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Mass shootings have undermined my love for America

Mass shootings have undermined my love for America
Mass shootings have undermined my love for America


7 hours ago

Emma Saunders, cultural journalist at the Hay Festival

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Clive Myrie has worked at the BBC since starting as a trainee in 1987.

BBC presenter Clive Myrie said his feelings for the United States, where he worked for many years, were affected by coverage of so many mass shootings.

Mass shootings have completely undermined my love for this place, Myrie told the audience at the Hay Festival on Saturday.

But he added that it's “still a place I love on many levels.”

Myrie, who also hosts Mastermind, was previously the BBC's Washington correspondent and covered the administrations of three presidents: Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama.

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The former US president was visibly emotional while speaking about gun violence at the White House in 2016.

He said Mr. Obama had cried in public only two or three times while in office and that two of those occasions involved the Sandy Hook massacre, when 26 people were murdered at a Connecticut elementary school in 2012.

Myrie added that Obama tried to cajole Congress into meaningful gun control after the tragedy, but was unable to do so because of the power of the National Rifle Association (NRA). ).

The most powerful man on earth can't move that one dial, he can't do it, Myrie said.

He added that he previously thought gun culture was about the country's hunting history and its Wild West culture.

But it's not about that. It's about being able to confront the government and having the weapons to do so and I realized this on January 6 with the insurrection.

That's why they want their guns. It's so terrifying. This idea of ​​border culture is not about that.

Mr. Obama told the BBC in 2015 that his lack of progress in passing such laws was the area where I felt most frustrated and stuck.

As political and legal wrangling over gun control continues, Democrats point out that the United States is alone among industrialized countries with high levels of gun violence.

Republicans counter that the right to own firearms is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and that new gun control legislation would be counterproductive.

Myrie reported from Ukraine when the country was first invaded by Russia in 2022

During a wide-ranging discussion in front of a packed audience at Hay, Myrie also discussed racism, multiculturalism and her career in journalism, the focus of her memoir Everything is Everything.

He explained that his parents had come from Jamaica as part of the Windrush generation and settled in Bolton, where his uncle Clive was already living.

Myrie said her father never acclimated but they still managed to make lemonades with lemons.

His father worked in an automobile battery factory, while his mother, a Jamaican-trained teacher, became a seamstress for Mary Quant.

Their hard work paid off and they were able to purchase the house next door as well as their own.

The homeland has come calling: help us rebuild (post-war Britain), Myrie explained.

In return, they received a lot of racism and a lot of pain.

Called to the bar

He said his parents wanted him to pursue a traditional profession and Myrie later studied law. However, he always had a desire to become a journalist after watching Whickers World and broadcasters like Sir Trevor McDonald and Kate Adie as a child.

Myrie was called to the bar but chose to join the BBC training program instead.

My parents only forgave me once I started Mastermind, he joked.

He also said he refused to be typecast by covering events like the Notting Hill Carnival early in his career.

Myrie said he told his editor, “I don’t want to be seen as a black journalist, I want to be a journalist who happens to be black.”

He added that more recently, my hand is the first to go up to cover the death of George Floyd, police brutality or the funeral of Nelson Mandela. But it's my choice.




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