Our Love is as Fierce as Our Anger (chapter excerpt)
"We have a responsibility to speak up and create the discomfort that comes with demanding a better world…It is in that discomfort that individuals are able to grow, and systems are able to change…
Anger at injustice ultimately comes from a place of love for our neighbor. Being angry that you or others are being marginalized and dehumanized is righteous. I ask us all to ensure that our love is as fierce as our anger. I tried to hide from my anger. Instead, it only ate away at me…I learned to lean into it, acknowledge it and I found that this anger was rooted in a deep longing for a more loving society, one that reflected the value and humanity of all people…" (Conlon, 2019)
The quotes above are from Mary Conlon. They are part of the remarks that she made in her Valedictorian's speech to the 2019 graduating class of St. Mary's College of California. Her words best sum up my intentions in this book. Mary Conlon felt that she had a responsibility to "facilitate discomfort" and to "disrupt the status quo." I feel compelled to do the same.
I have tried to hide from the anger that I have felt about matters of race and how they have been treated in the media, by politicians and even by religious leaders that I respect. The anger I felt was so strong that I couldn't watch certain programs in the media, I couldn't watch certain political commentary, and I even found myself withdrawing support from certain religious leaders.
I'm angry because I haven't been honest. I haven't been honest about who I am and what I believe. In a country where people fight to identify themselves in so many ways, I, for many years, have identified myself as a Christian and a Republican. I'm angry that those terms recently have been so closely associated with racism and division.
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