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We need an open, honest approach to our problems

No group of people on this planet is without individuals who hate others because they are different and often take their emotions to the extreme by inflicting terror on anyone outside of their twisted world.

It is a hard fact of life that while most people strive for an atmosphere of peace and co-operative friendliness, there are those who seem committed to disorder and mayhem, irrespective of who gets hurt in the process. Such unbridled hatred is not restricted to any race or ethnic group and is a problem across the globe. It makes the late Dr Martin Luther King's dream of sitting at the brotherhood table almost unreachable.

Despite the number of innocent victims who are killed and maimed by the madness of hatred around the world each year, those who believe in proper values and good community living should never allow themselves to be hardened to a point of seeking revenge with similar tactics. It may be difficult at times, but the route of seeking justice should be through the courts.

Some acts of violence are so incomprehensible they almost defy an explanation.

The recent Norway tragedy may have faded from the news, but the impact of so many innocent young lives lost in a moment at the hands of a lone gunman has kept the country in a state of shock.

Equally disturbing was the recent killing of a black man in the United States by a group of white youths who according to reports, after partying, decided to kill any black person they saw. Apart from beating him terribly, while he was struggling to leave the scene the culprits ran over him with their vehicle. All of it caught on surveillance cameras.

What is even more unbelievable, is that after years of social progress throughout America, there are still those who feel only they have a right to live. On the other hand, one must be careful not to allow the impulse of seeking revenge over take their better judgment. If tempers are allowed to peak anything can happen. Understandably most people react with rage over such an appalling incident.

Dr King knew only too well the struggle to get people from different cultures to see each other as brothers and sisters on the same planet, and yet he never shifted from that dream.

When we reflect on the recent tragic incident in America's South, too often what is forgotten are the many white Americans who boldly stepped away from what many would describe as a safe existence, to put their lives on the line in the fight to reject racial hatred, and the subsequent damage it was causing to so many Afro American lives.

Never to be forgotten were the American students, two white and one black, who put caution aside to travel to Mississippi in 1964 to help in the voting process. All three were brutally murdered by those with hatred for anyone who threatened their twisted version of justice.

Although much of the world has changed in recent decades, hatred and greed continue to be major obstacles in many parts of the world, with hundreds of lives being lost every day. Freedom loving people continue to seek justice from dictatorial regimes, and other regions where violent military conflict has left thousands dead and many dying of starvation.

If it wasn't for dedicated journalists risking their lives, most of the horrific events that include mass murder and rape would be hidden from the eyes of the world. The United Nations seems almost powerless in trying to resolve these problems. The global economic crisis is not helping.

If there are lessons here for little Bermuda, it is that despite our problems we should be able to collectively shake off hang ups from our past in order to develop a more co-operative spirit. This can only be achieved through honest open approaches by all of our leaders.

Although the recent art show by Manuel Palacio, at the Bermuda Society of Arts touched a nerve with some in the political arena, it was mainly an artistic expression of Bermuda and the current state of politics. So much attention was given to mixed views about what the art represented, that his artistic skills were somewhat missed. The work was good. There would be less hatred in the world if people with differences understood each better. Art is an international language and maybe helpful in seeking solutions to problems that keep people apart.

The brotherhood table Dr. King envisioned maybe some distance away, but it is still worth aiming for.

US civil rights leader Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr appears in deep thought at a press conference in Atlanta, Georgia in this April 25, 1967 file photo, taken just days before his assasination in Memphis, Tennesee on May 4.

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Published August 10, 2011 at 10:00 am (Updated August 10, 2011 at 10:32 am)

We need an open, honest approach to our problems

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