Say Hello To Appu
For the 1984 Asiad Games held in New Delhi, India had adopted a baby elephant for mascot, named Appu. It was quite a craze. The mascot was long remembered after the event had escaped the public mind.
Race and gender are elephants in the room and they ask to be greeted. I have brought up social issues at this blog. And I believe that has been a little rattling in some quarters. For a lot of progressives and, frankly, also to many others, race and gender are issues they are beyond. There are others who are racist, sexist, homophobic, what have you, but they themselves are beyond all that.
My 1-10 spectrum concept challenges all that. Start by assuming noone is a 10. Then also for all progressives race and gender are work in progress, very much so. Your unwillingness to address these issues are perhaps a sign you are more likely a 5 or a 6, and less likely a 7, 8 or 9.
Progressives should feel comfortable talking about these issues.
Does that mean dialogue is the panacea, the cure all? No. But it is for otherwise open-minded progressives where the assumption already perhaps is that racism, sexism and homophobia are wrong. And dialogue perhaps is the best option for a 5 wanting to be a 6, and so on.
There are people out there who harbor the social ills as tools of political power. They are not racist or sexist because they do not know any better. They mean to be so. For them dialogue might not work.
There are other instances that ask for legislative and law enforcement initiatives.
For the progressives my message is, Say Hi To Appu. Keep the conversation alive. There is no need to feel defensive. You change your mind or not, that is your thing, but be willing to say where you stand, and be willing to see where others stand.