George Floyd

If ever there were an illustration of the link between politics and mortality statistics, George Floyd symbolises it.

The video of a Minneapolis policeman with his knee pressed down on George’s neck, in an act that would kill him, is now infamous. It has incited riots and protests all over the USA, in a country where decades after the civil rights protests of the 1960s, some things don’t seem to have changed.

I walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge a few years ago with a black American man who described his fear, every day, of being arrested just because he is black. He described how his mother’s depression was related to having teenage sons and how she taught her family to be polite to the point of obsequiousness, just so that they would survive. As an outsider, I thought he was talking about the past.

Of course with our race history, an Australian can’t preach about this.

“Mapping Police Violence’s data, which is gathered from public databases and law enforcement records, also shows that the number of police killings has trended slightly upward from 2013 to 2019 — in that span, the number of killings falls to a low of 1,050 in 2014, and has a high of 1,143 in 2018. For comparison, 373 people were killed in mass shootings in 2018 and about 1,010 Americans died of Covid-19 on May 30,” says Vox.

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Vox lays out a series of charts that reveal the figures behind the current anguish.

To see our reflection on Australia’s race record, go to:

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