Riots are considered to be rational acts of collective behaviour. Rioters, if looked at closely, are governed by emerging norms with rational group processes, influences and situational factors arising from new and extraordinary situations. Even if a riot seems chaotic, the rioters take measured steps to attain their goal. Riots often stem from feelings of social inequality and social injustice. A riot is the action of average citizens in response to unusual conditions. The rioters become an acting crowd moving towards a goal (Heslin, 2012).
Riots may be productive as they make the society and government take notice of the existing social conditions and the changes the group is fighting for. It is, however, also counter-productive because the government and the whole society perceives it as the action of violence and destruction, not as the movement driven by the underlying causes aimed at reaching common welfare. Instead of instituting the necessary social changes for better social conditions, government usually clamps down on the rioters and society puts a bias on the group. Government does not respond to the underlying causes for the riot but only responds to the riot (Heslin, 2012).
Though social inequality and social injustice exist in American society, people are slow to riot. I think it happens because they would rather form social movements as a means to voice out their discontent about certain social conditions and effect change through such movements. Americans have formed quite a number of social movements to address their problems with social conditions and have used these movements to do something about these inequalities and injustices (638).
I do not believe that more riots will better the social conditions of minorities in America. Americans do not respond positively to such collective behaviour. As from previous riots, they respond negatively to the action and fail to really see the underlying causes for such an action. Therefore, minimal acts will be taken to correct the underlying causes for the riot. I believe that rioting would only make things worse for the minorities in America as this kind of collective behaviour creates a rift instead of bridging the society. The minorities will be stereotyped as rioters and will be treated even more unjustly. Government crackdowns on the minorities may be instituted instead of improving their social conditions.