Letters: 29th June 2014

Malta’s racism problem

It would seem that Maltese racism and xenophobia has no limit. Every day, any number of migrants of all nationalities face discrimination at the hands of a growing number of the population, from bus drivers to people who comment on social media with an unsettling degree of anger, aggression and hatred.

It would seem that recent efforts to integrate foreigners are somewhat one-sided. Teaching a migrant to speak Maltese and English will achieve little if the locals are not willing to break out of their racist mindset and treat that individual like a human being.

Perhaps something the authorities can consider is a nationwide campaign to fight discrimination. Enforce hate crime law strictly and purge inherently racist actions from the system itself (the conveyance of migrants to court via the front entrance, in handcuffs, comes to mind).

While every migrant’s story is different, they are all, like us, worthy of respect and dignity. The colour of one’s skin does not determine their worth. Along with making Maltese culture and society accessible to migrants, through integration, efforts should be made to make Maltese culture and society more welcoming to those who find themselves, legally or otherwise, surrounded by it.

Andrew Ciantar, Paola

Holding back progress

Whenever some new invention is proposed, there is a negative reaction from the invention it is going to compete with. We have seen this happening over and over again. What didn’t they say when they invented the mobile, the microwave, margarine, artificial sweeteners and so on?

I still remember when the biro was introduced, a rumour was spread that if you use a biro in the O and A level exams you fail. We are still witnessing a fight between different types of medicine - traditional and herbal.

At present there is also a war between genetically modified organisms (GMO) and organic farming. I am not going into this argument but I am going to suggest that when a new invention is proposed, an estimate is made of the reduced income of the competing industry.

The new invention would have to pay compensation to the outgoing company, until the outgoing company would have diversified into something new. The workers of the old company should be reemployed by the progressive company or paid by the progressive company until a new job is found for them.

In this way, progress would not be held back and the public would not be subjected to so many conflicting theories.

Josephine Gatt-Ciancio, Kalkara

Two opposing views

The ‘Mosta cat killer’ case had many people up in arms about what they perceived to be the brutal slaughter of domesticated animals. Once it emerged that the man behind the acts was mentally ill, the onslaught continued, with many on Facebook calling for a harsh punishment, despite his condition.
Firstly, it is pertinent to note that the police said that they did not believe that Grech killed the animals himself but rather found them on the street. Perhaps those irresponsible pet owners who leave their animals to die through disease or traffic accidents on the road are more to blame.
Second, it would seem that one man with a mental illness is worthy of more bile and cruel words than the hundreds of supposedly sane individuals who carry guns about the countryside and strip our skies of anything with wings.
I believe this speaks volumes, both about the country’s attitude towards mental illness and about its extraordinary ability to comfortably hold two incongruous views on animal welfare.

Anna Mifsud, Birgu