Forty-seven year-old Rodney King died this weekend…
King drowned in his backyard pool – a pool paid for by a lawsuit from his 1991 beating by LAPD. It was a beating we’ll never forget, caught on video and which led to the LA riots that killed 55 people, injured 2,000 and caused millions of dollars in damages.
King became a "black leader" because of the incident but many white people had a problem with that.
Hey, there’s no doubt King was beaten and no doubt it was wrong. There’s also no doubt the police in LA and everywhere else in this country have no right to behave like animals.
But the problem with the entire mess is Rodney King himself.
King had a lengthy criminal record, but so did Malcolm X. However Malcolm X became an educated, powerful leader and role model for millions. And at the end of his career he spoke to people on non violence. And if nothing else, Malcolm X was a brilliant man, right or wrong.
King on the other hand was not sharp, not a good example, uneducated and a lifelong punk.
He was given the chance to lead and set an example but what did he do with it? He parlayed his beating into more than million bucks and ended up on "Drug Rehab" reality shows. A real genius.
Now the guy’s being mentioned alongside Whitney Houston, Donna Summer and hoody-wearing victim Bobby Trayvon.
Really? Does King deserve to be enshrined in THAT group? Hardly.
In 1991 Rodney King was running from the LAPD while driving over 100 miles an hour. In all likelihood he was leaving the scene of a crime, had dope on him and more. That he ran because he was dirty is almost a given. His excuse: "I thought the cops would kill me because I am black."
I guess several million black men who get pulled over in LA all the time are lucky. They all lived somehow and managed not to get beaten. Oh yeah, King was on parole for armed robbery.
We’ll probably never really know what may have set off the beating. And again, it was wrong, very wrong. Maybe King got out of the car, yelled something at the cops and was scary and aggressive. Maybe the high speed chase and his record made the cops crazy. Still that beating was too much.
In the end, three cops were acquitted in a trial by a jury of all whites. Hey OJ, see how that works? Later the Federal Government had to make an example so they gave the two main "beating cops" 30 months in prison.
King then half ass tried to be a black leader and celebrity.
However he didn’t do either very well. So in the end the pool killed him and TV had him on only as a joke. The stupid, dope addict angle. The guy was not much of a speaker. I know, "Can We All Get Along." That was his one-and-only best moment.
Do I sound down on Rodney King?
Yes, but only because he proved to be such a bad example – an uneducated black man who managed to make whites feel guilty. That’s the truth, he had no talent.
A better example of a black hero during the LA riots was when white truck driver Reginald Denny was pulled from his cab and nearly beaten to death and a black man, Bobby Green, raced in, pushed him back into his cab, and drove him to the hospital, saving his life.
That’s a hero. That’s a good example of a real man.
I don’t hold it against King that he had a bad record, so did I. It’s what he did after the "beating."
Which was not much.