Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

June 21, 2012

In the House of Wood

Can't we all just get along?

Steve Woodhouse

Knoxville —  

“Can't we all just get along?”

I'm sure you know by now that Rodney King, victim of a beating delivered by Los Angeles police officers in 1992, passed away this week. King uttered that phrase after his beating and subsequent riots in reaction to the beating. 

I've been thinking about that question a lot and I really don't know. There are always going to be people who will disagree with you. I've got good friends I don't see eye to eye with on many issues, but we get along just fine. 

Why not get along? Why should we look for reasons to hate others? To me, it seems like there are those who are all too eager to find people for us to hate, and reasons why. 

If you think back to the Rodney King incident, how many times did you see that grainy, black and white video of a group of cops beating him as he lie on the ground? Did you really need to see it that often to know it was a deplorable act? 

Then again, we were never given any context as to how King got to the ground or why the officers chose to use force. I don't even remember why they stopped him or what provoked the officers, but there is certainly no justification for a group of them to keep hitting him as he lie helpless. 

Because we had no context, everyone chose to fill in the blanks in the fact that King was black and the cops were white. The same nonsense is going on today with the Trayvon Martin case. 

Nobody knew what happened between Martin and George Zimmerman, but as soon as people heard that their races were different, it immediately had to be about that. Details start to trickle out, the President gets involved, those race opportunists Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton get involved and now there is no chance Zimmerman will receive a fair trial. 

There have been plenty of other instances in which we were pitted against each other between King and Martin. Terry Schiavo, Elian Gonzalez, Ken Starr...the list is endless. I think there will always be conflict, differences of opinion and struggles, but our anger and rage do not need to be fed, nor do we need to seek reasons to fight. 

Washington only feeds the issue. Both sides are wrong. We need to find common ground and get things done. No one has a perfect solution, that's why we work together. Look at what is happening now that political preference has trumped serving the people. The same can be said about Des Moines. 

So, I think we can all “get along,” because we can do that without being completely in harmony or find one correct solution to any problem. In fact, I think America's harmony came from the right amount of disharmony, as we worked to form this more perfect union with the intention of serving mankind. 

Take care of yourself and thank you for reading.