Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Getting Along without Rodney King

The famous 1992 victim of LAPD police brutality came to an unceremonious end in a private swimming pool this past week.

Rodney King, who was recently spotlighted on talk shows and news cycles following the 20th anniversary of the LA riots, has died.

The common refrain associated with this beaten-down drug addict, "Can't we all just get along?" has become a phrase for the ages.

Los Angeles has gotten along better, with closer inspection of police forces and a more diverse community spread more collectedly throughout the city.

This man, drowned with no sign of foul play, was a broken shell who took advantage of media-hyped, racially charged offense.

He was not a hero, he certainly did not deserve to be a symbol for anything but a culture of hype and happenstance which demands a commemoration for anything momentous.

What did the man have to live for? Celebrating one's beaten presence over and over must have taken its toll on the man, a convict who still failed to tame "the riot within", also the title for his recently published memoirs.

The fetish of remembering everything distracts us from respecting the morals, the values that hold communities together.

Has anyone investigated the role of government power in the 1992 beatings, which led to the riots, which led to this man's unforeseen fame? The media would serve the reading public more ably if they trained their reporting on the innovations adopted by local police. Officers engage communities more than in the past. Community policing has contributed to a detente between impoverished and minority communities throughout the Southland.

Los Angeles is getting along better, and now we can all get along without Rodney King, a rebellious speed-ball whose wild life merely set the spark for racial tensions stoked by governmental mismanagement and welfare overreach.

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