On Understanding the Baltimore Rioters

A friend of mine posted a question on Facebook asking for help understanding why people in Baltimore are rioting. Here was my attempt. Interested in additional thoughts from all over the political spectrum.


Okay, here’s my best shot. The more peaceful protesters are black people who feel like the lingering societal effects of slavery and segregation still last, resulting in it being harder for them to get good jobs, live in nice neighborhoods, etc.

There has been a lot more documented police brutality than before when cell phone videos weren’t a thing, and some police agencies aren’t responding appropriately to that. This means that they feel real physical danger when stopped by police.

They also believe that unlike white, privileged people, their voices aren’t really heard, so they do the next “louder” thing: get together and protest, *just like we do in DC every January!*

The violent rioters? I think some of them are described above but their feelings about it are so strong that it has turned to anger and even hatred of police/the government/anyone they believe is too powerful.

I think there’s a third group of people who just want to watch the world burn. They don’t care so much about racism and police violence as they do the fun of participating in a riot and burning stuff.

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