In his Remembrance Day speech, Mayor Jorritsma called for more nuance and dialogue in society. The Mayor did not yet want to call it the crumbling of society but warns of an increasing gap between different groups.
The Mayor cited recent events such as the attack in Christchurch, the increasing fear among Muslims, Jewish people who do not dare to walk around the street wearing a kippah, and the demonstration against Zwarte Piet in Eindhoven.
“Unfortunately, the theme of preserving and guarding freedom also has another dimension. A dimension of the quick judgement. The quick decision when you do not consider it necessary to delve into something. The quick judgement that works against any kind of nuance. You are for or against Zwarte Piet. You are for or against refugees. You are for or against Trump. You are for or against Muslims,” says Mayor Jorritsma.
He also mentioned the negative role of social media. Where only your own opinion seems to matter, and an emotion-filled tweet is thoughtlessly sent out into the world. “What has happened to clarifying questions? You are for Zwarte Piet? Fine. But why? What is bothering you about the refugees? Do you really have a lot of problems with Trump? Fine. But then explain.”
“On days like today, we remember that we have freed ourselves from a tyrant. But have we not renewed the tyrannical spirit of those times? By responding immediately, immediately reacting, without putting things into perspective. Now more than ever, communication is accompanied by responsibilities. Do not immediately condemn, but ask questions. Questioning yourself – that is how you build bridges.”
Mayor Jorritsma, therefore, hopes that the nearly 600 people present at De Oude Toren in Woensel will spread the message as ambassadors. The message of perspective, nuance, and understanding.
Translator: Dirk Berkers
Editor: Melinda Walraven