Difference = disorder

Reading Chris Hayes’ book, A Colony in a Nation, my attention was drawn to his formulation of the disturbance generated by disorder. For some people, disorder IS disturbance. We see ‘order’ as the arrangement of things while ‘disturbance’ derives from the Latin root ‘turb’ as found in disturb, perturb, etc. i.e. a stirring up.
My own experience in education showed me how many people define ‘order’ as some form of regularity in arrangement, a clear pattern, what many call ‘structure’. Teachers admonish each other that they require structure to their lessons and their classes, which is certainly true. But the perception of what is structure varies considerably. For some, structure means all the desks in a row but for others an arrangement of desks that facilitates communication, group work, or easy access for the teacher.
And so it is with ‘order’. The arrangement may be static or fluid; for some, only the static connotes order. Any variability or fluctuation or fluidity equals disorder and thus disturbance.
From here, we can examine the perceptions some people have that anything different in the perceptual field equates to disorder. Taking it further, we have disturbance.
What made me think of this was a scholar’s recollection of his student days at Oxford where he was almost always the only Black in the room. While he alone did not pose a threat, his very difference composed disorder.

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