By VIEW editor Brian Pelan
I, like many other people, have been depressed by recent developments in the United States following the election of Donald Trump as US President.
But the outrage and protests which followed his temporary ban on refugees and people from several, mainly Muslim countries, has given me renewed hope that equality and justice is not so easily set aside.
Closer to home we have witnessed the UK government saying it cannot accept any more child refugees, who are fleeing war in Syria and other countries, because, it says, it cannot cope with their needs.
The decision means that children will be left in refugee camps instead of being moved to safety in the UK.
This issue of VIEW, set against such worrying international developments, is concerned with the issue of
equality and how far has it progressed in Northern Ireland. We are delighted to have received the support of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland in the production of this issue – but, of course, the views expressed by the contributors are their own.
The magazine can never be an exhaustive examination of all equality issues. Rather, it is an attempted snapshot of where we are now and the considerable challenges that lie ahead as we wait to see how the ramifications of the Brexit vote are played out.
Two equality stories in this issue really caught my attention.
The story of the young Catholic mother who is waiting to be rehoused and the fact that Catholics still top the Northern Ireland Housing Executive waiting list, several decades after the launch of the Civil Rights movement, must be of huge concern to all those who believe in equality.
And Mark Langhammer’s article on the lack of education opportunities for working class communities, including Protestant working class boys, means that all those who support academic selection and grammar schools have to ask themselves why is it that so many children are left behind and facing an uncertain future of low-paid jobs and rapidly diminishing welfare support.
The existence of laws around equality is a welcome and necessary thing. It provides a vital avenue for people who feel they have been discriminated against because of their colour, creed or sexuality.
I want to pay a special mention to all those who were asked to contribute towards our equality issue.
I also hope that as you read through the magazine you are stimulated, provoked and challenged by the ideas and opinions on offer. And please feel free to share your thoughts with me.
• To see the online version of our equality issue of VIEW, go to http://eepurl.com/cDo47P