I’m angry. Cartoon angry: steam is coming out of my ears. My face is a hue somewhere between “beet” and “red hot lava.” Though I’ve never used my fists in anger in my life, I feel as though I could break a stack of bricks, like one of those amazing karate videos you see on YouTube. Yeah, THAT angry.

Why? Several reasons. My good friend (and fellow blogger) SueBE has written a book for young people (called “Black Lives Matter”) that is being denounced by people who have neither read it nor have any idea what it purports to say. Ignorant people. Close-minded people. The kind of people I have had it up to here (gestures) with. “It says the author writes historical nonfiction for children. So glad to see she’s branched out into fiction,” sniffs one commenter. The enormity of the wrong-headedness of this person (and her ilk) could blot out the sun.

Throw in the recent deaths of a news reporter and camera man by yet another deranged guy with a gun (we seem to have an endless supply of them in this country), tragedies that ought to be met with renewed resolve to do something about the matter, but are instead already raising the hackles of the NRA-faithful in a deafening roar that somehow makes the words “second amendment” louder than “people bleeding to death on the sidewalk.” I get it. YOU didn’t kill anyone; that guy did. And that guy. Oh, and that other guy. And her. And them. And that person and that person and that person…. Seriously, am I the only one who sees a pattern here?

I give myself permission to be angry. God made our emotions; there are no wrong ones. It’s what we do with them that matters. In a song by PIL, John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) sings, “Anger is an energy.” That’s the powerful side of anger, the side that gets things done. Instead of taking my anger out on hapless individuals (like that guy did), I prefer to channel it into something more constructive.

I’m going to do everything I can to champion my friend and her work and the content of that work. I will continue to push for (and vote for) gun control. I will get angry when and where I need to in support of social justice for everybody, including those so blinded to their own privilege, they can’t even discern that this privilege does not extend to anyone beyond the reach of their own fingertips.

And I am going to pray. Oh, Lord, I’m going to rent the heavens. God, make us all angry — angry enough to decide to stop hurting one another once and for all. Because a prayer like that demands energy. And if it has to come from anger, so be it.

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