Why Americans Riot: 10 Historical Examples Of Bad And Better Reasons To Riot

When riots broke out after citizens of Ferguson took to the streets to protest the murder of Mike Brown by a police officer, the media was littered with imagery and stories of violent and savage Black people destroying the city. To a large extent, those images overshadowed the reason for the protests and even gave some the reason to excuse the mistreatment, oppression and brutality faced by African-American people struggling against an often unfair judicial and legal system. The painting of the African-American population as violent is a common tactic used to derail and misdirect necessary conversations about the racism and discrimination that still plagues the nation. This is especially evident after witnessing how the media treats “Black” riots vs “White” ones. While there is no “good” reason for a riot, some are most certainly better than others. To combat these stereotypes, let’s explore some reasons why Americans, both black and white, riot.