We see you.
We recognize injustice when we see it.
We are here for you.
Joan Kelly (ARTZ Philadelphia volunteer), linocut, June 2020
Dementia does not discriminate. Our community members’ skins are black, they are brown, and they are white. There is no “other” when it comes to dementia. But as with COVID-19, as with incarceration, and as with exposure to systematic brutality carried out by those sworn to protect the most vulnerable among us, dementia disproportionately affects people of color.
ARTZ Philadelphia is not a political organization. But we are an organization of, by and for community and compassion, advocating for the preservation of dignity and humanity in people who are too often perceived as having neither. If the events of the past weeks and months in response to the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Tony McDade – and too horrifically many before them – are not about re-asserting the dignity and humanity of every individual, how can we make any sense at all of what has happened?
This is not the time for rhetoric about “domination” or “the battlespace” or “getting back to the right normal.” Unless by “dominating the battlespace” we mean finding amidst all of this horror and devastation the truth of our better selves in the battle for justice and dignity for all. And as for the “right normal,” we cannot get back to it because it has not yet existed. It is for us – during this time and from now on – to summon it into being through community and compassion. And yes, protest.