Sunday, April 29, marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the Los Angeles uprising and the two-week anniversary of the resurrection of slain gangsta rapper Tupac Shakur as a hologram at Coachella. The events are not a coincidence. Rather, they are part of a cultural argument that speaks to racial tensions, police misconduct and vigilantism that have plagued the city for decades.
Lucky is not exactly the word one would use to describe someone whose videotaped beating, and the subsequent acquittal of the officers accused of beating him, touched off one of the worst urban riots in American history. But 20 years later, that’s exactly the word Rodney King, now 47, uses to describe himself.
It looks as if the insanely organized smear campaign against Van Jones has finally worked. Jones, President Obama’s special adviser for green jobs, resigned Saturday after being viciously attacked for his past civil rights activism and for signing a petition that questioned U.S. involvement in 9/11.