Anger: October 6, 2018

Dear Mr. VP,

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life feeling like I’m not allowed to be angry.

Anger is an uncomfortable emotion for me. I try to find my way out of it as quickly as possible. I equivocate. I make excuses for whoever it is I’m angry with, even if they’ve done something that’s actually worthy of my emotion.

But I don’t think I’ve ever felt rage like this before. After the vote this afternoon — after I laid down in bed and pulled the comforter up over my head — after I tried to block it all out — I knew I couldn’t sit in my apartment by myself, so I got into my car. I pulled up Rage Against the Machine, because that’s the best go to when you’re a 90s kid who feels so angry you think the tips of your hair might be on fire.

This is an angry with which I am very, very comfortable.

This morning I called Susan Collins. No one answered, so I left a message. “Your vote is telling the survivors in my life that their stories don’t matter. You are selling out generations of women, queer people, poor people, people of color. I don’t know why I expected anyone in the GOP to have a spine, but I thought maybe you would. Now I know differently. This is me, vowing to work tirelessly for your opponent in the next election. We won’t forget this.” I managed to press the end call button on my phone before I yelled, “And also, FUCK YOU.” I know, I know. When they go low, we go high. But I’m tired of bottling it up. I just want to scream.

Mitch McConnell says our anger about Kavanaugh will fade. Dear Mr. McConnell: this is not the sort of anger that is going to go anywhere. This is the sort of anger that is rooted deep, and won’t fade until you crawl back into the primordial ooze from whence you came.

If it were up to me, Mitch McConnell would never be able to go anywhere in public ever again without being confronted for his role in the impending death of our republic. When I was in college and protesting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we’d chant “No justice, no peace.” We need to make that real now.

As I sat writing this, a fellow fierce feminist activist sent me an article, “Stay Angry and Confront the Bastards.”

“Feel it in your fists,” writes Emma Gray. “To others who understand what the sinking pit is like, I’d urge you to do the same. Grasp that anger, that fury, that rage, and feel it burning in your fists. November is coming.”

It’s nice not to feel alone. There are lots of us feeling like this. We are like an army.

“Anger is a gift,” whispered Zach de la Rocha, as I drove down 95 and wiped away hot, livid tears.

Yes. A gift. We’re all done shoving it down. Anger is going to be what gets us through, and gets us change.

November is coming.



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