How did you learn to control your anger? by Tony Garcia
Answer by Tony Garcia:
As a very young child I was puzzled by the nature of racial epithets hurled at me by Whites. I had done nothing to incur their hatred other than simply being a visual embodiment of some wretched fantasy of theirs.
However, long before I reached my teens, I began to feel an intense anger towards Whites who felt compelled to act upon their hatred. It was confusing to me; I had friends across the color spectrum. We hung out together. But whenever racial prejudice reared its ugly head, their response would be to cow to the aggressors; mine would be to subsume my confusion with anger.
It was an uncomfortable mix. How could my friends who were White be so different from these White hooligans? Why wouldn’t my friends stand up to them? Part of me wanted to plea with these thugs to just accept me as a person of color; another part of me wanted to respond to them in kind.
At that time I was befriended by a White police officer, something fairly uncommon in those days. For reasons he never let be known, this man saw something behind my anger. He helped steer my rage toward a more acceptable, athletic outlet.
He also pointed out that, beyond skin color, there was a sense of intimidation some Whites felt when they heard me speak. They could not reconcile erudition, however puerile, with their preconceived notions of Black fealty and buffoonery. All this before I was ten years old.
I have never completely let go of my anger, especially when I am confronted with injustice of any sort. These days I find ways to express my displeasure that are more in accord with accepted mores. I refuse to indulge those who revel in the current climate of incivilty and hatred. I have better ways to spend my time.