The Corona Crucible – Wed 17th June

World 8.2 million      USA    2.2 million      Brazil 920K+            

Yet another deadly shooting by police of a black man in the US at the weekend has sparked more anger and protests against racism. Atlanta man Rayshard Brooks had fallen asleep in his car in the drive-through of a Wendy’s restaurant and was blocking traffic. Why would you need to call the police for this in the first place? How about a tap on the window? Instead, Mr Brooks ended up dead after a scuffle with Atlanta Police who were called to move him on. The Wendy’s outlet has since been burned to the ground.

Apart from the issue of racism, the problem with the violence in the US is the gun culture. People live in fear. Police fear the public and the public fear the police and everyone is terrified that someone might open fire.

I’ve visited the US a couple of times. The last visit happened to coincide with the inauguration of Land Mop Turd. Don’t get me wrong, our trips were great and the people very welcoming, but there is something unnerving about the place. Everything looks more or less normal, but you know that underneath the surface gloss lies sadness, fear and pain.

We knew not to talk about politics, especially given that Mad Old PR Nut had just been elected President and we were in Florida. One lasting impression was a conversation I had in the swimming pool at the hotel. I got chatting to a friendly young man who was visiting from Ohio. We talked about the differences between the US and Australia. I said how scary it must feel with so many guns everywhere. He agreed with me and said you have to be careful in certain neighbourhoods and around some people. Nodding in the direction of a group of middle aged men who were pool side, he whispered, ‘Like those fellas over there, I reckon they’re packin’ for sure.’