Days Of Rage – The Rodney King Verdict – April 29, 1992
. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Continuous coverage from KNX-AM, Los Angeles – April 30, 1992
In light of the goings on in Baltimore yesterday and today, and as a reminder of the public outrages visited on America since 1992; it’s ironic that we’re coming up on another sobering anniversary tomorrow – the public outrage over the verdict in the Rodney King Police beating trial of April 29, 1992.
Then as now, the verdicts sparked rage. Then as now, a city was under siege. Then as now, it was the expression of anger and powerlessness – a reminder that our country is divided, and always has been. A reminder that Rodney King was no isolated incident, and that if it weren’t for the presence of a camera – an innocent bystander switching on the video tape machine and recording it, we never would have known. And that how often did this happen – were those rumors true – was it always this way? And that now, with everyone capable of being their own news gatherer, we’re witness to what is undoubtedly a much more common practice than we would deny ourselves was ever true. And perhaps now that we are able to cast a microscopic eye on the injustices of the world, and can hold those responsible for those injustices accountable, can we make real change possible.
I would like to think so. But that would be dreaming – that would be some vestige of magical thinking that, suddenly the beatings and the torture and the harassments would stop because the world was suddenly watching, and that a great national shame overtook the “bad cops” who were now identified, and justice would be served. And the world lived happily ever-after.
And is the rage mixed up with a desire to destroy because the object to vent that rage is there, in the way; symbolic of what is wrong? That the disparity is no longer about just race, but also an economic, social and moral disconnect?
And did that mother smack her son around on live TV in order to shame his rage, bust his youthful adrenalin for mayhem, or to shield him from getting himself killed. Or D; all of the above?
We’re heading into severely cynical times – I am afraid, very dangerous ones. We haven’t had a “long hot summer” in a very long time – and if anything, the conditions are worse, more widespread and more all-encompassing than they were before. The divide is greater – a divide that, along with race, is about greed and about powerlessness.
I am afraid we’re heading into interesting times, and soon.
But to remind you that, if things don’t change, they are destined to stay the same, here is a one hour excerpt of the drama unfolding on the street of Los Angeles, on April 30th 1992 – the second day of unrest, as presented by KNX-AM Radio in Los Angeles.