Screams behind the Rock

Rage: to feel or express violent, uncontrollable anger. It’s an emotion I don’t feel often, but when I do, I have to diffuse it immediately. I am not a person who is capable of holding in anger. If you’ve ever seen me angry, you’ve also seen the tears swelling in my eyes or the streams of water visible on my face. I don’t leave space for anger to reside.

Paul, through the Spirit’s guidance, instructed people like me (Christians) to never sin in our anger, and to never let anger linger into the night. Part of me wonders if Paul felt the same sentiments at the execution of his Christian brotherhood. Honestly, I don’t see how anger was limited to just one day at that time. However, if he was capable of saying this, he had to be capable, in some way, of living it out.

I ponder on this because I’m watching the world fall apart due to another Black man (George Floyd & Ahmaud Arbery) and Black woman (Breonna Taylor) being executed by law enforcement and overzealous “citizens”. I’m watching people use protests and “Black Lives Matter” for positive publicity and as a safety net from looting and boycotting. There is actually not much genuine concern for the Black community, though all of the photoshoots and professionally written letters would have you believe otherwise.

We, the Black community, are feared rather than empathized with. The very minute it looks like we’re about to fight, the world panics. Any sign of aggression outside of a sporting event is deemed deadly. We are fetishized rather than liked. We are given work rather than leadership. We should fight for revenge, but instead we choose to make our own way in a disadvantaged system. I am proud of us, but forgive me for my wrathful thoughts when I see our pleas unheard and often mocked.

Certain satanic people think it is appropriate to mock our deaths. Several pictures during these protests have emerged where one person lies on the ground with a “Black Lives Matter” shirt on or an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt on while another person sets a knee on their neck, mimicking George Floyd’s final moments. They both smile as a third person takes the photo. Not only do these demons have the audacity to mock a person’s death, but they smile about it and post it on social media for all to see.

I can’t describe the vehement rage that enters my mind to see a death mocked in such a fashion. It would be a sin to describe just what I’d do to them. I want vengeance, but the Bible, through various authors, tells me vengeance belongs to God. I am not allowed to respond to such heinous acts. I find myself asking why.

If God gave nations into the hands of the Israelites, why won’t He give racist lives into our hands? Are we incapable of victory? Is there no righteous backing to our desire to kill all these mockers who mock the last pleas of dying man? Would God really have been mad at His disciples if they attacked Rome for killing Him? I just wonder.

Usually, when I’m angry, I retreat into solitude and keep quiet for some time. Spewing out the festering hatred in my heart would, more likely than not, unintentionally offend someone I love. Sometimes I don’t care, but most times I do. I am thankful that I’ve found ways to release my anger peacefully. One of those ways is blasting rock music.

It’s something about the organized chaos between the guitars, drums, violins, and screaming that speaks for my anger. I am thankful there are vocalists who would scream in my place. It is relaxing to know there are those would use violent language to entertain rather than threaten. I can’t tell you how many times Soil, Linkin Park, Pop Evil, Shinedown, Coheed and Cambria, Hoobastank, and Red have allowed me space to let it out.

Recently, I’ve come upon Red’s “Release the Panic,” and I can’t tell you how invigorated “Get it out! Get it out! Get it out! Get it out!” makes me. It encourages me to release my frustration, my hurt, my pain, my rage, and return to a place of peace and solidarity with the Lord, oddly enough. Who would’ve known a few workout sessions with my neighbor, who liked to work out to rock music, would lead me to discovering this coping mechanism?

I am not the person who screams. I am not the person who lashes out. I keep everything inside because I love control, but seeing those images… If I knew any of them… I’m just glad that I don’t. I’m glad that I surround myself with God-revering, God-understanding people. I’m grateful that the Lord has shielded me from direct contact with racism. I wish we could all be afforded such protection, but we all do not believe in God, nor are we all so blessed.

Since I live in a world of faithlessness, it is good to know I can roll my windows up, turn my volume up, and blast “No More Sorrow”, by Linkin Park, without any concern for what it looks like. I can shout, rock my head, or do air guitars or air drums while emptying my soul of anger. It’s refreshing.

Oftentimes, rock music is blamed for violent behaviors and demonic imagery. It deserves to be criticized, just like anything else, because it is not perfect. There are some bands I cannot listen to. Some songs from the bands mentioned above I cannot let my ears hear continually. It, just like any other tool, can harm if used incorrectly.

Despite its fallacies, rock music can be therapeutic. Sometimes, you just have to scream before all the bottled stress, anger, sadness, and confusion consume you. Would you rather scream in sync with music, or scream at the person you’re going to take your anger out on? Odds are, you’ll think you’re taking it out on the right person, but most likely, you aren’t.

At some point, we have to realize that our unchecked and unproperly filtered emotions cause us to lash out at the wrong people most of the time. It could be in our lack of patience with people we needed to be patient with. It could be our shortness with people we needed to have lengthy discussions with. It could be the distraction when we needed to focus. It could be aggressive tone and language when we needed to be caring, nice, and considerate. Even our work is affected by our trapped emotions. The worst of us turn violent against the people around us simply because we lack the desire to properly target and vet.

Therapy, mediation, prayer, conversation, venting, rage rooms, working out, walking, processing, journaling, praise and worship, dancing, reading, and plenty of other coping mechanism exist. We must exercise all of them, including screaming with vocalists who can scream for ten to fifteen seconds at a time. Don’t be afraid to blast some rock music, do an air guitar, or bob your head aggressively with your tongue out. It’s better to look strange doing that than unleashing your anger out on the wrong person.

You scream, I scream, we all scream… because it hurts. Our sin causes much pain in each other’s lives. Some people’s sins draw out the rage in entire communities around the world. Don’t be afraid to release that rage. Like Hoobastank sang, “I’m not afraid to let it out! I’m gonna show you how I feel!” Show you how you feel. It’s not enough to just know it. Show it. That is how you learn to love yourself more. So rock out.

Your fellow rockhead,

Dario Augustus

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