A friend of mine once asked me, “What motivates you as a writer?”
I thought about truth and strength and beauty. But, when my mouth opened, I said, “What motivates my writing the most, by far, is anger.”
And it does. What pisses me off the most is how rigged our systems really are. I see it like this: Imagine you and I are about to play checkers, only, you’ve never played before. All that I tell you about the game is that the pieces can move one space forward at a time and that pieces can jump the opposite colored pieces one at a time. I don’t tell you about double (or triple) jumps, or about crowing pieces once they’ve reached the opposite end of the board.
After I explained that very limited way to play the game, we begin to play. Of course, when you see me making moves that I never told you about; you may question the moves. But, I would not answer you. I would just continue the game winning making moves that you don’t know how to make. I would keep several of the rules to myself so that you couldn’t win. The game would be rigged and you would lose.
Life in the United States is like this game of checkers. There are untold rules hidden from people like me so that we are already set up to lose. Those untold rules are my enemy. You may disagree with me, if you choose, but your disagreement probably means that you know the rules and would like to keep them to yourself. This societal game is about the acquisition and maintenance of power. I’ve played for years without knowing the rules and I lost miserably. The whole time I was losing, I though I was the problem; I thought there was something wrong with me. I had no clue that I had to unmask the rules of our societal game for myself.
I’ve learned the rules as I’ve gone along and I decided that it was my mission in life to share the rules and their inner workings through any means necessary. If I have to park in a busy shopping center parking lot and shout about them, so be it. But, people like me: People who are born into the “wrong” ethnicity or socioeconomic status, or anything other circumstance through which they are limited in power; can and will learn that they can have equal participation in these United States. If I can do, so can anyone else.
I may love all that’s good and strong and beautiful, but those are my objectives. My anger is my fuel each time my pen hits a piece of paper.