What emotion is appropriate as a response to injustice?

Georgia NeSmith
4 min readMar 19, 2020

This article was written in response to a reply by Chris Crawford to Marley K’s The Hypocrisy and Betrayal of White Feminism.

If anger is an inappropriate response to injustice, what IS appropriate?

Was it inappropriate to express anger against slavery? It took a war to end it. A war is many things, but among those things it is a way to express anger. Certainly, no wars are fought in the absence of anger. So why would anger be inappropriate as a response to the phenomenon of the social/ political/ economic/cultural characteristics of slavery remaining embedded in modern society?

What about Jim Crow? Jim Crow moved in to take over the aspects of the culture of slavery without the express economic conditions. It took many protest events where polite, peaceful, mostly black protesters and a few white ones got beaten, jailed, and in more than a few cases, murdered [the murderers escaping unscathed] to get laws on the books forbidding Jim Crow laws.

So why would anger be an inappropriate response to the phenomenon of the social/political/economic/cultural characteristics of Jim Crow remaining embedded in modern society? Where, for instance, de facto segregation takes away the necessity for legal segregation?

Is politeness the better response than anger to de facto segregation in schools, where white supremacists get around civil rights laws through white controlled real estate practices, through the mortgage industry practices of redlining neighborhoods, of discouraging black buyers from buying homes in white neighborhoods by telling them lies [the house just sold, or not even showing them certain houses, denying mortgages]; through lending practices demanding higher interest payments for black families; through blocking black vets from access to GI Bill loan terms; by encouraging white flight by “block busting” [i.e., terrifying white residents into selling their homes and moving to avoid the assumed disaster looming after a resident defied custom and sold to a black family].

Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.