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Chris Trotter looks at the importance of the social disorder engulfing the United States from a New Zealand perspective

Chris Trotter looks at the importance of the social disorder engulfing the United States from a New Zealand perspective

By Chris Trotter*

Over Queen's Birthday, a Northern-Ireland-born friend of mine e-mailed me his take on the social disorder engulfing the United States. The real problems begin, he wrote, not with the eruptions of anger from long-down-trodden communities. It is when the dominant groups retaliate in kind that the strife becomes intractable. “It was the Orangemen who made the troubles happen in earnest by burning people’s houses down.” In his judgement, the period of maximum danger will be the next few days and weeks while the American Far-Right debates whether the collective efforts of local police officers and National Guardsmen have inflicted sufficient punishment upon the protesters/rioters. If they decide more extreme measures are required, then the United States really will be in trouble.

And it matters. What happened to George Floyd appalled the world. But it was the explosive reaction to his death, beneath the knee of a disturbingly unperturbed Minneapolis cop, that caused the rest of the world to furrow its brow. As if 100,000+ Covid-19 fatalities and 42 million applications for unemployment relief weren’t enough to worry about, civil disorder on a scale not seen since the late-1960s was exposing astonishing levels of social and political division.

New Zealand, a tiny nation at the bottom of the world, has long assumed that if push came to shove (as it did in 1942) Uncle Sam would always have its back. Culturally and ideologically, Kiwis have automatically included themselves, along with Americans, in the same global English-speaking family. Yes, the United States has its fair share of vices, but, historically, US virtues have consistently outweighed them.

In his first inaugural address (1861) President Abraham Lincoln made reference to America’s “better angels”; and ever since, no matter how dark the skies, the light of those angels has never failed to illuminate American virtue’s forward path. It was Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who in 1957 federalised the Arkansas National Guard to enforce the landmark desegregation decision of the US Supreme Court. Eight years later, President Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat, responded to vicious white supremacist violence in Selma, Alabama, by reassuring millions of African-Americans that in passing the Voting Rights Bill “we shall overcome”.

Until Vietnam.

If there was one terrible event which has darkened the path of US politics – perhaps irredeemably – it is the Vietnam War. It was in the same year that he drove the Voting Rights Bill through Congress, 1965, that Johnson ordered American conscripts to South Vietnam. It was a decision that would unleash forces that, even after 55 years, continue to deform American society. Though the war in Indo-China ended in 1975, the “culture wars” it inspired continue to rage.

Vietnam divided not only American society, it also opened a seemingly permanent gulf between the parties of the left and the right in New Zealand. Without Vietnam there would have been no early recognition of China; no frigate to protest French nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll; no nuclear-free New Zealand; no refusal to join Uncle Sam and his Aussie mates in the invasion of Iraq. The long shadow of that tragic war has played a critical role in the development of NZ-US relations.

Those unconvinced by this argument will object that none of these events would be up for discussion without Donald Trump. It is Trump, they say: that Black Swan of American politics; that has deranged the US system so profoundly. But even Black Swans come from somewhere. Trump is merely the latest chapter (perhaps the final chapter) of a political narrative which began with Johnson’s embrace of the African-American cause.

Johnson knew it would cost the Democratic Party the American South. So did Richard Nixon. The Republican Party’s “Southern Strategy” fundamentally rearranged the tectonic plates upon which US politics had rested for 100 years. After 1968, nothing would ever be the same. Over the course of the next fifty years the values of the slave-owning Confederacy defeated in the American Civil War would conquer enough of the United States’ electorate to give Donald Trump his extraordinary Electoral College victory.

To understand the huge impact of the party of Abraham Lincoln embracing the unreconstructed white supremacism of the old Confederacy, try imagining that instead of narrowly losing the 2005 general election, Don Brash had narrowly won it. The National Party would have found itself electorally trapped in the raw ideology of John Ansell’s “Iwi/Kiwi” billboards. Increasingly resistant to the appeals of “progressive” politicians, Pakeha voters would have dragged all of the main parties further and further to the right. New Zealand politics would have been realigned fundamentally. The view from our “Overton’s Window” would have become increasingly reminiscent of Alabama.

The strength of the political realignment unleashed by the Republicans’ turn to white supremacy and the Christian Right is demonstrated by the fact that neither the election of Bill Clinton nor Barack Obama could weaken it for more than a single congressional term. Since 1968 (the last time cities across America burned) there have been no more Dwight Eisenhowers, no more Lyndon Johnsons. America’s “better angels” have been missing in action.

It is with undeniable trepidation, therefore, that the English-speaking family, their European friends, and the government of the USA’s principal twenty-first century rival, the Peoples Republic of China, await the outcome of the next few days, and weeks.

There are very few good outcomes upon which those who still believe in “the indispensable nation” can rely. If Trump declines to take the lead in punishing and repressing the African-American-led protests against racist law enforcement, then the same sort of illegal interventions that gave birth to the Northern Ireland “troubles” should be anticipated. The Internet is awash with references to “Boogaloo” – the outbreak of a no-holds-barred race war across the United States. Given George Floyd’s fate, the general willingness of US law enforcement to protect African-Americans from the “Boogaloo Boys” is, to say the least, questionable.

If, however, Trump and his dutiful Attorney-General, William Barr, should follow-through on their threats to designate the anarchists of the “Antifa” (anti-fascist) movement, or, God forbid, the activists of “Black Lives Matter”, as terrorists, then the chances of the past weekend’s water-bottles and firecrackers being replaced by bullets and IEDs are distressingly high. The slow spiral into the action-reaction sequence that gave rise to internment without trial, troops firing on protesters, political jails, and quasi-official police death-squads in Northern Ireland will likely unfold much faster under Trump than it did under Harold Wilson, James Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher.

If history is any guide, however, five nights of watching America burn is highly unlikely to rebound to the electoral advantage of the Democratic Party. It sure as hell didn’t in 1968!

Our political leaders need to be aware that a New Zealand determined to preserve its strategic relationship with a United States driven not by its better angels, but by its worst demons, will find itself altered by the experience. Any government opting to dine with such a devilish administration will require a spoon at least as long as the distance between Washington and Wellington.

*Chris Trotter has been writing and commenting professionally about New Zealand politics for more than 30 years. His work may be found at He writes a fortnightly column for

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this is America.

founded on
hate but love,
separation but union,
kill but care,
robbing but sharing,
lie but truth,
fear but comfort,
individual but as one,
bad but good.


once were beacon.


Just imagine how bad it must be in China then!

even in your imaginary and parallel universe, China is still cool as.

Hey xingmowang is picking up kiwisms! Well on his way to becoming a Chiwi, well done! Do you use "sweet as" in regular parlance?

You should have put a "bro" on the end of your sentence, it would have sealed the deal :-)

Cool as for a few anyway

Should that be Chinkwi.
I not from mainland, mind u weven HK is now part of mainland!!

Free tank man now.


If this is a mainstream view and not bias, then what of the evil, far right, Christians.. clearly blame them, maybe hang them too?

Let's get one thing straight. These riots have nothing to do with the far right or some imaginery racism. These rioters are criminals and anarchist's, encouraged by partisan media and politics, mostly lefties.

