On Master Ben’s second and historic record, this brilliant song about
Rodney’s King ultra-violent police abuse, Rodney having been hit 50
times among which once to the head in 2 012, according to Wikipedia, but
actually it’s not once to the head but three times among which twice
with the foot.
You can also see in the video that Rodney King is whipped on the back when
he’s on his knees, which will of course remind us of the treatment
received by blacks during the American slavery until 1 865.
gesture appears here as inscribed in trans-generational ultra-violent
domination and will of possessing the whole being of black people that
had been authorized, becoming a kind of supremacist right. After this,
it’s not a surprise to imagine that millions (or more) of white people
keep on allowing themselves to remain in this barbarian fantasy.
Afterwards, riots started and burnt Los Angeles, after the trial which
saw the abusive police thugs get out free, while in a few seconds of
viewing of the video of the facts, one can see the abuse and the
pleasure taken in truncheoning a thug (Rodney) who can’t even move after
the first strokes.
One year later, the trial is re-done and the
policemen sentenced. I don’t exactly know why the difference in the
verdict passes from black to white, but it did.
Ben’s song, in
spite of its smooth n’ rough mastery, with slide guitar doubling the
voice and the frequent perfect groove that we know from Ben’s rhythm
section especially the drums here with their efficient and sober snare
drum shots, forgets to mention that King was a thug and that his arrest
His arrest, not the abuse, of course.
chooses the Luther King reference, efficient yet lacrymal knowing that
Rodney King was who he was. Whatsoever he’s right on the fact that the
abuse contradicted the evolution of the US society that Luther King had
managed to get a few decades before, to get blacks out of the animality
imposed by white people.
Unlike the cases that created Black Lives Matter, the police abuse is huge and characterized.
Basile Pesso, 8 November 2 017, first broadcast then here
Ben Harper, Like a King
Video of the cops’ ultra-violent abuse
Wiki on Rodney King in English and French