One night last week, I was wandering through the Cathedral Quarter on my way back to my car after work and I spotted two posters on the wall.
One was having a dig at a political figure which doesn’t concern me, but the other was a bit more troubling.
The image is right. I’m not 100% sure what made me stop, walk back and look more closely, but I did and I have to say I’m more than a bit annoyed about it.
If you look you see a red/white and blue brain and then lots of ‘thoughts’ or ‘areas of the brain’ highlighted which I suppose are meant to represent what this brain is thinking.
And it made me wonder what the ‘creative’ behind the image is trying to say or imply.
Are they suggesting that all Prods/unionists/loyalists/Ulster-Scots think like this? Are they trying to suggest that the community I belong to are all hard-wired in this way?
Obviously this person is cleverer than me, because I looked at it and thought immediately that this is someone having a dig at me and my community — even though I don’t want to Kill All Taigs, Save Ulster from Sodomy or drink Buckfast... ( I know bleeding heart liberal).
I wonder does the brain behind it believe that they are creating some talking piece about the insidious nature of bigotry? Or are they trying to make some comment that I can’t see?
Over the years I’ve met many people from the same community background as myself for whom flags and the loyal orders are a key part of their cultural identity.
I meet many people with deeply held religious beliefs who want to share their belief in salvation with others across the world not just Belfast.
I know many people who see themselves as Ulster-Scots and I count them as friends and colleagues.
Some of these people may actually hold all these attributes at the same time.
I think that many of them would be deeply aggrieved at the simplistic portrayal of them in this poster.
What I also wonder is has the maker of this poster produced similar ones highlighting the stereotypes they associate with other political or religious beliefs prevalent in Ulster?
Have they produced one showing the mind of someone devoid of this political and cultural baggage?
Why did they produce it?
Was an attempt to highlight bigotry and intolerance?
If it was that last point the only bigotry and intolerance it has highlighted is that of the person who produced the image.
I wonder if this poster was mocking the Jewish community or the Islamic community would it still be in place in the Cathedral Quarter outside a hotel?
I very much doubt it.
• David Gilliland, Belfast
This is a post taken from Mr Gilliland’s Facebook with his permission