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Cindy Maddera

Before any of you think I'm condoning rioting, think again. Rioting is stupid and ineffective. People on the outside watching all of the rioting are looking at their TV screens and judging those rioters and shaking their heads at the crazy destruction that is taking place. I'm not going to sugar coat or lie about this, but a majority of those outside watchers are white and by the look around my Facebook news feed those white outside watchers are judging the rioters based on the color of their skin. To those watchers, the rioting is about black people going crazy. End of story. It could be that those same people think that rioting should only happen when your favorite basketball team loses the Final Four Championship. Man...look at all those white people rioting because their team lost a basketball game. Golly darn, it sure sucks and makes me so angry when my team loses!

That's sarcasm, by the way. 

From 2010 to now, there have been eighteen riots. Less than half of those have been race related riots. Of those race related riots, all of them have been in result of social injustice. I'm not saying that's a good reason to riot, but I'd rather see people getting angry and throwing things around for a better reason than my basketball team lost a game. The destruction of property seems counter intuitive to me, but there have been times when I've been so angry about something that I've wanted to throw a brick through a window. I can imagine that if I've been discriminated against over and over and watched my friends and neighbors suffer the same treatment day in and day out, I'd be angry enough to throw something bigger than a brick. This riot is not about just having an excuse to commit a crime, but an act of disrespect towards an authority and law that is continuously disrespecting it's community. 

There were several riots that led up to the American Revolution. We are all taught about the Boston Tea Party, a non-violent riot that led to the destruction of property, but there were several other riots like the Gaspee Affair and the Pine Tree Riot that were more violent. Riots, as awful as they are, have the ability to spark great change. It all starts with a conversation. We are talking about what's happening in Baltimore. We are talking about Freddie Gray. We are talking about police brutality. We are continuing the conversation on how to mend race relations in this country. Until that happens, I think we should expect to see some mess. Maybe instead of judging those for rioting, we should be working to make things better so people won't want to riot.