I was sad to note today the passing of Rodney King, forever known to those of us who watched too much TV in the 90s as “black motorist Rodney King.”

Rodney sure had a weird life. First he became world-famous for having the shit beat out of him by some LA cops. Then, when those cops were acquitted in a controversial trial, he became the inadvertent cause of the biggest riot this country had seen in decades. It was in this context that Rodney uttered the five words that I think will be his legacy: “Can we all get along?”

He was not the first to ask this, and he won’t be the last. But it is a damn good question nonetheless. Rodney never asked to be a public figure, and he was not the most articulate guy on Earth; but I defy you to watch him speaking here (starting at :54) and not be moved: