t make me angry, anymore. But that’s hard to do when people insist on telling me I feel a way I don’t.

Things You Need To Understand #8 – Anger Does Not Equal Hate, March 17, 2008 by the angry black woman

I have to say that i admired Senator Obama when he refused to take the bait and ‘denounce’ his preacher for so-called hate speech. I admired him a little less when he claimed to reject his preachers ‘rigidity’ which the Senator said refused to recognize the possibility of change in the White community.

I think it was one of those straight-off-the-shelf bits of analysis rather than an honest assessment. I think the Senator didn’t want to talk about anger. If you do a search using the terms ‘Obama” and “hate’ you can get a feel for why Senator Obama wanted to avoid this subject.

Again and again you see writers (mainstream and otherwise) refusing to think about anger by claiming to see hatred. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s speech on 9-11, for example, represented legitimate anger. Even if we grant the important role of the white community in the Civil Rights movement, the powers-that-be are often blissfully unconcerned with the violence that afflicts the Black community.

The atrocities go back hundreds of years: slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow, busing, crack, the ongoing litany of atrocity and injustice that never seems to cause more than brief flashes of concern. Yet one admittedly horrible, dramatic act of terrorism and suddenly the ‘world changed forever.’ Who could blame the Rev. Jeremiah Wright for his anger?

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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