Anger Is Not Productive: Especially when Confronting Social Injustice

As an aspiring activist, I have always wondered about how I should react to social injustice. At marches, you’re supposed to be indignant and demanding. At discussions and conferences, you’re supposed to be reflective and constructive. At volunteering events, you’re supposed to be compassionate and hopeful. I often find myself reacting to injustice with more intensity than expected — an intensity that borders on anger and bitterness. It makes me angry to know that Philadelphia has one of the highest incarceration and recidivism rates among urban regions in the country, that here, your zip code and your race determine your future. It makes me angry that my peers across the country are dying in school shootings, that people with my skin color are being targeted by both the government and anti-terrorist rhetoric, that immigrants, with the same dream as my parents, are being detained and deported at our borders. How is it that those who immerse themselves in solving these problems are not constantly disturbed, frustrated, and angry? I began to uncover the truth about the activist mindset on two separate occasions when I met individuals fighting for justice.