Rodney King Dead at 47

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Twenty-one years ago I was in high school when the video of Rodney King being beaten by members of the LAPD made international news.

I had already been following news stories about racist groups in Canada and the United States. The Heritage Front had started making headlines and was fast becoming the most influential hate groups Canada had experienced since the Saskatchewan Klan of the 1920s. In Saskatchewan, Carney Nerland of the Aryan Nations had just killed a First Nations trapper, Leo LaChance (he would later be convicted of manslaughter). In the United States, Years before that, neo-Nazis affiliated with Ton Metzger’s White Aryan Resistance had murdered Ethiopian immigrant Mulugeta Seraw; W.A.R was subsequently bankrupted as a result of a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 1990 because Metzger’s influence was proven to be a key factor in the murder.

However, it wasn’t until the beating of Rodney King made headlines that I came to understand that systemic racism was pervasive in institutions that were supposed to be color blind.

Rodney King wasn’t a saint. He himself admitted that he struggled with demons and in one of his last interviews he stated that he would always struggle with sobriety. In other words, he was as human as any one of us. But the assault he endured on March 3, 1991 did serve to make very public a reality that primarily Black men had been systematically targeted because of their ethnicity.

We here at ARC hope that Rodney King finds the peace that he struggled to find in life.

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2 Responses to “Rodney King Dead at 47”
  1. tommetzger says:

    You must be joking.Of all the working people that deserve sympathy he is not one. Also he was not really working class but part of the shirking class.

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