Outrage culture is not the answer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

  William Arthur Ward once wrote that “It is wise to direct your anger towards problems — not people; to focus your energies on answers — not excuses.”

  And while both sides of the aisle may argue that since the 2016 presidential election, they’ve been channeling their frustration into constructing feasible answers, the political divide is still prominent — and more vicious than ever before.

  This contention is not by virtue of just one thing, however — it is a result of the buildup of news stories and revolutions arising from both parties, although it is most commonly associated with liberals. The #MeToo movement, the March for Our Lives (not to be confused with the March for Life, a pro-life march held each year in Washington), and #NeverAgain have been hot-button issues, causing debate between all types of people, no matter their political party — and made way for what many are now calling “outrage culture.”

  Outrage culture, at least as I know it, is the ideology that we are supposed to get angry at everything — one unpolitically correct comment, one slip up on live television, one misunderstood accent. We are to post about it on Facebook, saying how we can’t believe that someone would ever dare to ask us to say something one more time, or make a funny comment about our appearance, or god forbid mispronounce our names.

  I first realized the severity of outrage culture when I was scrolling through Facebook somewhere and I saw a family friend post about the white privilege her friends had while she, an Indian, was discriminated against. What she failed to add was that she lives in a very nice apartment complex in Brooklyn and sends her children to private school.

  This constant need to be angry arises out of one thing only — self pity. We, as humans, want to feel important and cared about, and when someone infringes upon that, there’s no letting it go. They must be “called out” for it. There must be backlash.

  Take, for example, the H&M scandal that happened in January. The African-American community lashed out at the clothing retail company after a black child model was photographed wearing a hoodie that said “Coolest monkey in the jungle” for the company’s website. People immediately turned to anger, vowing never to purchase clothing for H&M again, convinced that it was done on purpose — that they didn’t even stop to consider the possibility that the photograph was taken without any ulterior motive.

  While it is perfectly fine to get angry about things, it is not fine to get angry about everything. Anger is the least productive emotion — it wallows in self-pity and recklessness; it does not achieve anything without the help of ambition.

  The message that the left should be sending is willingness to change the things they cannot accept rather than simply getting angry about them and waiting for the next unbelievable event to happen.

  Until then, every time something we cannot stand for happens in society, it would do us well to sit down and think of a solution rather than lash out right away.