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I’m sure most of you already heard over the weekend that Rodney King passed away.
The jury is still out but the latest news reports state that he drowned while he was smoking marijuana and drinking in a pool. Hearsay at this point, but let’s be real, who doesn’t drink when chilling in the pool?
Twitter feeds and Facebook walls became engulfed with news of King’s death. I am certain we can all agree and feel sympathy for the loss of life. I know I do.
Things became a little heated when a fellow Facebook user asked a question, one that some considered valid and others found offensive, more so because the person asking is black. She asked and I paraphrase, “Did I miss something? Did Rodney King do something outstanding for humanity that I missed? I don’t get why he is being glorified like this”.
Naturally as is expected with such a diverse group of people as we all have on Facebook, some came to his defense and some of us, myself included stated that “No, he did nothing of note. Although there is no question that those which have been alive a few generations know his name. And we can all acknowledge that loss of life is a sad thing.”
I wasn’t going to write about this topic, however the discussion was deep enough that it warrants some discussion. Please note that we are not attacking Mr King, or demanding that he had done more society. The statement is a simple fact, “he didn’t do anything major for society”.
For those of you that are too young to know, Rodney King was a black man that was beat up badly by a group of white cops. Unfortunately for the cops, the beating was filmed. Yet this didn’t make much difference as the cops got off in court. This sparked outrage and led to major riots in L.A. At one point the police were ordered to pull out and by the end of it all there was over $1 billion dollars worth in damage and 50 or so innocents were killed.
King was featured in some random anti violence campaigns, and at some point a reality show “Celebrity rehab”. King was best known for the quote “Can’t we all just get along”. Whenever there is fighting or conflict, if someone in my age range is around, that statement won’t be far behind. I will not be surprised if you start to see a bunch of “Can’t we all just get along” items for sale over the next couple of days. I only hope that whoever does it considers providing some of the funds to the King family. Though somehow I doubt it.
Someone equated Rodney King and Trayvon Martin’s situation of today. On this I disagree, apples and oranges. Sure, both men were black and the “opposition” white, however the situations are totally different. Not to mention that we don’t know all the details in the Martin case.
One thing that I can definitely agree with in all of this is “CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?”
R.I.P Rodney King.
Growing Up Bronx