Oleg Kotov: a physician formerly employed in the Soviet space program who later joined the Russian cosmonaut corps. He is invited to dinner on the premise of a recent New York Times article which discusses the threat of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) from North Korea. According to the article, rocket engineers and professionals who were assigned to the Soviet space program were employed by North Korea following the collapse of the Soviet regime.
Sara Ramirez: an award-winning Broadway and television actress, singer, and songwriter most known for playing the role of Dr. Callie Torres on the ABC drama “Grey’s Anatomy.” A recent TED Talk performance features her singing accompanied by actor, singer, and songwriter Michael Pemberton on guitar. In addition to her performing arts abilities, Ramirez is recognized as a humanitarian who challenges stereotypes, especially those pertaining to bisexuality (she came out as bisexual in October of 2016, according to a Huffington Post article).
Corinne Braun: an organizer of the March 4 Trump, a series of marches and rallies in support of President Trump in response to protests of the President over the past couple of months. The march took place on March 4 in cities across the country, drawing crowds of tens of people, according to a Huffington Post article.
Grace Pokela: a high school biology teacher in New York (ironically, in the school district neighboring the town in which I grew up) who recently responded to a trans-phobic meme that cited “science” on Facebook by using her knowledge of human genetics as the basis of her counterargument. The post has since gone viral.
Emi MacLean: a staff attorney for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network who is supporting Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, an undocumented Mexican immigrant, who was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials last week in California. A video shows Avelica-Gonzalez, a father of four U.S. citizens, being taken away by ICE as one of his daughters sobs in the background. MacLean is quoted in an article about the incident by NY Daily News.
Quite frankly, the likelihood of this dinner party taking place is slim to none. I imagine that several of these guests would decline an invitation to attend, especially if they would know of the other invited guests. However, I shall entertain the idea of these people sharing a meal together.
Perhaps social etiquette would be lost. There would be tension between several different parties in the room. It would fascinating to see if each guest could maintain composure and tact. Perhaps controversial topics would not be discussed, although that would ruin the fun, if you ask me.
I would like each of these guests to simply listen to each other. It is seldom that we listen to people with whom we disagree. It is seldom that we even associate with those to whom we feel we cannot relate.
I was tempted to (hypothetically) invite a younger person to this dinner party. I considered inviting Fatima, the 13-year-old daughter of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, who is heard sobbing in the video showing her father being arrested. I ask you to imagine how the dynamic would change with this young lady in the room. What would she say? Would she feel comfortable saying anything? How would she feel? How would the adults respond? Would they respect her pain, in regards to being separated from her father? What would the response be of Sara Ramirez, a Mexican-American woman?
Additionally, what would it be like to have Mr. Kotov and Ms. Braun? We can assume Ms. Braun’s political affiliations and positions but we cannot do the same for Mr. Kotov. What would their interaction look like, amidst paranoia and fear about Russian interference with American politics?
Please share any thoughts and questions you have about the sixth hypothetical dinner party in the comments.
Lastly, Happy Women in History Month.