The Cold War at Home (6/4/09)
Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Ukraine as part of a kind of broadcast industry exchange program.
I'd already formed a lot of assumptions - many of them negative -- about life in that part of the world. But they were all based upon very limited contact between East and West during the Cold War. And I have to say - actually experiencing Ukrainian society first-hand was eye-opening.
While their broadcast industry isn't yet up to American standards, it is extremely accomplished.
Their performing arts were superb. Their rich architectural history is largely intact.
And the Ukrainian hospitality we encountered was warm and genuine.
My point is, while it isn't perfect, I discovered much to admire in a place I'd previously dismissed simply because I knew nothing about it. And it occurs to me that more of us could have that same experience here at home if we could just break down the same artificial barriers between "East End," West End" and "South End" and the prejudices that go with them.
Our neighborhoods aren't separated from each other by thousands of miles. But as far as many people are concerned, they might as well be.
Now that former enemies on the global scene are learning to be friends, it's long past time to tear down the "Iron Curtains" that still separate us from each other here at home.
Until we do, we won't know what we're missing.
I'm Bill Lamb and that's my...Point of View.