by Doctor Science
I hadn't really understood, on a gut level, how unusual American violence is until after Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, MO. As people started talking about what happens in other wealthy, "civilized" countries, I realized that Americans experience -- and expect -- an extreme level of violence from both police and their fellow citizens.
As I've thought about it, I've come to the conclusion that the most important ingredient in American violence is slavery. The past isn't dead, it isn't even past.