I read where Rodney King died in a tragic accident at his home in Los Angeles. For those who may not know who Rodney King was, he was at the forefront of the 1992 riots in Los Angeles. Rodney was brutally beaten by several Los Angeles police officers in the street for what they claim were justifiable reasons following a high-speed pursuit, even though he was unarmed.
After those police officers were acquitted in court of the beating, many members of the community let their emotions run amok and reacted with vicious and criminal acts. As a result of some of these attacks, more than 2,000 people were injured, many seriously, and more than 50 killed. There was a lot of breaking into stores for the purpose of looting as well as cars and buildings being set on fire over a six-day period.
Trying to be a voice of reason to calm everyone down before the situation got further out of control, Rodney King said those immortal words, "Can we all get along?"
Whether I'm watching Fox News or MSNBC to get the point of view from the other side, one thing becomes apparent: the government and the county is ripped in half along political party lines.
That is why those words spoken by Rodney King back then still ring true today. We have to find a way to come together as Americans rather than fight among party lines. That is why I feel this summer Olympics, which starts in a few weeks, could be helpful in bringing everyone together.
With the Olympics being held in London, it means that they will be played during the early morning and early afternoon hours here. This is an advantageous time for us all of us to come together and cheer on our athletes. Not as Democrats, not as Republicans but as Americans. We can become a cohesive unit and be on the same team while talking about how great we did or we can talk about how things didn't go our way.
Just like other sports fans attending a game at a stadium, you know that everyone there does not have the same beliefs as you. But it still does not keep everyone from getting caught up in the thrill of the game.
Coming together to cheer for the USA could give us a common ground which could find a way to build some sort of unity and develop a tolerance to those that see things differently.
I'm not saying that the Olympics is a cure-all and will have everyone on the same page but it could be a good way to start heading in the right direction. Maybe we can use the Olympics as a stepping stone to see where it takes us.
Manny Fils is a sportswriter with the Citizen. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org