Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Riot Within: Book Review - RIP, Rodney King

At the end of Rodney King’s (with Lawrence J. Spagnola) book The Riot Within he admits: “ I may slip again, but Rodney Glen King will never stop trying to be a better person…

"We all have a dream and mine is to take all God’s children down to the fishing hole, soak in the sun, and savor the beautiful colors in creation that he has given us, like a rainbow trout."

I could go on a dissertation to talk about the imagery and metaphors the passage evokes in light of Rodney King’s recent passing but I believe the truth is much clearer than that. Rodney did indeed perform a step in which he admitted to God, to himself and to us exact nature of his wrongs. The book could also be said to be a parting shot, without malice, of the wrongs done unto him, by not only the police officers but by the attorneys and handlers that were supposed to be the Champions of his cause.

It is often said that great moments come from benign events slamming into ordinary people. Rodney was living a life that would have gone unnoticed and generally uneventful until that fateful night when he says, “I don’t really know why I didn’t stop.” His story is like many of the personal shares in the Big Book of Alcoholic Anonymous, a life that had simply become unmanageable. But, from his innocuous existence and these AA shares, many come to identify and start on a road to recovery. So miracles will happen from someone reading this book by Rodney King. Although some do slip, and get to try another day, some don’t. Even if this was Rodney’s fate, I am sure that his life will result in many miracles. Rodney felt the water wash over him and God is now holding him and showing him all the beautiful colors of his creation in heaven. Amen.

(Reviewed by JRS)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is no way any of us will know exactly how and what we do will impact ourselves or others. One thing is for sure. The Los Angeles Police Department and other police departments across the United States are continually receiving Sensitivity Training as a result of that horrible display of unfairness that led to the Watts Riot. God has a Master Plan for each of our lives. Sometimes, His plan for our lives involve being in circumstances that we have no idea how we got there - just like Mr. Rodney Glen King. One big difference, Rodney Glen King was very much aware that he was on a path to seemingly self-destruction, that he,himself, didn't understand and felt unequipped to navigate out of. Through it all, he was a peacemaker with his statement "People, can't we all just get along" in the midst of extremely volitile civil warfare. He has taken many to God's fishing hole of peace with just that one simple, spontaneous statement of his desire for God's people to live peacefully with one another.

Mr. Rodney Glen King, enjoy your eternal, peaceful swim with the rainbow trout in God's Kingdom.