Looking back today I’m not sure how I think the city or the country has changed for the better. Some things have shifted, but many more things have stayed exactly the same. How can you really think or talk of change or improvement when we have situations like the Trayvon Martin case occurring almost 20 years to the day of the L.A. riots? Twenty years later, you have this kid who was younger than Rodney King and deader than Rodney King.
It’s been tough on some level to get myself to where I wanted to be or where I needed to be as a black man in this country….You feel like you’re always fighting for something or trying to run away from something or people’s attitudes towards you. That can wear you down to the point of always making bad decisions.
On April 29, 1992, four LAPD officers were acquitted on charges of beating black motorist Rodney King. The verdict sparked a six-day furor in South Central L.A. that left more than 50 people dead and $1 billion in damages. The beating may have gone unnoticed if not for a nearby witness who had videotaped the attack. The domino effect of violence that the acquittal sparked played out on televisions across the country.