Sure, life is not fair for some, the system is rigged, but it's failing by itself. Ultimately thought, we are fools. In 5000 years we are far more comfortable and free than ever before, we don't have all the answers and maybe never, as our human nature clearly shows..

Caleb - that doesn't make sense. Yes, the system is failing by itself (in a manner Trotter doesn't grasp, like most).

But we aren't a story of 5000 years of progress; all Empires of the past, died. Every one. And we are watching the Empire du jour, doing so too. The question is whether globalism is actually the Empire, rather than the US, and that the death of globalism (likely to be an accelerating train-wreck) will signal it's collapse. What we are seeing is the bottom-end complaining, angry and frustrated. The middle class are next.

pdk - train wreck is right -- 45 million new unemployed in 10 weeks -- many middle class with no savings to speak off -- and probably 200000 deaths if they were to count all the cadriac arrests at home - - never tested perfect breedign ground - and nothing really to stop it in the near future


Caleb, Christianity and any other religion is just a form of politics, and Christians are just as corrupt as politicians. Yes they can rationalise their position extremely well, and while that makes it harder to nail them down, it does not make them less corrupt. So the system is rigged by humanity's corruption. it is not and cannot fail by itself. It is failing because of the built in corruption to favour one or the other groups. Eisenhower himself warned of the endemic corruption in the US - the Military-Industrial Complex, of which Johnson and many Presidents since were nothing more than patsies for.

I have other concerns. None of us had a choice as to who we were born, the colour of our skin, or the culture into which we were born. So to somehow feel we are superior, because of our appearance or culture is supreme arrogance. What counts is how we treat others, and we (everyone) have a history of treating other groups badly in the perpetual fight for supremacy. The goal of our existence should be to live in harmony with everyone and the environment. But to achieve this we must recognise the failings of the past, work to lift those who are missing out, and ensure our presence in the environment does not condemn our grandchildren. Greed and lust for power should be as intolerable as fraud and rape.

Deep within every human heart is a driving desire for justice. That things should be 'fair'.

Christ had an answer as to why this state of affairs should be so because he spoke about the human heart. In this he separated himself from politics, which does not acknowledge problems of the heart. Politic's interest lies in money and power.

Religion and politics are seperated.... Not at all. The church is all about money and power, meanwhile people starve to death in 3rd world countries and war rage, while religion either sits back and watches or adds fuel to the fire.

Anybody who thinks Christ was about money and power knows nothing about Christ.

'Christ' and what we call religion at present are not even close.
What we have now is a money and power hungry groups that claim to be acting in good faith in accordance to religious values but the truth is very far from that.

That's why I said Christ and not religion. One has a very specific meaning, whereas the other is a windy debate going nowhere.

Not all churches are money and power hungry, that is a comical characterisation that belies every city mission in this country. And hypocrisy is everywhere and not confined to any one group. So if you mean to take aim at it you will need an extremely wide aim.

Agree. Pity, how like many things, the original message and value of a philosophy / religion / movement / gets abused and distorted over time....

All messages can be subject to that process, but certainly in this case the original remains.

In the modern world we only have one, they are the same. One persons actions taints the whole bunch. There have been too many actions by too many to turn a blind eye.

"they are the same" - That is simply a lie and a lazy one at that.

Listen to this dictionary definition of racism and consider what it means to assign attributes to individuals solely on the basis of group membership. When you do it with race we call that racism. When you do it with other things at the very least it is bigotry.

"The belief that all members of each race (group) possesses characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race (group), especially to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another races or races."

(the brackets are added by me)

And the Christians readily ignore many of the lessons from their own book, as do the Muslims.

An example; the lesson in John 7.53 - 8.11 the stoning of the prostitute. I have found Christians to be highly, even extremely judgemental, and so often superior, which above all ignores this very message.


If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

I don't believe in love.

I don't believe in hate.

Nice to see stereotyping and demonisation based on religion making a comeback. Other than casual objectifications, what do you bring to the table that can alleviate the suffering of your fellow human?

It is neither but the sum of collective actions and behaviour of a political group. And that is all they are, just like politicians. Yes there are genuine and good ones amongst them. But the net effect of the groups is significantly negative as they distort their take on any message to their own benefit and then apply it to others. Just an observation of behaviour.

Take a case in point within Christianity, Christians hold on to the point that Christ said "only through me to the father" or words to that effect. Not to long ago, i was literally told by a Christian that this means that if I do not accept Christ as the son of God then I cannot get into heaven. I then manage to offend that person mightily by suggesting that was a classical human trait to seize and hold power as a gate keeper. But then I also asked that as the bible teaches us that God made all of us, then surely we could not claim precedence by an accident of birth that saw us born into a Christian progressive culture. That surely all the Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and what ever other religious adherents would not be denied entry into heaven simply because they had no chance to hear of Christ, or their political system denied them the opportunity? That person hasn't spoken to me since, which is probably a blessing as I can't offend them anymore!

“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains ... an un-uprooted small corner of evil.
Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Politics is interested in money and power. Some sides of politics think that's the meaning of life (Marxism for example).

Religion is concerned with the struggle of humanity and the existence of evil in the human heart.

Thanks for that Ralph. I've read Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago. But the sum of your post essentially wraps up my religion/philosophy. I don't buy into conventional religion as I see them as about power, control and manipulation. In other words a great 'lie'. But like all lies, they are built around a truth. And the truth is God's intention for us to be a reflection of himself. Thus the tree of knowledge is not a ban of sin, but a metaphor for our journey. As represented by the tree all knowledge is connected. The birds and snakes are metaphors for the responsibilities and consequences that come with knowledge. We do not need to seek the devil, we will find it in ourselves if we let power, and greed corrupt ourselves. We are not born into sin, but as we do not know all, or see all, we have the potential for sin by misusing our knowledge or acting without it. Every step is a learning one. At the heart is how we treat the people we share this planet with.

So.. the answer to my question is ... nothing much

Show some imagination - I will not add to their suffering. I have neither the power nor influence to have much impact. But at least i don't claim something that is not true. Have faith, god will see you right. Yeah right, God has a plan for you. Maybe, but you might not like that plan!

And yet there is nothing wrong with aspiration.

The All Blacks use it and it does not diminish them at all.

Agree. I've also known Christians who are incredible human beings and really faithfully represent His teachings.
There are certainly many Christians who do the religion a great disservice. But then again, humans are imperfect right?
It's a weird one, the un-Christian behaviour of so many Christians...

Sure. Sadly that accusation can be levelled at every human being, not the least ourselves, if you are honest enough to look in mirrors. Not a popular option in our day and age I admit.

A list of professions whose members committed sexual harassment in 2019 (in NZ) includes; police, sports coaches, political party members, teachers, lawyers and, low and behold - government.

Not to mention we tolerate and even celebrate the likes of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.

That said, the way the Catholic Church protected Bernard Law was abominable.

Gosh Murry! "Greed and lust for power should be as intolerable as fraud & rape."
But where will we get our next generation of politicians then?

Oh ye of little faith!

Democracy is about holding politicians to account. I fully support a rigorous democracy! We have a long way to go.

Do one to others as they would do one to you.

