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Parading part of bigger problem of exclusion

Reading your editorial (Comment, August 28), I felt there is a context to the parading issue being ignored by most of us.

Parades are important because they give expression to, and are an affirmation of a sense of, identity, ethnicity and cultural heritage within the unionist community.

Nationalist are taught cultural heritage in their schools, through the Irish language and gaelic games. The unionist community, however, is generally not taught cultural heritage in their schools.

Public broadcasting gives good coverage of gaelic sports and daily Irish language programmes.

Education and broadcasting give very little affirmation of identity and ethnicity within the unionist community.

The parading issue is part of a bigger problem. To resolve parades, we have to think about them in this broader context.

We do need to consider how we give inclusion to our different identities in our public policies and the out-workings of those polices; in education, public broadcasting, the arts and culture, public parades and the implementation of the various human rights' treaties which we have ratified.

Parades are the immediate problem, but there is a bigger issue here of cultural and ethnic exclusion which is potentially fuelling the discontent over parades.

JOHN McINTYRE

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