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Passionfruit newsletter: Cold Anger and Cool Labor Fall

Anger gives labor movements energy, but creators often shy away from it.


Grace Stanley


Posted on Sep 5, 2023   Updated on Sep 5, 2023, 5:14 pm CDT


This Labor Day weekend, I decided to return to a book that once changed my thinking about political organizing when I was in college. “Cold Anger” follows a successful social justice organizing campaign from activists Saul Alinsky, Ed Chambers, and Ernie Cortes, and the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), which helped organize the working class in never-before-seen ways across Texas, Illinois, California, and New York.

A major component of IAF’s success stemmed from its approach which encouraged community members to figure out what makes them angry and turn it into something constructive. Anger, according to the organizers (and new-age psychologists), is closely entangled with energy. When you tap into something that really riles you up—a memory of personal wrongdoing or injustice endured—it can break through anxiety, awaken compassion for other human beings, and fuel constructive political action. In short, angry energy is critical for helping yourself, your family, and your neighbors. 

But these IAF organizers were not looking for some reckless inferno. They were looking for a kind of cool, tempered anger rooted in relationships, loss, and grief. One that “probes for truth and challenges the injustices of life,” according to author Mary Beth Rogers. 

It’s natural to be uncomfortable with anger, and most people suppress or deny it—especially people like creators working in the public social media arena. …

Grace StanleyNewsletter and Features Editor

In Today’s Newsletter:

  • Celebrate (Creator) Labor Day!
  • Why Big Dairy and Big Oil Are Turning To Influencer Marketing
  • Did MrBeast and His Copycats ‘Ruin’ YouTube’s Culture?

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*First Published: Sep 5, 2023, 5:13 pm CDT