The men in the photo are police officers in a small, not usually violent city in the middle of the USA: Ferguson, Missouri. It seems that one of the cops killed a black man for no reason - another black man in a very long line of black men killed by the police over the years. When the local African-American community protested, as is their right, the local police chief confronted them with this army. Snipers aimed high-powered rifles at citizens - black citizens - waiting for the order to kill. And the cops felt so powerful that they even arrested journalists trying to cover the story.
America. But it looked like one of those other terrible ‘trouble spots’ we see on the news all the time: Turkey, the Ukraine, Iraq or Palestine.
Most of us are not Americans, of course. But we’re much more connected to America that the other places. Why? Language, culture, music, movies, iPad and Google, protection, shopping, surfing and countless other connections. All those things add up; America’s ‘soft power’ is enormous. Even when the hard power of money and military start to decline a bit, the American Appeal will remain. If suddenly, an American fairy-godmother appeared and waved her sparkling Disney-style wand and turned us into Yanks, well, much worse things could happen. Some people would even be happy!
But they wouldn’t want to live in Ferguson, Missouri. Especially if their skin was dark. Obama and his Harvard-educated family and friends are far, far away. They are so far away that they might as well be white! In Ferguson, if you’re black you’re just a target - a target for the same stupidity that racists have practiced for centuries. Now they have better weapons.