Do unto others as you would have done unto you, is the wording, and could be a mantra for the libertarian left

Anarchists? You mean like Rodney Hide, self proclaimed anarchist. I say that as I doubt very much you understand much about this stuff.
Far right Christians, ha ha ha, Jesus was a leftie, ha ha ha


These riots are in cities with left wing mayors and councils. They created Trumps ' sh*t holes' ,that trapped the poor.


That's rubbish.
The problems in many of these cities are far deeper than the political stripes of the councils and mayors leading them.
It's big structural stuff.

No doubt, but it's not being helped by corrupt leadership.


True, Trump isn't helping.

1991 Rodney King was a foretaste of the potential. But since then the powder keg has been growing, and growing and growing. As an aside one assumes that Mr Totter’s reference to the past destructive antics of the Orangemen in Northern Ireland, is not a freudian slip, borne out of some contributors here liking to label the current POTUS as the Orangeman.

Democrat police chief, Democrat Mayor, Democrat County, Democrat City, Democrat Governor in a Democrat State. Yes it is structural but the structure is fairly clear.

No one is arguing against the terrible killing death, or the protesters making that point. Everyone is on the same side.

The looters, that's different.

Looters? Thats the least of concerns.

Its a coordinated attack on America, from within America, by Americans.

Theyre white, have no interest in looting and probably think George Floyd is a boxer.

George Floyd is (was) a Violent drug user. He has previous convictions for breaking into a home and beating a woman at gun point. If you haven't seen the arrest video you can watch George pull little bags of white powder from his pocket and discard them while being detained against a wall. These riots have nothing to do with protesting, and the media is doing nothing but adding fuel to the fire with click bait headings.

He is but a part player in a typically american melodrama. It is the symbolism that is important, who he was is largely irrelevant.

Hardly. Other races are killed by police (rightly or wrongly) every year in the states and no one robs the local liquor or electronic store in "protest".


It is not , in the mobs' mind, the robbing ( or cheque fraud) that Floyd was killed for. His crime, alleged or real, is not relevant; it's the unproven construct that he was suffocated because he was black. And here in tiny NZ where nothing happens, and while multiple fatal outrages were being concurrently perpetrated by regimes across the globe, the astonishing power of pervasive US media to influence thinking is displayed when crowds take to the streets to protest events, the context of which they only dimly perceive.


Rational discussion on this subject is not allowed anymore middleman. I've been given the silent treatment from people in my own family for suggesting that most suspects that have been killed by the police have, to some degree, been "authors of their own misfortune".

Zach. I sense a change though. Time was when the NZ police shot some whacko a media frenzy immediately began. These days a more restrained report is the norm, forensically setting out the circumstances and including the obligatory senior police ' sympathy for the victims family' statement. An ageing population brings with it a shift to more conservative attitudes to law and order and the 20% of NZs population not born here would be deeply puzzled at the identity politics justifications for outrageous crimes that used to be commonly proffered. These days 'racial discounting' is mostly the preserve of judge sentencing.

Perhaps they were after rational debate. If I was after rational discussion I'd be hoping for better than "they were all asking for it".

That they were all asking for it seems as likely as that they were all solely victims of racist lynching.

It's rational to assert that criminals commonly contribute to the chain of events that culminate in their demise. ZS did qualify his comments with 'to some degree' which is not the same as the 'they were all asking for it' absolute you portray. His objection is, if I understood it correctly, that discussion about attribution of personal responsibility is widely stifled.

His objection is, if I understood it correctly, that discussion about attribution of personal responsibility is widely stifled.

Whereas, outside of such broad generalisations too far to either direction I would contend there is plenty of better analysis and discussion going on out there.

Almost every single one of these casualties are the result of resisting arrest. Never resist arrest, never speak to the cops unless there is a lawyer present.
There are cases of people getting shot because the cops are too nervous and think a gun is about to be drawn. The current case is not one of those.

Almost every single one of these casualties are the result of resisting arrest.

Supporting an overly broad and unproven statement with another of the same.

Its almost a social media thing. These type of folk haven't had any medium for indignant righteousness since the virus swept it all away. I can appreciate their frustration, but violence is not the answer.

Interesting and credible theory. I feel suffocated enough by Ardern's cloying patronisation that I would like to go out and smash a few windows.

And nobody cares for brown people in Yemen...

The war is not telegenic enough. You need the Israelis or the great satan America as protagonists to make it newsworthy. The French maybe, as they fit the colonial oppressor profile and are just you know, quite arrogant although Macron dresses well and looks good on the telly.

The statistics clearly show that US police kill nearly twice as many white people as they do black people every year. Tell me, where is all this systemic racism everyone can so clearly see?

Have you looked at your link? Shot to death by police in 2017 white 457, black 223 (that's actually more than twice as many white), 2018 white 399, black 209 (again pretty close to 2:1 I would have said? I don't know what your reading but you link just proved my point?

Do you think you need to adjust the absolute numbers to reflect the proportional population balance? If you do bother to do this you, will find that blacks make up 12% of the population and non-Hispanic whites 60.5%. So in 2019, 370 whites v 235 blacks mean you were 3.2 x more likely to be killed if you were black.

You mean like this:

Police killing blacks at over three times the rate at which they kill whites?

Moreover there's also plenty of research out there on systemic racism and its effects. But if you haven't been able to find it already perhaps your question of "tell me?" is not 100% motivated by genuine interest?

A bit too simple minded to attribute these outcomes purely to race.

Sure, but it specifically counters user123's simple minded implication that any disparity in the number of whites killed vs. blacks killed seems to favour blacks. Besides which, there is plenty of wider and deeper analysis available on the symptoms of racism in policy and policing in the USA, so statistics are only considered in isolation if you choose to ignore such available information.

Middleman. He is a product of his environment.

Nonetheless Floyd was entitled to a trial. Unless the US is finally dispensing with any illusion of following the tenets of the Magna Carta and going straight to methods out of Judge Dredd. Derek Chauvin appears to have his own list of unsavoury behavior in the line of duty.

And that gives the arresting cops enough reason to kill him on the spot ?
And the other question is, would they have killed a white offender in similar circumstances in the same way Floyd was killed ?

My guess - yes but nowhere near as likely. And don't forget there are many black policemen in the USA.

Fast forward to a summary execution, performed by a man who was at one stage told to stop by one of the other police as he could not get a pulse, but continued to kneel on his neck.
Yes, he had a rap sheet but nothing for at least 13 years which suggests he either had or was turning his life around.
None of that gave that cop the right to a summary execution, as you seem to intimate. It is still murder, that you must have seen for yourself, yet still you turn to this.
It's murder, it is not the only time it has happened, I strongly suggest if aren't aware of the case of Breonna Taylor that you do.
What has happened is because Floyd is the straw that broke the camel's back, that some people, which very, very likely include agent provocateurs, took the opportunity to riot is quite by the by, those people will always be in the wings.

Jeez Andrew, your mask really is slipping these days isn't it?

I noticed the corruption when I was in DC, robbing off their own people. It's endemic, what people need are decent jobs, I don't see that happening in the short or long term.

Chicago has history.

And those are only the ones who got caught!

those left leaning cities up taxes so business and jobs move, then cities earn less so up taxes, more jobs leave.

