Today’s Editorial May 23: When meetings turn ugly

It seems like the meeting concerning the proposed liquor store in Savannah last week was about everything but the liquor store.

It’s a shame that adults can’t get together and calmly and logically discuss a contentious issue.

In this case many residents in Savannah don’t want a liquor store in their district.

They held a meeting Thursday to talk about what to do now that permission has been given from Liquor Licensing Board Chairman Mitchell Welds for the store to be built and opened.

Also attending the meeting were more than a handful of people who support a liquor store in Savannah.

What that mix brought was a lot of name calling and blaming Cayman’s woes on foreigners.

As a well-known preacher in the Cayman Islands said from the pulpit Sunday, when we talk about diversity in the Cayman Islands, we talk about diversity.

It took a few moments for many of the congregants to grasp what he said; but when they did, most nodded in agreement.

An us versus them mentality seems to have taken hold in the Cayman Islands.

And it’s a real shame.

In the past many people were attracted to our country because of the people who live here.

In the past Cayman was a friendlier place to live, play and do business.

This trend of playing the blame game isn’t helping anyone in the Cayman Islands.

It’s creating a sense of unease and causing stress, both for Caymanians and for expatriates.

It doesn’t feel good.

Yes, the Cayman Islands has progressed at an accelerated rate.

We have more people, more vehicles and more nationalities on our shores than ever before.

Yes, we do need to address our concerns about diversity, but not at public meetings about specific issues.

Did anything good come out of the Savannah meeting? We don’t know, but from the rhetoric being spewed forth by some, we don’t think so.

In the words of the age-old question, why can’t we all just get along?

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