Skip to comments.Remembering the Rodney King Race Riot
Posted on 04/30/2012 5:04:12 PM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Americas last major race riot.
It took place in Los Angeles following the acquittal of three white LAPD officers on brutality charges in the beating of black motorist Rodney King.
Unbeknownst to the officers, Kings beatdown was captured on videotape by eyewitness George Holliday. The video went viral in an age long before YouTube, with repeated airings by television newscasts around the world.
The L.A.riot resulted in 53 deaths and nearly 2,400 injuries. The toll also included 7,000 fires, damages to some 3,100 businesses and nearly $1 billion in economic losses suffered by the nations second-largest city.
Long after the U.S.military quelled the riot and restored order in L.A., race relations remained tense not only in the so-called City of Angels, but throughout the country.
Indeed, many pointed to the Rodney King incident as prima facie evidence that America was an inherently racist country.
It was as if King belonged in the same category as such black civil rights martyrs as Emmit Till, James Meredith and Martin Luther King Jr.
Well, Rodney King was no martyr; no blameless victim of police brutality.
Out on parole, his blood alcohol level estimated at nearly two and a half times the legal limit for drunk driving, King got behind the wheel of a car and went flying down an L.A.freeway with two of his homeboys.
He was flagged for speeding by California Highway Patrol, ignored their flashing lights signaling for him to pull over, suddenly found LAPD joining in his pursuit, and led them on an eight-mile high-speed chase.
When King finally brought his car to a stop, police ordered King and his passngers to get out and lie face down on the ground. Kings homeboys complied and were taken into custody without incident. King resisted and officers subdued him with a taser and batons.
King became a cause célèbre for demagogues stoking the flames of racial enmity. But King, himself, in a moment of grace I attribute to the influence of the Holy Spirit, called for loving kindness between whites and blacks.
Cant we all just get along? he famously asked.
Martin Luther King couldnt have put it any better.
I remember driving home — EARLY — and seeing all the smoke from the fires from the 5 freeway.
It looked like one of those alien invasion movies.
People were driving in the shoulders of the freeway to get home as soon as possible.
And then I stared, transfixed, for 3 days and kept yelling at the TV “when will LAW Return???” I saw the city of my birth, the city I still love, become a raw sewer of everything evil in humans. There was no “dignity,” no “justice.”
It was like watching animals humping in the wild.
And I don’t apologize for that comparison.
The tears I shed watching poor Reginald Denny get beaten up (I saw it live) were only exceeded, in my life, by my tears on 9/11.
And, even with thousands of hours of tape, they prosecuted only a handful of people. Message: It is OK to be part of a mob.
Get ready for it to happen again with Martin/Zimmerman. The black community has already planned it, with the advance blessing of the usual race pimps.
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