This seems so disconnected from reality, American history and analysis of any depth. How does one become so completely polarised?

Look no further than many of the comments on these pages and make the tribal affiliations inter-generational. You don’t have to go too far into history to find examples like the cited Orangemen which goes centuries back to the emergence of the Huguenots in France who challenged the Catholic order.

Case in point? I recall you discussing carefully protecting your sons' reading habits with sound recommendations to avoid them being indoctrinated with nasty leftist viewpoints. I reckon we benefit from consuming viewpoints from different perspectives. A wee bit of Peter Hitchens balanced with a wee bit of Christopher Hitchens, and so on. Townhall vs. Jacobin etc.

However, jibes aside, yes, social media and online echo chambers certainly seem to be exacerbating tribalisation. And conspiracy theories, where previously conspirators toiled alone now they can find ready reinforcement for 5G, anti-vaxxing etc.

On the topic in hand, seems to me there's no easy answer of laying all of the USA's problems at the feet of socialism any more than there was of communism in McCarthy's days. One would need to ignore so much of the present and history to do so.

There is a decided difference between peaceful protest, and wanton lawless acts of violence and destruction. One is acceptable, one is not.

Condoning, or worse, actively supporting senseless destruction is abhorrent.

I absolutely condone the acts of property violence, particularly the looting of large corporate department stores. Physical violence against individuals, absolutely not, but property violence - go for it, particularly if it's targeted.

The system is broken, completely acting in favour of the rich owners of these mega department stores etc. You only need to look at the stock market to see this. The stats in the US show the endemic racism against black people right throughout society. This is then backed up by a racist police and justice system acting for those rich people that control wealth distribution and hence the systems within society.

If society purposefully disenfranchises/degrades/destroys a section of it, simply due to the colour of their skin, it needs to be torn down. If politicians don't want to understand or are incapable of doing so, push them out by force.

Do you have a criteria for how large a corporation must be before attacks are justified?
also, what will these attacks achieve? this is purely shooting one in their foot. There is this video from the US civil right movement of 60s when a black gentleman is walking in a street surrounded by racist white men who are attacking him and barking at him like rabid dogs. His civility in face of such brutality and savagery is printed in my brain and anytime I hear something racial (in the tune that they behave like that as they are no better etc) that image comes to my mind.

What will these attacks achieve? Maybe what everyone involved in revolutionary struggle hopes to achieve? Here's hoping for:

A tear down of the system that enriches those at the top while destroying the lives of others based on social status/skin colour etc.
The removal from office, forcibly or otherwise, of politicians who use the office to enrich themselves or their cohorts while creating divisions and stupendously bad policy.
Prosecution of those officials.

With as little life loss as possible to achieve those aims. Subsequently building a system similar to the last, but not having massive inequality in wealth and race. One that gives future generations of all people hope that their future (be it financially/environmentally/whatever) won't be destroyed by greed and corruption.

How about that for starters? But let's be clear here, if you cannot see that there is anything wrong with the systems as they were before/are now, you are part of the problem and are unlikely to be able to comprehend the anger these people feel, so are likely to be perplexed at their actions. That doesn't make you right though, it just means you have a different perspective, probably one that benefits from existing systems.

I wish I didn't, but I agree with you blobbles. Maori and Pacifica men make up almost 70% of NZ's male prison population and 80% of NZ's female prison population - way, way worse than black incarceration the US. At least in the US you see your enemy.

And I would stand with them as a white male who benefits from the privilege. It's a disgusting state, even in this country, a racist bunch of systems seemingly designed to punish non whites. Makes me sick every time I hear it being reinforced.

And I aren't one of these "woke" douche-bags. I have just lived overseas in lots of other places where you see systems run very differently which only leads you to an inescapable conclusion - systems are designed by overlords who decided what was right. Different systems can absolutely work, it just requires flexible thinking and inclusiveness when it comes to designing those systems. Inclusion then brings strong diversity, buy in from all and benefits shared equitably until general equality is achieved. This also means system reform must be constant, incremental and inclusive, else you get division and disaster. It must also be run by those that have one goal in their hearts, not one of the retention of power, but one where the central goal is creating systems where all people can flourish not matter their beliefs/colour/gender etc.

Wait, maybe I am a woke douche-bag and don't know it :-S

Ka pai Blobbles. I'm not woke either, hate them, I don't even think Trump is as bad as the media portrays. We will start making progress when "diversity" means Maori and Pacifica and not white women.

Mmm, it does seem to me that revolution is vogue again. You say some very touching and romantic statements that are so beautiful as a vague principal or concept yet devilishly difficult to implement. Just one example: you say those who are powerful in the "system" (as any system will eventually give unequal power to some) must only work for the benefit of others and not to retain power at all cost. Beautiful. But what if they believe, wholeheartedly, that they must retain power for the benefit of the system as other competitors (here is yet another ugly truth, we will need to compete, and in competition equality becomes meaningless) are corrupt, less capable, weak, unfit etc. Many dictators (who incidentally were the outcome of revolutions) might have been like this. Castro in Cuba, Mao in China, Khomeini in Iran, Lenin in Russia, Hitler in Germany etc. Many dictators who got power by force , Pinochet in Chili, Saddam in Iraq, Assad in Syria, Franco in Spain etc might have honestly thought that they are there to benefit and flourish their people.
Also inclusiveness is much harder than you think when people have different value systems. Someone may consider something their right that you consider utterly abhorrent. For example, people who have values that are more tribal than urban may say lives of children belong to their father. So a father killing their children is not punishable act in any form or shape. In certain circumstances this may even be encouraged (e.g. when the child's behavior brings shame to the family: adulteress girls, gay men etc.). I knowingly use extreme examples to demonstrate the extent of the challenge that is in your way of inclusiveness: including those who look like you, think like you, act like you, believe like you etc is not being inclusive and what are you going to do with those who stand squarely opposite to you?

Yep you are a woke virtue signallar
We live in an apartheid where Maori are favoured. Not based on need but race. Trying for equal outcomes but failing to recognise the better approach is allowing people to stand toe to toe with follow citizens, compete on ability and to take responsibility for failure as they do for success!

And you can't seem to see that this system of law/economics/ownership/society which you seem to admire, was pushed on them from white people a long time ago. It's not their way, so it makes integration particularly difficult. Just look at prison - the idea that you deprive someone of freedom as punishment is very much a westernised moral imperative which puts personal freedom as the highest right... take it away and you do the maximum amount of punishment you can to humanely to a person as punishment for breaking societies laws. However for Maori, is it the same? Nobody cared to stop and ask them, we just pushed our legal system on them and expected them to comply.

The whole idea of ownership is likely what led to the land wars that happened circa 1845. Maori have an entirely different idea of what ownership means, which is more rooted in the idea of guardianship with varying rights depending on the situation (e.g. this tribe still has the right to farm the land you have settled on and water rights over the rivers that run through it). However Western ideals of land rights were absolute - nobody can access "my" land. Most of us Pakeha still don't recognise it to this day, we are so stuck in our own little world of what particular terms mean.

Then we didn't even honour the treaty we signed for god knows how many years, creating a two class society. Thankfully that started to change in the 90's or we would have/could have had a full blown civil war.

