Photo Toni Reynolds

Uncomfortable much?

I keep hearing the same conversations over and over in seasons of unrest. ‘I just wish we could go back to how things were before,’ or: ‘Everyone’s talking about politics. I miss when we just talked about our lives/babies/pets/food/etc,’ or: ‘They should stick to acting/singing/painting/etc…; I don’t want to hear about politics from artists!’

It’s perplexing to me, as someone who stands at the margins, to hear these things. For me, my very existence is political. There are social, economic and political repercussions to being a black female. So, it doesn’t feel like a season to me; it feels like a constant state of being.

Jesus said: “Blessed is the one who is disturbed by her discovery. That one has found life.” Gospel of Thomas 58

So I find myself comforted by those who are rudely awakened as they learn about those who are systematically oppressed. I am even more grateful for their discomfort in their discoveries. It is indeed a blessing. For once we are disturbed, we begin to imagine an alternative. A famous quote generally attributed to the artist Banksy is “[a]rt should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” This is the price we pay for awareness if we are truly committed to living in community where everyone is equal.

~Natalie R. Perkins

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