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Is rioting ever justified?
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Riots harm people and communities

Riots harm the livelihoods of the same people rioters and protesters advocate for.
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The Argument

Rioting is an irrational and unethical way of fighting injustice. Even if there is a genuine sense of anger in the hearts of many who participate in riots, the acts of violence, looting, and arson that characterize most riots are unjustifiable. These crimes seriously harm communities. Many of the riots that followed the murder of George Floyd ruined businesses, risked livelihoods, and destroyed some community centers.[1] Many Korean immigrants in Los Angeles were robbed and randomly shot at.[1] Many Somali immigrants who opened up new restaurants in Minneapolis lost them in one night.[2] Their businesses will most likely never reopen.[2] Such crimes generated by riots only bring harm to individuals and communities. They have nothing to do with bringing justice for black men and women who were unjustly killed. Several long-term studies show what negative consequences riots can have on communities. In the 1960s, American cities saw many fierce riots revolving around issues about race. An article measuring the riots' repercussions on the value of inner-city residential property shows that the riots lowered the median value of black-owned property between 1960 and 1970.[3] Clearly, riots cause more harm than good.

Counter arguments

Riots have negative consequences for the communities in which they take place. However, they are still powerful means of drawing attention to the sorrow and rage felt by members of deprived communities. Riots can encourage real reform and have done so in the past.[4] When a community or people finally unleash their pent-up emotions and frustrations, the public and those in power are forced to institute real reforms to rectify whatever wrongs led to civilians' outrage.[4] For example, riots in the 1960s resulted in the US government implementing the Kerner Commission. The Commission examined the cause of unrest and encouraged reforms in local police departments.[4] Riots, with all the violence they inspire and harm they cause, tend to bring communities some significant benefits eventually. The disruption and destruction that takes place are what moves those in power to authorize real change.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Monday, 23 Nov 2020 at 12:06 UTC

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