anger & justice

I’ve been told, through various mediums – societal, religious, familial – most of my life that, anger…or the out working of it….is not an ‘acceptable’ emotion to have or to relay. That we should rid ourselves of all anger and outbursts and live in a more peaceful type, Zen like state. I’ve accepted this theory way too easily I think…reasoning that it is right, because it sounds right.

However….I’m coming to realise, that anger, or the outworking of it, is more ‘uncomfortable’ instead of unacceptable. By uncomfortable, I mean for those around me. When anger is present or being presented, there are the usual tattles in the background from bystanders…”you need to let it go”, “you need to forgive”, “your being irrational and emotional”, “you sound crazy”, “you need to find your happy place”. To name but a few.

But it is accepted that anger turned ‘inwards’ leads to depression. Anger turned ‘outwards’ leads to violence. Why is there no middle ground? Or haven’t I found it yet.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an ‘advocate’ for random violence. I’m just wondering if I’ve been directed away from the middle ground or anything that is remotely associated with laying responsibility for an action, squarely on the shoulders of a perpetrator.

Quite bluntly, why is it that all that rage, that makes everyone in my world feel uncomfortable, including me; isn’t directed at the source of its creation? Why is ‘that person’ not held accountable; held violently accountable actually, for their depravity?

I once had a white South African female GP tell me, with regards to violation, that ‘our kind’ were far to complacent. At first I was offended, by the, “your kind” statement, but what she was actually referring to were the current people of our NZ culture – or white NZ. I just didn’t understand her at the time.

She relayed a general story of sexual violation of a child and the consequences of such an act, from her cultural point of view.

“……if I was raped, as a child or adult, one of a few things would have happened….my grandfather would have killed him, my father would have killed him, my uncles would have killed him….if it was a family member that did the raping…the same thing would happen to them ….if that didn’t transpire, and the rapist managed to get away from the family…he would be dealt with by the courts. But not like here. When they are locked up…for any length of time…it would be common place to make sure that they are placed into a cell with a ‘big’ cell mate, who had full blown AIDS….. ‘You people’ are far too accepting of the unacceptable…”

I got what she meant after that.

kpm ©