Since Alison Holt asks “Is newspaper omitting issues concerning foreign ‘visitors’?” (Letters, June 5), it seems to me this strikes a depressingly familiar tone concerning tribalism.
Whether it’s true in detail or just hearsay, as a much travelled sailor allow me to say this; travel didn’t broaden my mind revealing to me the unexciting truth that people are the same everywhere and no different in their prejudices. For instance, when working in Brazil I found that some who could trace their lineage to Portuguese ancestry thought themselves vastly more superior to others (the mainly indigenous folk, and whose country it was) on that basis only.
Watching the recent expressions of national pride and jingoism accompanying the jubilee celebrations I sometimes wonder if people are aware of how the 20th century became the bloodiest in history as the phenomenon of 19th century nationalism unravelled and took its dreadful toll on European history from Paschendale to Bosnia Herzegovina.
My view is simple; we are individuals and we should be capable of thinking accordingly, remembering always that ‘tribal’ security and majority is not the same as solidarity.
We can all be proud of our village, town, county, country or even our football team, without having false ideas of superiority or feeling we are different from others. I’d like to think this is the way we are moving as a society.
It really is not a question of asking or forcing people to always take a positive view of every development in society, good or bad, but one of reason based on respect for others. We have our laws and we should trust they will be applied equally.