Wayne Muromoto
Vol. 13, No. 13, July 3, 1992

The recent outburst of violence across our nation generated by the Rodney King verdict disturbed me greatly. What I saw on television, especially the looting and crime in Los Angeles, left me stunned. African American crowds ransacking black-owned businesses in the name of “getting what’s theirs.” Front-line police officers — of all colors — maligned for what they did and didn’t do. Korean Americans calling other ethnic minorities “devils.” Violent street gangs given legitimacy by the media. And the senseless injuries, property losses and deaths of the innocent.

What then is America? A nation full of thugs waiting for the right moment to bust loose? Or a nation built on the belief that we must always strive for the better, with compassion and justice for all? We are, I thought, a pretty messed-up country. Who are we to tell other countries how to run their societies when we can’t take care of our own problems?

I was driving the long, winding road to my parents’ home in Waialua recently, mulling those things over in my mind when I glanced out over the landscape, out to the sugar cane fields that shimmered a light green in the early summer sun.

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