Joining the rest of America a couple of days ago, I viewed the Access Hollywood video of heinous remarks about women further damning any trace of morality/humanity in someone holding the title of U.S. Presidential nominee.
I closed my laptop. I cried.
These were not tears of fear or sadness though. They were tears of rage.
This had been some time coming. The build up of so many months being force fed filth, stupidity, and degradation stoked a burning anger that could no longer be neglected or ignored. My coping mechanisms had lost their affect. I had tried to engross myself in work, to avoid the media as much as possible, to hope hard that this was all one awful prank.
I’m not proud of this. My responses were wrapped up in a smallness that give a false sense of escape. Beyond my tipping point, the physical reaction of a racing heart, sick stomach and tears told me I was duping myself. Ignorance is not bliss.
I admire those engaging in the uncomfortable conversations online and around the dinner table. I am inspired by people like my boyfriend who leap into the grossness of injustice, the ugliness of racism and sexism with a roar and bite. I seek to emulate folks with an activist spirit like journalist and writer, Courtney Martin, who credits an upbringing of creating importance around honorable rebellion. In a recent On Being interview, she shares:
“So one of the things I feel like my parents really entrusted me with was this idea that you should trust your own outrage. And sort of being able to honor that anger, to me, is one of the most important muscles of a rebel.”
Not everyone joins the rebellion in the same way; I know this and respect it.
But, for the sake of my four year old niece who is one of America’s next generation of empowered and respected women, for the millions of immigrants that continue to contribute greatly to a beautifully diverse culture and incredible work ethic, for the belief that my country is capable of modeling social progress, open-armed tolerance, and environmental responsibility, I will trust my own outrage.
I will honor this anger.