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meagan's avatar

What do you think about the Rodney King riots?

Asked by meagan (4665points) July 15th, 2010

The one thing that can scare the living hell out of me is the Rodney King riots..

Does anyone think the riots were justifiable? What would cause so many people to go insane?

I’ve seen the video of the men pulling that truck driver out of his vehicle and beating the shit out of him randomly.

What would trigger such outrageous behavior!?

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11 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

Well, a jury acquitted police officers who so obviously used excessive force. Also, the issue of racism in the LAPD came to light. Put those two together and you get a lot of pissed-off people. Those pissed-off people began to congregate, a few people became violent and group mentality took over. That’s the recipe for the riots.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Did you see the video where the cops beat Rodney King? Those cops got acquitted, hence the riots.

meagan's avatar

@aprilsimnel That doesn’t mean that a group of people can drag a random man out of his vehicle and smash his head in with bricks.

jrpowell's avatar

I was 15 when this happened. I went to protest at the courthouse with my sister. It turned violent and this was in Eugene Oregon by white people. There was a lot of anger at the “system”.

And in the neighborhood where Reginald Denny was beaten everything was getting destroyed. Businesses owned by blacks were torched. It wasn’t race… It was pure anger, black people got beaten too. But black on black TV isn’t good for ratings.

meagan's avatar

@johnpowell I’m not really trying to make it about race. More or less.. is this all primal instinct? Get REALLY angry and be violent? Even to strangers?

Zaku's avatar

@meagan Well, people can get outraged and become senselessly violent. And they probably also felt justified in the moment.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Ask yourself, as well, why did the cops beat Rodney King? He was complying with them. Rodney King was a stranger to those cops. Think about both sides of your question.

You may as well ask why did the French peasants attack the Bastille and the guards there, when most of those peasants had never seen the inside of that prison? And the innocent folks in the streets of Paris during that time? Or Kristallnacht? People rioting in the streets and beating the innocent there, too! This is where context comes in. It’s not like every day, the unwashed masses are mobbing around beating random innocent people. Something has to set that sort of behaviour off. Think about the beliefs people carry around that get sparked like a fire and sets people off.

You have to accept that there will be times where many people will choose violence in the heat of the moment. And if you want to fully understand it, you will have to stop being shocked or outraged every time something like that happens, and pay attention to why it’s happening. Because violence happens. Everywhere. Committed by all sorts of people. And it will pretty much happen again and again, as long as human beings are animals with emotions and passions, whether you like it or not. I don’t like it either. I thought the riots were horrible. Mr. Denny happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. How much would you like to bet those people would rather have beat the crap out of one of those acquitted cops instead?

meagan's avatar

@aprilsimnel Its just blows my mind that people are so quick to act on these instincts. And using an innocent man as an outlet for this violence is horrifying.

rooeytoo's avatar

Was there a new riot or are you talking about the ones that happened years ago right around the time of the incident? (I try to keep up with USA news but sometimes I miss a couple of days and get left behind!)

meagan's avatar

@rooeytoo I’m talking about the old riot.

jca's avatar

then the rioters broke into stores and stole everything in sight – tv’s, etc. was that justified or was that just wanting to take advantage of the situation to get free stuff? what does stealing a tv have to do with getting back at the white man for the unjust verdict?

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