Wednesday 27 May 2020

Thought Picnic: Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper - A better conversation

In a more decent world
It is very possible that Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper when they met in the Ramble at Central Park could have had a different conversation.
Seeding it with the initial exchanges between them, I do wonder how this whole sordid affair could have ended differently. I have no skill in creating dialogue, but I hope my crude attempt gives some perspective of a kinder and more respectful world.
The original conversation. [From Christian Cooper’s Facebook Page]
How to have a polite and friendly conversation with strangers
Christian: Ma’am, dogs in the Ramble have to be on the leash at all times, The sign is right there.
Amy: The dog runs are closed. He needs his exercise.
Christian: All you have to do is take him to the other side of the drive, outside the Ramble, and you can let him run off leash all you want.
Amy: It’s too dangerous, [How the conversation changes from here.] but I appreciate what you’re saying. I’ll put the leash on. I’m sorry.
Christian: No problem Ma’am, it’s just that dogs run through the Ramble chasing the birds off.
Amy: I’m really sorry. I see you have a fine pair of binoculars there, are you are a birdie [UK: birdwatcher]?
Christian: Yes, I am, Ma’am. The Ramble does have some surprises in the quiet of the day, I am hoping to see an unusual bird.
Amy: I have always been fascinated with birds, I did not realise the Ramble was a sanctuary for birdlife. I’ll be sure not to let my dog run around here again.
Christian: Not to worry, Ma’am.
Amy: Please call me Amy.
Christian: I’m Christian, nice to make your acquaintance.
Amy: My pleasure, it's lovely to meet strangers with fascinating interests like birdwatching.
Christian: It is a good break away from my work at Marvel Comics.
Amy: Wow! What do you do there?
Christian: I am an editor.
Amy: That’s nice. A friend of mine who loves Marvel Comics told me of a recent change in characters and depictions. Like it has taken on the zeitgeist with queer characters.
Christian: Yeah! We thought our storylines should be more representative of our broader community.
Amy: I can understand, diversity and inclusion is something I have tried much to spearhead in our company. I have felt there is an amazing pool of talent we have not yet begun to tap effectively to make a difference in our company and to our clientele.
Christian: Interesting, what do you work as?
Amy: I am a VP at Franklin Templeton.
Christian: I have heard of the firm. Look, let me not keep you, your dog is straining for a run.
Amy: That’s alright. Here’s my card, it was really nice chatting to you.
Christian: [Looking at the business card.] Cooper? What a coincidence, I am Christian Copper.
Amy: How uncanny. I’m sure our paths would cross again. Have a good evening.
Christian: Thank you, have a good one too. [They smile at each other and go their different ways.]
Christian returns home to write about the chance encounter with an amiable and pleasant lady in the Ramble. Sadly, they both found out they shared the Cooper surname as a consequence of the malignant cancer of racism. Knowing what we do now of Amy and Christian, they were capable of considerably intelligent conversation. It never happened.
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