An exploration of society’s slanderous misreading of one of Disney’s most iconic princesses of all time, and how this indicates a dangerous shift in our values as a culture.
It’s 1950. You’re Walt Disney.
It’s been two years since production was fast-tracked on one of your studio’s most risky ventures. Your last three animated films, made with love and care, flopped in the midst of the Second World War. You’re millions in debt, and you’ve just finished plunging yourself farther into the hole — all for another feature-length animated project, to be given the same love and care as your previous works.
Unbeknownst to you, this film will not only catapult your studio out of debt, but also become an enduring classic in American cinema.
Victim. We should only be allowed to use this word to describe a moment in time where something was done to us that was out of our control. It should be an adjective to describe our experience in a tragedy, not to define our character. That moment does not define us. It can mold us, but we have the choice to allow it to continue to victimize us and be subjected to the powerlessness of that situation or we have the ability to become a warrior.
Father Richard Shares……Today I share a contemplative poem from CAC friend and writer Felicia Murrell. Felicia’s words combine a deep awareness of God’s presence while clearly naming the collective trauma of police brutality and lynchings. It is worth remembering, as Black liberation theologian James Cone (1938–2018) points out, that the lynchings of African Americans and the crucifixion of Jesus share much in common: “Both the cross and the lynching tree were symbols of terror, instruments of torture and execution, reserved primarily for slaves, criminals, and insurrectionists—the lowest of the low in society.”  There is something about poetry that gives us permission to sit with the paradoxes of our pain, perhaps especially when addressing traumatic suffering. I invite you to read Felicia’s challenging words slowly, allowing your heart to break open to God’s love amidst the suffering of the world.