REPORTED BY NORMAN J CLEMENT RPH., DDS
“THIS LETTER FROM DR. ANTHONY MOYNHAM, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST FROM AU WHO I HAD THE PLEASURE TO MEET AND BEFRIEND AT PADDINGTON SQUARE HILTON HOTEL, LONDON ENGLAND WHEN I WAS ON HOLIDAY WITH MY FAMILY 2018. WE HAD BEEN DISCUSSING OF BOTH OUR INTEREST IN FORENSIC DENTISTRY AND HUMAN REMAINS IDENTIFICATION DURING MASS CASUALTY EVENTS…HE ADDRESSES HIS OUTRAGE ON THE DEATH OF MR. GEORGE FLOYD”
As I see the media reports I have to let you know of how apprehensive I am of events in your part of the world. In Australia, we have managed to keep the number of deaths from Covid-19 down to 103 so far with the number of positive diagnoses being 7202. These figures are sound and are not massaged. Being an island it is much easier for this country to isolate itself. Our government also acted quite early when a pandemic looked to be heading our way. There is also much cooperation between our six states and two territories together with the federal government. We have a much smaller population than the USA (about 26 million) and our states and territories are not quite as diverse in culture as in your part of the world. In many ways, they are almost clones of one another. The various governments are spending big in their budgets to assist the unemployed however it is expected that there will be at least about 10% unemployment nationally from all of this which will still need to be addressed.
As I see the daily news I know that the figures for this COVID disease are not so good in your part of the world. As with any infectious disease of this type, people must be separated from one another where possible. It will often involve changes to the workplace and even a temporary shutting down of some businesses. It will also stop travel in many situations too. The financial burden upon some people can be severe when this occurs. The choice between being without finance or being affected by the disease (and possibly losing your life) can be difficult when people are under this type of pressure.
I have to admit to being outraged with what has occurred in your part of the world with the way that the police are treating Afro-American people. I am not too surprised as I know that there has been a culture of prejudice in this way for many decades in the USA. I know that I am not the only person who feels this way. I have great sympathy for the families and loved ones of those persons. These events should never happen. If these events do occur then they must be addressed by the rule of law which must apply equally to all of us without exception.
The present situation is not being assisted by a leadership which deals with it combatively instead of diplomatically. Leadership should not in any way endorse activities which promote division on racial, religious or ethnic lines – unfortunately leadership is not following this approach in your part of the world. I trust that things will settle and that there will be some progress towards harmony as the future unfolds.
For this to occur a number of events have to take place. A change of attitude is not enough. It is not just a matter of changing entrenched prejudices in a number of people it must also include a vision where equality of opportunity is established throughout the community. It has to address issues such as chronic poverty, poor housing, universal access to medical care and employment opportunities unencumbered by prejudice.
I hope that you do not mind me showing my concern for people in your part of the world and having a few views. Public opinion in Australia is dismayed by the events which have caused the problems in many of your cities and also by the lack of a conciliatory tone coming from Washington.
As you have probably heard the International Association of Forensic Scientists has postponed its conference in Sydney until 17 – 21 May, 2021. I hope that you will be able to attend this conference.
If you are at the conference I hope that it will be possible for us to catch up and have a meal and a chat together. Perhaps I can point out a few spots of interest in Sydney as well. The venue for a meal may be a bit different from the executive lounge at the Paddington Hilton in the UK during breakfast time.
May I wish you well and hope that you are safe. Take care.
YOU’RE WITHIN THE NORMS