Rodney King on Trayvon Martin: An issue ‘going back’ to ‘the creation of the country’

Jeff Poor | Media Reporter

20 years ago, violence erupted in Los Angeles because acquittals were handed out in a police brutality trial stemming from an arrest of Rodney King caught on video camera.

To commemorate those tragic events at that time in American history, King is out with a new book, co-written with Lawrence J. Spagnola, called “The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption.”

In a Monday appearance on Current TV’s “The Young Turks” to promote the book, King was asked by host Cenk Uygur if the country has progressed with racial issues since the 1992 riots, citing the Trayvon Martin tragedy as evidence that the country may not have made that progress.

“I look at the whole picture going back,” King said. “The creation of the country — you know, the country was built on violence. And we’ve came a long ways. We’ve all came together all over the years, our ancestors. And this is the product we built — that we came up with — that’s called America.”

“You know, looking around, look at the structures, you look at the way things are built,” he continued. “And you know, we have came a long ways. You know, but as far as relations and the way minorities, especially blacks, are treated after all the heavy and hard work is done, it’s like some of the way the treatment is still the same. It’s totally different. Don’t get me wrong — it’s different in its own different way.”

King wouldn’t say if he thought the situation he went through in the early 1990s was possible in 2012. (RELATED: Full coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting)

“I don’t want to predict any wrong or make any questions, you know, about anything that has to do with violence happening and reoccurring. Anything is subject to happen these days that we live in, because it’s like a crazy days, but I would certainly hope not, you know.”

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