Saturday, May 1, 2010

Rodney King: Only 18 Years Ago Today

Can you believe that 18 years ago today Rodney King gave a press conference in the wake of his beating by the LAPD  where he famously pleaded to the public, "can we all just get along?" (You can watch the 18 second clip of that HERE.)  Rodney King is still alive today, actually, and is only 45 years old, which surprised me. He was interviewed for a local Los Angeles news broadcast last March, which you can watch HERE.  He's now a grandfather, apparently, and is candid about how he is a recovering life-long alcoholic. It's amazing how much more articulate his is in this 2009 interview than he was back in on this day 1992, when he cemented his place in Los Angeles history despite being a little hesitant and shaky.

Before ascribing that shakiness to his police beating, remember that the beating itself (a 1 minute clip of which you can watch HERE) had occurred more than a year before, in March 1991. Out of context or not, that video remains powerfully mortifying, if not horrifying, even today. Could any American over 30 watch that clip today without President Obama's race coming to mind, as well as a simultaneous feeling that this must have occurred more than 19 years ago?

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