Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots. Two decades ago, four white police officers were acquitted of the brutal beating of black motorist, Rodney King, blatantly captured on video tape by an onlooker.
Following the acquittal, the city of Los Angeles erupted into six days of chaos, fires, looting and violence, which accounted for 55 deaths and 2,300 injuries. During this time of civil unrest and uncertainty, Rodney King courageously appealed to the citizens of Los Angeles. In front of a throng of reporters while choking back tears, Rodney famously stated, “Can we all get along?”
Twenty years later, I would like to believe that Rodney’s symbolic case and public appeal has made a difference. At times, I believe people of different races and religions are “getting along” remarkably well, and at other times, there’s unequivocally a need for education and empathy.
What do you think? Are we “getting along”? Have race relations improved over the past 20 years?