I consulted a few articles written by this Ph.D. and that M.D., but after floundering about for a while, I still was no closer to being able to address the question. However, on Saturday, I caught a bit of a CNN program entitled “Taking Aim at Youth Violence.”
At some time during the program, it dawned on me. With all the programs designed to quell youth anger, none of them focus on the usefulness, the utility of anger.
Anger, or any other strong emotion, is not only natural, but is useful if harnessed and used in a productive manner.
And isn’t it only natural to be angry if the problems and hardships you are bound to face over the course of your lifetime eclipse those faced by the mainstream society and culture? Isn’t it only natural to be angry if in your entrance into the mainstream society and culture, you are greeted with prevailing assumptions of innate inferiority and fundamental deficiency?
Wouldn’t you too be angry if the mainstream society and culture reacted to you with a certain ingrained sense of fear and hostility? If you found the deck stacked against you even before you got started?
If you were born into poverty and could imagine no greater future? If in the midst of plenty, you found yourself possessing nothing? If you grew up not knowing or spending time with your father or any other positive role model? If daily you watched drug addiction ravage your family and community? If perhaps you stood a greater chance of going to prison than going to college. If you so desperately wanted to achieve, to overcome, but you did not possess the means or know how to do so? If you were locked in a perpetual prison house of ignorance.
It would only be natural for you to be angry. In fact, if you were not angry, I would go so far as to say, there is something fundamentally wrong with you.
So, then, the solution can be found not in quelling that anger, but in recognizing and knowing that anger. The solution can be found in discovering a positive outlet for that anger. The solution can be found in directing the natural energy and impetus to act inherent in that anger toward constructive pursuits as opposed to avenues to self-destruction.
There is a certain romance to be found in anger. There is a certain brilliance, a certain beauty, to be discovered in the redness of outrage.