During the UCU strikes a couple of weeks ago, I went to a “Teach-Out” (one of the ad-hoc talks that were put on by our striking lecturers) and it was in collaboration with the Stand Up To Racism uni society. A young, black first year student stood up and spoke about his experiences. I was captivated by his eloquence. Here was a young man speaking a truth in a powerful, yet gentle way. He was honestly one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard. Something special was going on here.
One phrase that the speaker kept coming back to was “compassionate anger”. What a beautiful phrase. He said that is what we need to dialogue with those with completely opposing views to our own, more importantly, with those with views based on lies, falsehoods and divisive, racist/transphobic/homophobic/sexist (you choose the adjective) agendas.
I’m asking myself as a privileged white person, and in particular, a privileged white man:
Where can I be more compassionately angry in my dialogues with others?