Your extreme competitiveness ideal that you seem to have is itself a Westernised ideal rooted in our economic system. Unfortunately I don't think it sounds like you have the self awareness or the complexity of thought to recognise any of this, instead hiding behind pejorative terms invented as a way to marginalise those with compassion.

You are probably wasting your digital breath. The people who most need to walk a mile in another's shoes, are quite likely the people least likely to try to do so

I think you are largely correct in your summary Blob, but I would change one word - "Maori have an entirely different idea of what ownership means" Change the 'have to 'had'. With at least 6 generations removed from the original Maori lifestyle without European involvement, the majority of Maori are fully wrapped in the modern, European 'ownership' model. Much of their treaty claim rhetoric make this very clear. Having said that though, do not for a moment think that because they had a different concept and model of 'ownership', that there was not intense competition for resources. Maori had their tribal wars over land and resources going on for centuries before the European arrival, proven very strongly by their tikanga and toa skills and practices. What has changed in this? With the European model of ownership and legal structure, who has 'control' over a particular resource is clearer and not dependent on martial might.

Well Te Kooti. Tell us what Maori are going to do about Maori crime.
Hint. In the USA if you stick a camera in the face of a prison inmate they are likely to say "I made bad decisions"
Here in NZ, strangely, we tell them it ain't their fault.

The prison stats are a stain on NZ and I'm not avoiding responsibility for it. What I will say is that the vast majority of those in prison had numerous toxic factors in their lives from an early age and never really stood a chance in getting into the education system, nor had any role models to relate to. It's totally broken for many of these young men and women. I'm not blaming you.

So what to do about it? That's the question. How do we get Maori and Pacifica people to have better lives i.e. better eduction, better health outcomes, less incarceration?

In a nutshell, education and opportunity. How many Maori and Pacifica are on NZX Boards, Crown Boards, Councils?? There are talented Maori & Pacifica but they are locked out. I know several with phd's who just can't break through. Why shouldn't there be quota's for us like there is for white women?

I am just putting a toe in here because I am aware racism is a real thing, but, we do have to maintain competence as the criteria for employment.

Because the opposite of competence is incompetence. Which you can ignore until you need a root canal.

I tend to agree Ralph, that's a dead-end. But, there doesn't have to be a drop in competence? There are academically talented Maori/PI who never get a look in because they didn't go to the right school, holidays, yacht club, golf club etc etc. Also, it's not as if there hasn't been a rich vein of incompetent white leaders and you don't see too many brown faces had up on white collar crimes. A 10% quota on NZX and Crown Boards would unlikely see a drop in competence and send a message to Maori and PI that they can make it if they work hard.

There's not quota for white women, just women.

If we're going to have quotas, how finely do you break it down? Asian men?, Indian women? People in wheelchairs? Where does it end?

The people with PHDs, they can't break through where or what?

And of course there are many white people with PHDs who are not in high paying positions.

I'm being slightly disingenuous. There are quotas are for women and by default that generally seems to be white women (whom I have nothing against). The point is, why do we have quotas for women when their socioeconomic and health outcomes are already so much better than Maori and Pacifica?

Te you're missing the point. This whole discussion has been about the high end of educated individuals. The issue is low end employment. NZs prison stats became much worse after the 70s. Before that it was possible for any child to quit school at 15 (the legal age) without any qualifications, go down the road and get a job at local meat works, timber mill, harbour what ever and get paid a decent wage, and overtime for hours worked over 8 in any day and 40 in a week. Only a small minority went to Uni, everyone else was blue collar. That's how we fix it. Create the jobs and opportunities for a decent income.

Are those jobs ever coming back though? Also, why should Maori and PI not be represented all through society, not just the blue collar. My contention is that they have the potential.

I agree that they have the potential. Everyone does. In those days, it was often a class aspect that sent people to Uni, but NZs egalitarian society meant that many "working class" aspired to be able to afford to send one of their children to Uni (so much for it being free!), my family was one, although it was not me. But this needs to be bottom up not top down. Create the opportunity at the bottom, get people to realise what they can achieve and then many more will aspire to better things, and eventually it will become generational. An awful lot of this picture is also about the quality of parenting, which all too often at the lower end is appallingly bad. But by creating jobs and a decent income people have a way out. Domestic violence existed back then, but it was never as bad as it is today. Having a job, good income (and hence reasonable lifestyle), social circle and activity stemming from the first two, and a lot of the stresses and anxieties that result in domestic violence go away.

Doing it top down will look too much like racism or the minority strategies which are used in the US. These cause people to doubt the 'capability' aspect, arguing that a person got to/through Uni and the qualifications because they were Maori not because they did the work or had the capability. The minority bill in the US often cripples minorities in finding good work, not helping. If I were Maori I would be arguing for a strategy to lift (not through Social Welfare) the majority irrespective of race (and I am arguing for that anyway because everyone benefits), knowing that as it already does, the leaders will naturally emerge on their talents, not because of their ethnicity.

I tend to agree.
History has shown there can very much be a place for violent revolution, when the system doesn't change (or those running it don't want it to change). Democracy is pretty much broken.

Democracy is very far from broken. It's purpose is the orderly transition of power between successive Gubmints, and the presence of Elections shows it's still fulfilling that. It's when elections are suspended, banned, discarded in favour of the latest Dynastic member, or notional that it can be said to be 'broken'......

At a philosophical level, I agree.
But at a day to day level?
What we have seen in the UK and the USA over the last couple of years suggests some real issues.
Most major parties in western democracies seem beholden to huge vested interests.

Perhaps now that most societies are facing very deep hardship we will see a resurgence in the principles of democracy, where it is about 'the people' not the huge vested interests.


National, it seems at least, still don't get this.

American democracy is pretty broken, I'd say. Using the adage "where there's smoke, there's fire" (no joke intended) definitely applies to the society of the USA. When it's still beholden to a duopoly of two parties with lobby groups and super-PACs so entrenched in both of them, rather than actually seeking genuine change.....people can gripe about NZ politics but it's positively golden compared to what the USA has.

In the US, three times as many White people are killed by Black people than Blacks killed by White people. In this case, Blacks include Hispanics. It shouldn't be the Blacks who are looting; by the numbers it should be the Whites who are losing their sh*t right now.

Indeed, nothing can condone violent protest. That would be like naming your political movement after the Boston Tea Party or revolting against exploitative overlords, that kind of absolute absurdity.

""DescriptionThe 1967 Milwaukee riot was one of 159 race riots that swept cities in the United States during the 'Long Hot Summer of 1967'. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin"" Deaths: 4 Arrested: 1,740 Injuries: 100
I had a working holiday there three years later; a pleasant place to live but with poor black suburbs which reportedly still exist.


I've got the t-shirt (even though I was only 10 at the start of the long hot summer and living in Chicago).

In 1952, shortly after my elder sister was born in San Antonio Texas, my Mom gave her seat at the front of a standing-room only bus to a heavily pregnant black woman. Mom was the charge nurse for the emergency room in the county hospital there. Dad was serving in the Air Force (a cryptographer during the Korean War). Mom hated Texas (stinking hot) but more so as she grew up in Canada and there was no segregation.

