Are you a Dirty Rat?[pullquote]We were nodding our heads in active self-agreement. We weren’t moving forward. It was as if we’d accepted prejudice, intolerance, misinformation and stereotyping as necessary elements of life.—Former Chief Archon Dewi Rhinoceros[/pullquote]
While you may not view yourself that way, apparently that is how many others see you.
That much was made clear yesterday, when The Park’s Stereotype Sundays took a bold turn and encouraged Animals to participate in what many were calling a “grand experiment.”
“We handed out name tags and told the attendees…go bold…write down the vilest thing that you have ever heard about yourself or your species. Don’t think about it too much. Just write it down and wear it around and see what happens,” said one of the event’s organizers.
The experiment, or “initiative,” as organizers prefer to call it, was the idea of Dewi Rhinoceros, whose tenure as Chief Archon in 2013 included establishing the weekly event in order to foster interspecial harmony.
Rhinoceros, now Chair of the Board of Directors of the Centre for Interspecial Harmony (CIH), says she was moved to intervene in the weekly project when she realized it had stalled and was no longer serving its purpose.
“We established Stereotype Sundays to foster interspecial harmony through honest discussion. It worked very well for the first year and a half. And, then, the honest approach seemed to lose its meaning and almost disappear. All of a sudden, we were just nodding our heads…as Hieronynous [Hedgehog] says, in active self-agreement. We were admitting our problems, but not moving forward. It was as if we’d accepted prejudice, intolerance, misinformation and stereotyping as necessary elements of life.”
The new approach won’t be a weekly component of the event, though, organizers say.
“We asked those who participated to come back next week and discuss the results. If it appears that it was successful, we’ll continue it, perhaps, on a monthly basis. In any case, it was well worth the effort. Everybody is talking about it today.”