Why We Riot Is The Wrong Question

Riot PoliceWhen riots and looting break out along with the general out-of-control behavior occurring in Ferguson Missouri right now most people ask the obvious question, “Why? Why are people doing this?” That is the wrong question. The correct question should not be “why?” but “where?” That’s because riotous behavior is startlingly consistent and, in America, occurs in but one place.


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0 thoughts on “Why We Riot Is The Wrong Question

  1. CarolAnnie44 says:

    “Provide people with income and property ownership and behavioral patterns alter.” Surely you didn’t mean to use the word “provide” did you? You clearly stated that subsudized housing was just as susceptible to rioting. People don’t take pride in things provided for them. They take pride in what they’ve worked for. I will never forget watching a documentary about the slant that has engulfed the U.S. media. A group of predominantly black citizens were protesting a decision made by local government concerning their neighborhood. They were not being heard, and the local news station wouldn’t even talk to them, even though they were protesting (peacefully, I might add) right outside the station! I don’t condone the rioting in Ferguson, but I blame the victim mentality they have been brainwashed with at least as much as any economic woes.

    1. You applied the participle “provide” to the second portion but not the first. Yes, we “provide” people with income – via jobs. Provide jobs/income and then property ownership becomes a possibility. Cannot be done the other way around.

  2. Greg Efta says:

    Well written and spot on. Unfortunately, the majority of jobs (55% of all jobs, 70% of all NEW jobs since 1970) and the very people who are harmed during these riots are from small businesses! I agree with you 100% Derrick, but how can we recover from the destruction in Ferguson and other communities and encourage small business growth as long as the risk of damage and destruction exists?

    Additionally, I fear it is not JUST the need for jobs, but overcoming the allure of easy money (drugs, crime, etc.) and the reality that working for a living 40 hours a week is not as glamorous as hangin’ out and bein’ chill. Myriad dynamics in play, and you have written on them many times. What many of us want (I include you in that number) are concrete PLANS to achieve what you have eloquently expressed in the past. Obviously, legislating that NO liberal candidates can run for office in economically depressed areas would be a start…. but I doubt would gain much traction! LOL

    HOWEVER, more “Derrick Wilburns” on the street in these areas (I admire your work) MAY work to change minds and voting habits and will eventually win the day. If Al “not so Sharp” – ton and Jessie “don’t mess with my Jack”-son can gain so much political and social clout, what needs to be done so that the Derrick Wilburn’s, Allen West’s, Dr. Ben Carson’s and hundreds of other conservative black voices can rise above the din?

    I guess my rant is over. Keep going strong, brother, God is on your side and so am I.

  3. pen44 says:

    You nailed it, Derrick, as usual!! Love your site, and your work!

  4. twomacs says:

    Poor economic health of a community contributes to riotous behavior, and
    then is exacerbated by outsiders who participate in order to PROFIT
    from the plight of others…

  5. tojohndillonesq says:

    As a middle aged white guy from Boise Idaho, I don’t believe I have the right to comment on the historic and cultural causes of low education and poverty in some communities. What I do know is that guys like Derrick represent real hope and real change, and that the Political Hogs in DC (in EITHER party) will never do anything to really help..

  6. Stephen Blackburn says:

    When I was waiting to start college, I got a summer job. It was washing dishes for minimum wage. But a job is a job. I did not plan to make it a career, and I had some spending money for school. Lack of jobs and low expectations is a major factor.

  7. ramjet1106@yahoo.com says:

    Everyone in this country has the same opportunity, and I won’t buy the ” I don’t because I’m black” You have to work and strive for what you get. I came from a single mother of 8 children. Though I am not rich by any means I have earned everything that I own and I respect it. It is the free loaders and welfare mentality that develops the attitude that nothing has value, because it is not earned. That is where the focus should be. Eliminate the free life style and the new lifestyle will support value

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