Riots: The Language of the Unheard

I don't support or agree with rioting. But by "rioting" I mean violence, vandalism and theft - not just protesting. I know not to blindly believe mainstream media's version of a news story or to listen to ignorant posts on social media... so to be clear, marching, protesting, even "angry" protesting is not the same as rioting. Blocking traffic is not rioting (protests are by design meant to be disruptive, otherwise what is the point?) That said, no I don't support or condone actual rioting, but I do get it. People riot when they have no voice and have no hope. People riot when they've suffered for so many years and that anger finally boils over. People riot when they've got no other option.

Even Dr. Martin Luther King (one of the greatest supporters of non-violent civil disobedience) said that it was morally irresponsible to condemn rioting "without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention." He referred to riots as "the language of the unheard." Everyone's been complaining "oh this will solve nothing" and maybe they're right... but peaceful protests are a privilege that aren't usually afforded to the disenfranchised and oppressed. Protests that are not disruptive are very easily ignored and so they are ignored and the protestors go unheard and nothing happens.

With that said, here is a list of just a few of the many historical protests that by today's standards may or may not be considered "rioting" just to remind everyone that it isn't new, it isn't different, and sometimes, yes, it is effective.


Feeling frustrated and hopeless

I just can't.

I still don't support rioting (although I know that not everything portrayed by the news as "rioting" is actually rioting - I'm talking about violence, vandalism and theft, not just angry protesting) but man... every day I feel a little bit more and more like I just want to smash things. And that's coming from a person who doesn't suffer from systemic racism on a daily basis. So I definitely get it. It sucks and I hate it, but man do I fucking get it.