Respectable Riots for Rights By Janaye Evans(Section 2)


Baltimore Riots

Local officials and law enforcement described how Baltimore handled the riots as a “disaster.”  A failure to confront “thugs” and a failure to prepare despite plenty of warning. (Levs 2015) This nonroutine collective filled with rebellion and violence is not how society is supposed to function both morally and physically (Useem 1998).  Instead the local law enforcement should have intervened at the mention of “purging” by high school students on twitter (Levs 2015).  Clearly they were not ready for these children.

New New York City Riots

The case in NNYC is quite different. Today, November 6, 2015 rioters took advantage of the warm weather to flood the streets with considerate outrage.  This “outrage” was sparked by the death of the beloved Black leader Rev Hal Sharpland.

Rev Hal was killed by an angry attacker who thought his work against police action in Staten Island following Eric Garner was false.

Following the news of his death, black rioters took note of the White Lives Matters criticisms on their riots and decided to try routine collective action.  Meaning peaceful protests and rallies (Useem 1998).

To accomplish this, protesters started with sit-ins outside of local law enforcement offices. However, as soon as more than five black protestors were grouped together they began to be arrested and harassed.

Next, because they were not going to give up hope, they started marching through the streets at night, holding hands, and chanting “Black Lives Matter”.  Yet they were met with tear gas and militarized police.

Finally, the protesters after being gased, arrested, and threatened decided to enlist in the help of their white allies.

When the media was asked for a comment on the white rioters they simply stated “Rioters? Please they were white kids. It’s called a demonstration.”


Levs, Josh. 2015. Baltimore’s handliing of riots slammed as ‘disaster’. April 28. Accessed November 6, 2015.

Useem, Bert. 1998. “Breakdown Theories of Collective Action.” Annual Reviews 215-38.

This Onion article was inspired by


One thought on “Respectable Riots for Rights By Janaye Evans(Section 2)

  • November 7, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Not a very long comment, but I just wanted to say that this is the best thing I’ve read all week.

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