The Blanket

The Other View
Davy Carlin • 26 December 2003

I would like to pen a few words in relation to the Autumn 2003 edition of the ‘Other View’. Firstly though I would like to state that I have found the magazine itself not only informative and educational but I believe that it is increasingly required given the fact that there are limited avenues in which such debate and discussion can take place. For oneself born into West Belfast in the early seventies and a member of the minority ethnic community, this particular issue therefore was of added interest to me. Saying that, the Other View’s policy statement is something that I not only agree with but also would actively embrace and therefore continue to look forward to the magazine's future editions, with its willingness to take on at times those difficult issues that have long divided us.

It was great to see in the last issue how the issue of race and racism was covered by a variety of persons addressing a range of issues. As a founding member of the recently established Anti Racist Network, which is supported by all the main minority ethnic organisations and support groups amongst others, these are articles that can be circulated and welcomed amongst that network.

Siobhan O’Donoghue's article concentrating on the issues of exploitation and social exclusion of migrant workers was a particularly important issue to highlight. Billy Mitchell’s article was one of great interest to myself as are many of Billy’s writings on a number of issues. His articles help many like myself to attempt to understand working class Loyalism and Unionism within their own terms, rather than hold in many cases a perception due to growing up on the other side of the wall. Billy draws religious, historical and present day points to cut through the issue of racism to show how racism and racial attacks are both no friend of Ulster Protestants or political Unionists. Mary Ward also provides an interesting article on the issue of racism in Scotland, which is both informative and educational. Her understanding that it is the present system in which we live which is the root cause of the problem is an understanding which I would hold and have written much about.

Also in that issue of the Other View it was welcome to see both Tommy Cheever’s article on the Apprentice Boys and Eoin O’ Broin’s article on segregation, important issues that needed raised. With again other articles dealing with both local and international concerns making the magazine a worthy read. The Other View I have seen has in part opened up an avenue were through debate and discussion that it can afford one a space from which to attempt an understanding of each other, no matter if it is on race, religion, political belief or whatever. It is therefore an avenue that is much needed and very much required.





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