The bus driver pulled the bus to the side of the road and told the pregnant woman to get to the back of the bus. My Mom told her to stay where she was and told the bus driver it was her seat to do with what she wanted - and if the driver didn't get back at the wheel, she'd be late for her shift and the superintendent of the hospital would come down on his company like a ton of bricks.

The pregnant lady stayed where she was and the bus driver drove on.

The bus company contacted the hospital administration. They wanted my Mom fired - they resisted. The bus company then rang Dad's superiors on the base. They wanted Dad transferred (so that his wife would have to go with him). The AF didn't want to lose their best cryptographer (apparently many went a bit breakdown-type 'nutty' given the nature of the job), so they offered him a transfer to a place they figured his wife would never agree to go. As he was an enlisted soldier, he could refuse transfer. They offered him a place in the Alaskan territory, as it was then. They were surprised to learn Mom was a Canadian, and of course, she jumped at the opportunity to get outta Texas. My elder brother was born there and I followed when the family moved back to Dad's hometown of Chicago.

We always proudly hail ourselves as that white family that got run out of the Lone Star State by a bus company.

Best story on Kate!

Great story. Little drama's about justice lived out through a million different lives.

Hate, anger and violence are not the answer. Living a life where you make choices too stand with those who are down trodden is where it is at. Not sexy, unheralded and almost zero press. But you can change a circumstance by being kind and refusing to hate.

I love it Kate. Your mom must have been one helluva woman. Something to be really proud of.

That is a point we must never overlook, there are in the USA plenty of the finest people you could ever want to know established and spread through all communities. I like to think of them akin to the thin red line as depicted by Kipling. And of course, this is not a characteristic that is unique to the USA.

Yes, I feel sorry for the millions trapped in microcosm in America. Decent folk who are neither racist, nor political and just want to live in a just and fair society. These troubles will perhaps steam roller over them, leaving many wondering what happened. (And the news is starting to show a few cops who are yet, still those decent people)

They did nothing to deserve this, could have done nothing to prevent it, but will still suffer the consequences.

Well, you have great DNA!

Rosa Parks is a well known name. But look up Josie Bullock, a New Zealand civil servant who lost her job because women were supposed to sit at the back. She disagreed.
A stain in our history. 2008

I can't let that slide sorry, she shouldn't be mentioned in the same breathe as Rosie Parks. The protocol under Tikanga Maori is that the men sat at the front for that ceremony, just as there are cultural occasions when women take the lead. It was inappropriate for her to sit at the front and she was disciplined for speaking to the press.

Great story.

Thanks all. I feel better having told the story. Everyone seen Nike's ad;

As I said to friends and relatives, if they can get the tone and the messaging right - how come the executive branch can't.


Perhaps say what your link is about, so that we don't all have to click it (thus adding to the number of clicks a certain site gets) to see.

Veteran NBA reporter Chris Palmer was called out on Twitter for a pair of tweets he sent within the span of a few days.

Palmer was offering his thoughts on the protests across the United States in the wake of George Floyd's death. On Thursday night, Palmer quote-tweeted a photo of a burning building with the caption, "Burn that s— down. Burn it all down." But shortly after midnight on Sunday, Palmer had a change of tone once protesters showed up closer to where he lived.

The photo of a burning building was, according to the Star Tribune, an affordable housing development under construction. The complex had 189 units and was expected to open later this year.

The tweet a few days later said, "They just attacked our sister community down the street. It's a gated community and they tried to climb the gates. They had to beat them back. Then destroyed a Starbucks and are now in front of my building. Get these animals TF out of my neighborhood. Go back to where you live"

There will soon be tanks on the streets of America. Remember the local police have many surplus armour from the Middle East wars. And the Administration may not hesitate to order their use in suppressing the riots, which are also getting out of hand, so to speak. It is the frustration and helplessness of the common man against economic oppression, Covid, an Administraton without empathy, the lobbyists holding sway over decisions affecting the common man and rising unemployment etc that has come out now, with the George Floyd murder acting as a spark. Difficult times ahead for America and its friends and well wishers.

The US is one police / Army bullet away from country wide riots that they will not be able to control.

Unfortunately this is akin to Hongkong v China. The peasants revolt can be subdued very quickly. Just pull the pin on the internet, park a couple of tanks in each town and watch everyone silently slink away.

As Trump said, what the president needs to do is get down and talk with the protesters and everything will be okay.

There are many ways to protest. A few tanks can not force the population to work.

Vietnam divided not only American society......

Interesting you should say that, because there is a New Zealand connection.

Think back to the Tet offensive. The USA won the military engagement the North Vietnamese later admitted their army was broken (but talked about winning hearts & minds - Jane Fonda was very vocal). However the press described it as a failure, the public mood changed, the president did not seek re election, Nixon came in and ended the war.

Heres the rub.
Peter Arnett, Southland boy, reported the iconic phrase, "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it,"
A big mover of public opinion, but never sourced never verified. Arnett said it was one of four officers he spoke to that day. None of the four claimed it, rather saying it was a combination of words people used over a week before.

Reported as fact.

LBJ was smarter than we remember:

“A Great Society would judge itself not by the quantity of its goods, but the quality of its goals”

50 wasted years

Except LBJ remained President on the overhang of the sympathy for the Dems following Kennedy. Also he ran against Goldwater who was out front about escalating Vietnam,to the point it made Johnson look almost moderate but it might be said Johnson then became the opposite. LBJ was there on the Kennedy ticket only to bring in much needed votes from southerners. And if it hadn’t been for FDR in the eary days easing him out from beneath a tax scam, he might not have been there at all. Still LBJ continued the civil right reforms and his administration domestically was pretty shrewd. One of the greatest presidents ever for one liners too.

Tet was just one of a string of catastrophic NV military operational failures. Interestingly the famous on camera execution of a VC officer fresh from slitting the throats of a non combatant family and which was a major influencer on US public opinion against the war, has recently been analysed by distinguished military historian Max Hastings as a legitimate response under international rules of war.

What’s your take MM on the fact that the Tet was just about the very last throw of the dice for the NVA and then alongside that Kissinger in Paris alluding to a President back home who was anger crazy and just might get beyond his control with an itchy nuke finger. Hence the so called peace accord that gave the USA an opt out. ie let’s call it a draw.

Giaps star was a little less bright after the assault on Khe Sanh in the early part of 1968 was crushed under yankee AirPower by mid year with appalling NV casualties. The partly concurrent but failed Tet offensive in Jan 1968 which also took a terrible toll on NV military strength, was a severe tactical overstretch, Giap and Le Duan seriously underestimated their enemies ability to fight back. While a combination of both battles heavily degraded NV military capability I'm not sure it should be described as a last throw of the dice given the NVA remained a formidable fighting force able to seriously test the Americans. Operation linebacker in late 1972 was the bombing campaign that finally forced the north to genuine peace negotiations. I've visited areas that were hit hard during this campaign. Even today damage to the landscape challenges the imagination. Kissinger investigated using nukes against the viets but quickly rejected the idea, as did Nixon. There are some fascinating conspiracy theories about this.

