…here’s a perspective I’ve always appreciated, from the political organizer Ernesto Cortes:
“A good organizer must be angry,” he says. “Not irritated or enraged, but angry. In the dictionary you’ll find that it comes from the Old Norse angr, meaning loss or grief.”
CortÃ©s says his grief — his anger, in the Nordic sense — stems from America’s failure to fulfill the promise of democracy, the promise that all citizens can play a meaningful role in their own governance.
What Cortes says about the root meaning of anger is, in fact, accurate:
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English, from Old Norse angr, sorrow.
There’s nothing whatsoever wrong with being angry. In fact, the weird people are those who don’t feel sorrow over what’s happening to this country. (More on this topic here.)