Rioting: The Unasked Questions

urban_murica_540First there was Rodney King and the LA riots, an assortment of minor skirmishes along the way, then we had Ferguson and now Baltimore. Rioting seems to be growing in popularity as a national pastime, but I’m finding it all a bit confusing. Maybe I’m just too old to get it. I don’t know that I could actually huck a rock far enough to break out a store window anymore. I’d have to stand so close to get the job done, that I’d end up covered in glass shards which would then totally clog my Kenmore when I washed those clothes later on. Maybe, though, if someone could explain the mentality of rioting, I could better get into this new craze.

For example, I don’t understand the logic in destroying the neighborhood you live in. If you burn down all the buildings and rob all the stores, don’t those businesses leave? I’m thinking that if I own the local StuffMart and it gets looted and burned down in a riot, I’m going to collect my insurance check and reopen StuffMart where the crazy people don’t live. Maybe instead of setting all the cars on fire, we should get in them and drive to someone else’s neighborhood. Maybe not your grandma’s neighborhood, but there are some bad neighborhoods that might actually benefit from having all the buildings burned down!

On a positive note, riots do seem to get people off the couch and out of the house. If you’re running from the police, at least you’re running. That’s good for your heart. Turning cars over probably builds some good upper body muscles. These things will be especially important if the gyms have all been burned down. You’ve got to get your workout in somewhere.

Overall, though, I’m not completely clear on how committing criminal acts will help us reach our goals. If our goals are to change the system, I’m not sure that this is an effective way to do it. I’m just tossing out ideas here, but maybe instead of picking up rocks or fire bombs, we should pick up ballots and books. If you don’t like how your city is run, get involved. Be the change you want to see. You have a voice, but no one will hear it over blaring sirens from fire trucks, riot squads, and ambulances. But hey, what do I know?

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