Well the brilliant tactician, but not so good strategist, General Curtis Le May, proclaimed they would bomb NV back into the stone age. Actually there is no record of him really saying that, but nonetheless, the sentiment prevailed. tks input, see now didn’t quite have my ducks lined up chronologically anyway.

LeMay is widely attributed with the comment but usually with specific reference to bombing Laos through which country the NVA was infiltrating SV. His rolling thunder bombing campaign had limited success. The same LeMay in WW2 came out with the infamous quote 'we don't shed any tears for the hordes of charred Japanese below because the smell of pearl harbour is too persistent in our nostrils'.

The demonstrations in the US and elsewhere are not only about the tragic death of George Floyd - that’s just part of it. It’s also about the push back of the oppressors by the oppressed, the global financial and political elites and their fascist agenda.

Oh for goodness sake ............get over it !

Average Americans are no more fascist than the man in the moon .

America is the land of opportunity , you have just got to get on with it

It is hard not to think of the collapse of the Roman empire.
The whole political and socio-economic landscape needs to change but the forces at work are so powerful and entrenched. The whole society is so polarised.
Politically the choice is either Trump - a half witted Russian puppet or Bidden who is totally embedded in the political establishment. Bidden is a Chinese puppet who totally sold out through his son's Chinese business interests, which Bidden senior hawked off where ever he could. Both very wealthy old white guys. They will never change anything.

They need something that totally disrupts the two party political party establishment. They need a multi party system so that alternative, younger and more representative forces can influence and change the system. It is hard to see that happening, the establishment is just so entrenched. The nearest that I can see happening is some powerful and charismatic independent candidate standing for the presidency, then building a party around them. I doubt that there is time before the next election but would add that if the right person surfaced, I suspect that there would be a real hunger in the voters for such a leader. As we all know things can change very quickly in politics. I am sure that the right people are there, we have heard a lot more impressive leadership from some of their city mayors.

Short of this I don't hold much hope for them and would not be surprised to see them slide into a morass of turmoil, violence and ultimately, obscurity. As I have said before the ground is fertile for the USA to break up as per the USSR
In the meantime, as with China, NZ would be well advised to focus our international relationships with egalitarian and non bullying nations more like ourselves.

Bidden - I like it.


Certainly does have its resemblances. Loss of production, loss of franchise, resort to credit bubbles rather than education and innovation. Power grabs rather than a strong republic. Trump promised to drain the swamp but has only accelerated the decline by weakening the republic's systems of checks and balances, while undermining the economic wellbeing of the masses.

Biden or Trump there’s little difference it only means one thing ‘constant Government ‘

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

Dr Martin Luther King

Very beautiful, and wise, of course.
But a bit naive?
Hate and violence in revolution has contributed to some of humankind's great leaps forward.
As well, it must be said, in some great leaps backward.

Not naive at all, it shows a very very deep understanding of the human heart and the nature of evil. Violence, anger and hate can only beget more violence, anger and hate. That is a serious problem if your proposed solution is violence, anger and hate.

“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains ... an un-uprooted small corner of evil."

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Great reading CT! Many will pick holes in it, and accuse you of bias, but making something simple out of the complexity that is America is at best extremely difficult. The riots in America, while being triggered from a simple beginning have been building for a long time. I think you sum it well, and as we saw in the last presidential election, neither the Dems nor the Republicans seem to understand what the real problem is, as they strive too hard to preserve their own power and privilege.

Trotters entertaining flair for melodramatically weaving the present with the now foreign country of the past is on display again. The US administration has learned from Rodney King and the LA riots by this time quickly charging the vile hater who casually snuffed out Floyd's life, with murder. Oxygen starved, the fires will subside.

This is only going to get worse because the gap between the haves and the have not"s in the USA is extreme and only getting worse. The whole country is a powder keg and I see a couple more events on the horizon that will light the fuse.

You are the impressionable audience of dramatic american media. Sensible, civilised and restrained middle America, coloured and white, understands its self serving motivations and short attention spans.

civilised and restrained middle America

Is in decline, competing for smaller chunks of the pie left over.

maybe it is time to choose sides,for the PM to head to washington waving the stars and stripes,rather than going to beijing waving a white flag like JK.better flash gordon than ming the merciless.

Tell me this doesn't change everything

George Floyd, fentanyl death.
Fentanyl & meth found in body system.
.amounts to be confirmed.

Does it? Or are they (we) being disingenuous trying to say because he had a weak heart and drugs in his system that the stress generated by having a careless (literally) cop kneeling on his neck, was all it took to bring these factors together to kill him?

Murray, let's not under estimate the Fentanyl role or source. It is like no other drug you have seen or taken

You need talk to first responders. The fight people put up is legendary. With more time we will discover what the police were doing and their thinking as to why.
Addicts know once the head goes down, held or otherwise, the chance of survival are low.

"once the head goes down" You are introducing a misleading aspect. this comment is referring to some techniques in the use of force where the head is pulled down to the chest when controlling or attempting to control a person. It is well established that that situation restricts the ability to breathe. But in this situation, that is clearly not occurring. His head had not been pulled down to his chest, a cop was kneeling on his neck, while he was lying prone, face down on the ground. What is not visible is behind the car, what the other cops were doing as for large individuals lying prone, face down can also restrict breathing. I suggest that what is visible on the video is simply enough to make an assessment.

No, addicts know to avoid situations where they could slump forward, as breathing could stop.
Addicts look to sit "back" so as to minimise the risk.

We don't know what police actions measures were taken. There are still bits of the video, and first hand accounts to be examined.

Stop trying justify summary execution, just stop it!

Meanwhile, an independent examination concluded adds to the weight that this was homicide:

"I can't breathe". We all heard that loudly on the video. But if you can't breathe, you can't say it loudly like that.
eg. Folk at the dinner table can choke without people realising, because while they act oddly, they do it silently.
Just saying

That is complete and utter bs, it was not that he couldn't breathe because he was choking. He would have been able to say things until the air in his lungs ran out.

Dosen't change a thing. He becomes a product of the environment that gave blacks no other option, other than crime and drugs.
Bringing out facts and figures will only create more distrust and anger.


"the environment that gave blacks no other option, other than crime and drugs"

That's pretty insulting to the vast majority of working people who happen to have black skin, who don't deal or do drugs and who are not criminals.

Floyd was a spark, but there is a greater fire. The flames may die down but the fire continues to burn. We are at the end of this age. We have run our race. And we were lucky. Both my fathers generation & his before him were shipped off to war on the other side of the planet. For King & country apparently. We should note that over the past 200 years that the reigns of the two great queens was far more peaceful & productive than those reigns lead by pitifully weak male royalty, whose only recourse (supposed strength) was usually a war. Sadly tomorrow brings three more kings to the throne. God help us.

It was for freedom and to defend ourselves from attack, not for King and country.

Not even that, when it comes to tin tacks, they fight to save their own butts, their mates beside them butts, and they cry for their mums as they die.
That is the reality of war

Yes, that is true, but that's not the reason this nation went to war.

Might not be why the nation did, the men themselves had little idea what they were going to, a boy's own adventure, maybe, but at the end of the day, it's a young person in a bunker, hoping like hell it's all over soon and they live to see it.

