What pushes people to riot? What makes someone so desperate that they only have rage, frustration, and anger to act on? Why is it that people want to say it’s because of skin color, culture, religion, or some other factor without looking into the actual underlying cause? Riots have occurred across nearly all boundaries at various time throughout history and the people who have rioted have had different backgrounds, cultures, and ethnic makeups. Even Martin Luther King Jr said, “that a riot is the language of the unheard.”
“But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that 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. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear?…It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”— “The Other America,” – Martin Luther King Jr.