Charles E. Richardson

Does the world need to go lie down on a psychiatrist’s couch?

wmarshall@macon.com

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Matt. 24:6

I usually leave world affairs to the likes of Thomas Friedman, the excellent writer at The New York Times, however, am I the only one who thinks this world has gone bonkers?

Britain decided Thursday to withdraw from the European Union — and while it’s early yet — the nation is already reeling from the repercussions. Prime Minister David Cameron informed the queen that he would be resigning. He said in a speech Friday morning, “I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.... I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.”

To the north in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, its first minister said the Scottish government would seek another independence vote. According to the BBC, all 32 council areas voted to remain in the EU. Northern Ireland is considering a border crossing with Britain and the pound, Britain’s currency, dropped to its lowest level in 31 years. Financial markets all over the world tumbled. Initially, the New York Stock Exchange dropped by 500 points and was still down by more than 457 points by closing on Friday.

Some of the panic is sure to smooth out in the days ahead as the process of extracting from the EU proceeds, but voters on both sides of the Atlantic have a history of doing things that are not always in their best interests.

Half a world away in Venezuela, there have been, according to The New York Times, more than 50 food riots. The country, with more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia, can’t feed itself and can’t import enough food because it has no money.

To Venezuela’s southern border sits South America’s largest country, Brazil. As it gets set to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio starting in August, its president is facing impeachment, the Rio state is broke, drug gangs are fighting in the streets in some cities and athletes like golfers Rory McIlroy, Australian Marc Leishman, Vijay Singh of Fiji and American cyclist Tejay van Garderen said they’re staying away because of the Zika virus. Some of the sailors want their events moved from Rio’s bay because of pollution.

Add to those concerns, Russia’s track and field team has been barred from the games and as has Bulgaria’s weightlifting team. Could things get any worse? Yes. The laboratory that was supposed to do the drug testing for the games was suspended by the World anti-Doping Agency last week.

Amid all the trouble on that continent, there’s some good news. To the north of Brazil and the west of Venezuela, Columbia announced an end to a 52-year-old war between the government and FARC. For all of the country’s other troubles, this was welcomed news.

Now to America. There was a sit-in at the nation’s Capitol last week. To be more accurate, in the House of Representatives chamber, something that’s never happened before. It was led by Georgia Rep. John Lewis. I’m sure this harkened back to an earlier time for Lewis when he sat-in, marched and risked his life for the cause of civil rights. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan called it “a stunt.” It was a gripping scene, no matter what Speaker Ryan had to say about it.

There was a gripping scene of sadness right here in Macon. Two crazy fools walked into Gary Food Market bent on armed robbery. They demanded money. They got it, but shot 40-year-old father of two Prakash Patel to death anyway. Utterly senseless.

Unfortunately, this is reminiscent of crimes in 2009 involving Jaymal, Dilipbhai and Dipak Patel in three separate convenience store robberies, two in Macon and one in Milledgeville. Six hundred participants marched to show their concern. Ronald Terry, pastor of New Fellowship Baptist Church, uttered words that continue to be true: “We have raised a generation of young people that is lawless, godless and fearless, and it’s the combination that’s proven so lethal.”

Whoever carried out the latest murder will be caught and end up like Maurice Battle, convicted of killing Dipak Patel. He is doing life without parole. He went in when he was 21. Javone Taylor was found guilty of the murder of Jaymal Patel, he was sentenced when he was 17. He won’t be eligible for parole until he’s 47. Jarvis Reeves was already in prison for armed robbery when he was indicted for Dilipbhai Patel’s murder. Though he wasn’t convicted on that charge, he’ll be in jail until 2029.

What’s scary is, the scripture says, “but the end is not yet.”

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