In all 81 comments above this has not been mentioned once!

"Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men.
It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again!"

History repeats!

Lots of angry men =

"To understand the huge impact of the party of Abraham Lincoln embracing the unreconstructed white supremacism of the old Confederacy...." Wow, are you really sure that's even the case Chris? I know the totally left leaning media crowd would have you believe something as crazy as this, but maybe, just maybe, they are not being entirely truthful with their representations of the Republicans. Just a thought.

Instead of marching, listen or read to anything by Thomas Sowell.

But in the context of this article start with this:

Of all the collectors of truly bizarre statistics, he is without doubt my favourite.

Here are a couple of questions to ponder:

Why is that some people were quick to march in an event that happened over 12,000km away, but didn't do the same when another child died of injuries in NZ in their home last week?

Why would people completely disregard the social distancing rule, and put them and others at risk unless they thought that this whole social distancing is a sham, or did their feelings get in the way of the science?

Media attention given to it.
That and the fact some live such shallow un-purposeful lives they grab onto anything.

Thanks Chris, very interesting article. The comments, wow.
For me, the best place to start with the ills of our society is the central banking, and I harp on about this, yet the federal reserve is a privately owned bank, and having the right to print money ensures the control over every other aspect of society.
I wanted to insert quote from Thomas Jefferson, but alas, it wouldn't insert.
Nevermind. The point is that the system of private central banking ensures the rich will get richer, and the poor will not only get poorer, yet also grow in number. NZ today has a middle class that still sees itself as middle class, while they are more in debt than the middle class that went before them.
This system, in the USA, as here, like has already been pointed out, sees our own prison system with 70% populations of non-pakeha.
Our prison system is now privatised! While perhaps not fully, privatisation has found it's way in there. I find this completely repugnant.
Whether or not George Floyd was guilty of drugs, or other crimes is completely out of the question, and to even entertain such conversation is to miss the point 100%.
To say, "protest is fine" but "looting, well that's not right", is equally missing the point.
People are angry, people are sick of an economic system that either robs them, or enslaves them. People are sick of a justice system that has more interest in plea bargaining than dispensing justice.
People are sick of the sort of system that demands blind loyalty to those groups that pay them. If the policeman that killed George and his cohorts are so few among the force, then why didn't the rest of the police force come and make sure justice was given to those policemen. If the national guard, the govt, the secret service, if they were outraged, why weren't they the ones to take action against the police force?
The actions of not protest, but of complete outrage have been unleashed, and who knows when the energy will start to run out?
The actions of the govt have so far done nothing but inflame the fires.
In the words of Billy Joel "We didn't start the fire, it was always burning... "
This is why I mention the central banking system, changing this is imperative if we are to have a society with greater equality, and none of our present problems will be dealt with until this is addressed, yet it does give a semblance of hope that there is one thing that can be changed to bring about a massive and desperately required change.

Indeed - central bank policy is destroying society. Up until recently, I've believed they were acting for the greater good, but I no longer believe that to be true. They are now doing more harm than good and reform is required.

Lets get something clear here , America is , right now , being held hostage by a tiny % of its massive population .

African Americans make up around 12 % of the total population

About 1% of the 12% possibly less, are causing havoc .

And lets not forget that Affirmative Action designed to help black folk, was introduced 2 generations ago , what has it helped ?

Nothing .

So whats the solution ?

No. Thy are objecting to having been held hostage for several generations. As do most European-repressed indigenous races around the planet.

There may be no solution to the US now. Too overpopulated for it's remaining resource base ( in Overshoot - 1980 - Catton reckoned that they passed sustainable levels about 1870 - 40 years BEFORE the Titanic sailed. Yet 'Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless,.........

No more. They're full. So are we. So is just about everywhere.

Go to war, is the usual solution.

The problem would appear to be the 1% that rig the system for themselves. The ones do not recieve justice, that are caught in a system where they have no voice, they've had more than enough, and they're beyond a reasonable "demonstration". That this surge of energy can be hijacked, driven in violent directions, is a consequence of years of police aggression, a useless justice system, and of course, a financial system, by the few, to enslave the many.

All I see these days is the media playing the general public like a fiddle on what to be afraid of or outraged about.

Great article Chris

America always has and always will have its problems. But any comparison with China is laughable, a president for life oppressive dictatorship that censors and imprisons it’s population with an eye on world domination. Don’t forget Tiahnamin Square - it hasn’t changed that much!

The problem seems insoluble without resorting to some sort of Orwellian erasing of history because people's behaviour is the outcome of their personal historical streams. I don't think we really want to go down that path. To be free we have to live with a certain level of what some may see as injustice. Generally, though, you just need to have a good attitude to get by in life.

We don't want to relinquish control of the streets to criminals and crazy or drugged people. We have given the police the mandate to use force (it is called the Police Force after all) to use whatever means necessary, up to and including lethal force, to ensure the safety of law abiding people. I think the majority understand and are okay with that. There is an element of risk with this approach but it is far less risky than letting people run riot. I'm sure we would all suffer a lot more injustice if we clip the wings of the forces of justice.

Way to go to justify racism, as that is what you just tried to do. If that "certain level of injustice" was meted out equally you might have a point but you just tried to brush aside the lived experiences of those holding the short end of the stick, what you call freedom is nothing of the sort for them. I feel a bit sick there are people who think they way you do.
Until such times as those not subject to injustices listen and try to understand without trying to man or white splain it all away, there will always be racism and misogyny and embedded practice of both.

Your comment amply reinforces my belief that listening and trying to understand only seems to have made things worse. Women have been emancipated for quite a long time now.

Misogyny does not mean women cannot vote.

Emancipation is not just about voting.

Anyway, after years and years of progress you still appear to be psychologically damaged. This is the point I am making and you illustrate it beautifully. Your bitterness is a result of the entire historical stream that you have emerged from. You are unfixable because we cannot, without extreme dystopian measures, fix what happened in the past or fix what is just a figment of your fevered imagination.

The cure will be worse than the disease. You would have all white males silenced and marginalised. You would want us to put up with bad behaviour, being robbed in the street, being insulted and abused, intimidated and offended against, being forced to live in a decaying upside-down clown-world, all without even being allowed a murmur of complaint.

Your comments around this stuff are just plain unhinged. Trump really is still your man.

Explain how I am wrong.

Actually, right or wrong, does not really matter, the view is yours (note, view) you are entitled to it, however, I am entitled to point out it is batsh.. crazy. Ok?

No argument from me with the divisive nature of Trump making extremists more confident, and using force against (some) american people verges on criminal, its a shame that the peaceful protests were turned into riots.
The comments on Brash are overreach, showing your own strong bias. Brash was using Winston tactics; tough words, but really little actual move from the centre in terms of actions.
Making a parallel between Brash, US white supremacy and Trump is false, likewise the equally outlandish claims made in other comments about Left wing constituencies being the cause of the riots . Both views are extremist, and unhelpful.

God what a deranged article. The "Far Right" is an utter fantasy. The US (and everywhere else) is about to face currently unimaginable pain but making up demons - or parroting American white upper middle class gibberish - does not make anyone look smart.

Republicans are white supremacists?! You need a shrink.