Abstract: "It has been argued that members of oppressed groups break 'feeling rules' when they express anger at injustice. For this reason, philosopher Alison Jaggar and law professor Janine Young Kim refer to emotions such as anger as outlaw emotions and affective transgressions, respectively. But I think more can be said. I shall argue that rage at racial injustice not only breaks feeling rules but 'racial rules'—emotive, cognitive, and behavioral rules that enforce white superiority, entitlement, and respect. Such rule breaking threatens racial domination projects. This helps explain why some are resistant to and critical of rage—particularly the apt, motivational, and productive kinds—and why a person who has this rage is a resistant figure."
Myisha Cherry is an assistant professor at UC Riverside researching themes of forgiveness and anger as they relate to black victims of anti-black racism. Her expertise is in ethics, moral psychology, and social and political philosophy.
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