Twitter debates whether Rodney King was a civil rights hero

Rev. Al Sharpton claims that Rodney King, who was found dead in his swimming pool Sunday morning, was a symbol of civil rights.

A few Twitter users echoed Sharpton:

Sad News For Civil Rights: Rodney King found dead in swimming pool |… #hamr

— worldwidedx (@worldwidedx) June 18, 2012

RIP Rodney King, a symbol of civil rights

— Andrea Castro (@Cocibear) June 17, 2012

RIP Rodney King….although I had mixed feelings about you, you played an important role in modern day civil rights.

— Ladee TDot (@LadeeTdot) June 17, 2012

RIP Rodney King, a symbol of civil rights

— Andrea Castro (@Cocibear) June 17, 2012

Some even went so far as to compare him to Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks:

laugh if u want but 50 yrs from now #RodneyKing will be considered the Rosa Parks of the anti profiling movement…

— Own Your Masters (@ThaArchitect) June 18, 2012

#SOSundays Happy Fathers Day S/O2 to the late Martin Luther King, Jr.; and the late Rodney King!! RIP MLK Jr and RK

— Brian NoURLACHER (@SuperboyJohnson) June 17, 2012


— THE DEVIL (@NOIRFANCY) June 17, 2012

Rodney King was the accidental "Rosa Parks" of the 90's and racial profiling

— Nakisha M. Lewis (@NakLew) June 17, 2012

Oh yea if Rodney King wasn't important than neither was Rosa Parks. From what I know her story was grossly exaggerated

— Rob (@BEASTMOD_E) June 17, 2012

RIP Rodney King Should be next to Rosa Parks in history books.

— #OnDatOva 223ent (@OnDatOva) June 17, 2012

#RIP Rodney King..the 90s MLK

— Kenny Starnes (@KpStarnes) June 17, 2012

I didnt think rodney king was ever gone die lol cuh was like another MLK in 2pac and 50cent body lol

— NellydaSoulja (@My__Kingdom) June 17, 2012

Many others, however, disagreed:

Rodney King was not Emmett Till, James Meredith, Rosa Parks, or MLK. He wasn't Neda. The media is pathetic.

— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) June 17, 2012

Not sure if #RodneyKing can be called a 'civil rights icon' in the same sense as Rosa Parks or the other King…

— Vivienne Élisabeth (@viviennebreton) June 17, 2012

@1JDIVA I was wondering what all this "OMG Rodney King died" ish was coming from. Every life is precious but folk act like MLK died

— DMIDDLE (@billygoatjack) June 17, 2012

Rodney King was no civil rights leader but I do hope we take his advice someday, stop categorizing by melanin count, & just try to get along

— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) June 17, 2012

Rodney King was not a symbol for civil rights, and Al Sharpton should be ashamed of himself for saying so.

— Auntie Dee Dee (@SoCalGal64) June 17, 2012

Really? If you listened to CNN it would seem like Rodney King was Emmett Till, Rosa Parks or MLK. Dude wasn't a civil rights pioneer.

— Vincent Frank (@VincentFrankNFL) June 17, 2012

Niggas talkin bout Rodney King like he was MLK or Ghandi the nigga wasn't special he just got hit ass beat by the law on camera

— Elmo McElroy (@Drapht__) June 17, 2012

Rodney King died, he obviously shouldn't have been beaten, but let's not pretend he was Rosa Parks or MLK Jr. #perspective

— Stoner Jesus™ (@stonerjesus420) June 17, 2012

I hope y'all don't think Rodney king is a civil rights figure or sumn?

— Lucas Sosa (@Yeah_imDopeHoe) June 17, 2012

Drinking beer and smoking Crack RT @ATL_TROTT: Rodney King bout to be a Civil Rights Hero let y'all tell it… For what? 👊👊😲👮👮👮👮

— beeaboutmoney (@beeaboutmoney) June 17, 2012

Nigga on Facebook gave Rodney King praise like he was a great black leader in the civil rights movement I'm so confused bruh

— Fatty Artbuckle (@king_of_indiana) June 17, 2012

anyone mourning rodney king as a decent human is a moron, Guy was a thug. Did he deserve that beating? maybe not but he was no MLK.

— Rob (@BobbyNeil79) June 17, 2012

Read more: