Final Blog Post

Overall Blog Summary:

black-history-colored-water-26761-700It’s a very common instance for Americans to state that racism is not prevalent, or a modern issue needed to be discussed. Many Americans are aware of the perpetual injustices against African Americans but are not adamant on the idea of participating in social change. Others are surrounded by cultural ignorance within a white supremacist landscape, choosing to believe that racism is something of the past. There’s no debate that our country was founded on racist principles and chattel slavery. The existence of social and institutional racism has continued throughout the Old Jim Crow century that followed emancipation. Many organizations throughout the United States are still aggressively discriminating against African Americans. Modern racism has become more subtle but continues to jeopardize black lives throughout America.



Kali’s final thoughts:

My favorite section we did on this blog was about riots. The timing was ironic because Week 3 was the week following the presidential election, and due to the shocking results of the election  riots were occurring all throughout the country. This was also an interesting category for me because riots are something that is not new to me; when Donald Trump came to visit my hometown, riots ensued. I saw how it actually looked in real life rather than just on a news channel, so this was definitely a topic that affected me. The most interesting part about the concept of riots to me is that they typically stem from a group of people wanting to make a statement, usually peacefully, but they end up getting out of control. I think something I would be interested in further learning about after doing this project is the theory of how riots actually become riots.


Shelby’s Final Thoughts:

I think one of the most interesting points we came across while researching for our blog posts was the prevalence of systematic racism in our judicial system. American media projects images of uprisings in predominantly black neighborhoods, racial injustices and police brutality. What isn’t shown are the everyday obstacles of discrimination minorities face everyday of their lives. Racial bias is extremely common in the American justice system, professional work environments and academic settings. The amount of prejudice blacks face through social and institutionalized racism is appalling and should be acknowledged on a national level. I believe that until privileged individuals come to terms with the prevalence of modern racism and decide to stand up among minorities widespread discrimination in the States will continue to persist.


Kimberly’s Final Thoughts:

One of my favorite topics that we talked about was the Black Lives Matter Movement. I thought it was a good topic to start off our blog with and it allowed me to learn more about a movement that I was relatively unfamiliar with. I thought it was interesting to learn that to some the All Lives Matter movement can be seen as insulting because it is seen as a denial to the racism towards black people in America. Overall, I enjoyed being able to research the topic of racial injustices in America, and I think that I learned a lot through the research of our four categories; Black Lives Matter, police brutality, riots, and institutional racism.


Aliyah’s Final Thoughts

Overall I think our blog is informative, but still easy to read. The point of this blog was to give readers the tools to start conversations about the injustices in America. These things happen around us everyday, little injustices go unnoticed or undiscussed. As long as they are not discussed publicly, by different races other than just Blacks, more blacks and minorities in this country will suffer. So, if anything I hope readers take away at least one thing from this blog that they can bring up with friends and start a discussion. My favorite section that I think has a lot of takeaways is the Black Lives Matter Movement section. Between traditional and social media I feel like the true purpose and intent of the Movement has been skewed. It seems like people not in the Movement have the most to say about their goals and positions, which is quite unfair. With this in mind, we put together a section that aims to display the true purpose of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The other sections are just as compelling, they tell the stories of injustices. Tell a friend to tell a friend to check it out!


Zion’s Call To Action:

In many ways this blog is designed to educate our audience about racial tensions in America. We not only strived to educate, but to validate the concerns and the unfortunate realities of many Black Americans. Now we’ve told you why Black Lives Matter and how institutional racism has been used to mistreat and underserved Black Americans, but now it’s your turn to take what you learned and turn it into action. Be an ally, it’s a more important role than many people think. Allies to the movement for equality can create dialogue and conversations amongst people who wouldn’t traditionally feel comfortable around marginalized groups. Do your research and spread what you know in circles where you do not see Black Americans. But in all just do what you can to dismantle institutional racism and unlearn the prejudices that may have been instilled in you by voting for policies that reform our criminal justice system and better serve inner city communities. Use your privilage to create equality, for more tips on how to be a great ally to Black Americans please read The Huffington Post’s article: ( )


Riots –

Police Brutality –

Black Lives Matter –

Institutional racism –


Riots – Refutation

Riots, Martin Luther King Jr described it as “the voice of the unheard”. American history books classify some riots as historic moments of rebellion and patriotism, while others are moments of terror and divide. We celebrate the white men that threw tea into the river while berating black men that damage property after reports of police brutality. Not only do we classify them differently but we treat those involved differently. Members of the Boston Tea Party are heros while members of the Ferguson and Baltimore riots are thugs and criminals.

In a press conference during the Baltimore unrests of 2015 Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake claimed that “thugs” had been “tearing down businesses and tearing down and destroying property, things we know will impact our community for years”. The problem with her statement and the statement of many political leaders in times of unrest, due to racial issues, is the lack of acknowledgement for the power and positive outcomes rioters bring. The claim that the rioters are thugs is a racially charged term used to describe black men as angry criminals. Between the language within the press conference and the lack of acknowledgement towards the way riots in Ferguson aided in the knowledge of civil and racial inequalities within the community the mayor of Baltimore was not able to unify or uplift the people in her community.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake, like many people, minimized the feelings and the actions of the rioters as simply people who are damaging themselves without understanding the impact of their actions. Ferguson is a perfect example of how a riot can shed light to the issues facing people of color in a small town. The Ferguson unrests happened a year before the events in Baltimore, when a young black American boy named Mike Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darien Wilson.   

Many Americans who take part in the coverage produced by media outlets have characterized the anger of black young people in Baltimore as a riot, branding them as being thugs or others who are just looking for trouble to cause. Some will not acknowledge that the angry and violent response against the repeated acts of police brutalities could be reasonable. Peaceful protests are a good way for people to express their opinions because through this people will be able to get their opinions heard without being seen as “thugs” or “trouble makers.” Many people have only seen the violent riots related to the police brutality in Baltimore because of the media coverage and how there is not as much coverage on peaceful protests.




Riots – Affirmative Argument

While Dr. Martin Luther King never advocated for violent and destructive behavior, he did state that it would be morally irresponsible to condemn riots without, at the same time, condemning the “contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society.”

There were a massive wave of race riots that swept the cities in 1960s black America. From 1964 to 1971, there were over 750 riots around the country. Compared to the courteous and well-behaved forms of peaceful protest typical of the earlier civil rights generation, the 1960’s riots saw a sea of change that had been an extreme overdue response to the injustices that black America had endured for so long.

In August 1965, the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California broke out in fire and vandal. The Watts riots commenced when a when white police officers stopped an intoxicated black man, 21-year-old Marquette Frye, on a highway in South Central Los Angeles. As an altercation broke out involving the police, Frye and Frye’s two family members – the situation quickly turned violent. Allegedly, the officers had struck Marquette Frye’s mother, Rena Price, who was also pregnant at the time along with Frye for resisting arrest. As the crowd started protesting, the altercation quickly grew into a five-day racial riot with nearly 4,000 were arrests. Many cherish the memory as the moment when the militant became mainstream in a “fed-up” black America, replacing the nonviolent, gradualist efforts of old-guard civil rights leaders. The Watts riot indeed shaped modern black American history more decisively than ever before, bringing light to racial oppression of blacks by police officers.

The famous “LA Riots” or “Rodney King Riots”, erupted after the acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers in the beating of Rodney King on April 29, 1992. The riots were the first in history to be captured completely by the media on a national level. In the six days of outcry, the riots shed light on police abuse, poverty, lack of economic opportunity, and a sense of disenfranchisement among African-Americans in the United States. Afterward, the LAPD and city of Los Angeles made significant alterations in response to the African American’s objections. More minorities were encouraged and accepted to join the police force and Daryl Gates, LAPD police chief, took institutional blame for the incident and resigned. The police officers were then retried by the U.S. Department of Justice, and two of the four were found guilty of violating King’s civil rights and sentenced to prison.

The Ferguson riots rose from the shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer Darren Wilson in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. In Ferguson, where there was already substantial tensions between police and minorities, the shooting brought national attention to the injustices, subconscious biases and racial profiling conducted by police. The unrest sparked a vigorous debate about the relationship between law enforcement and African American equality. It also brought light on aggressive policing tactics and over-militarization of civilian police in America. As a result of the events in Ferguson, President Obama ordered a review of the distribution of military hardware and equipment supplied to state and local police. Additionally, Justice Sonia Sotomayor cited the Department of Justice’s “Ferguson Report” extensively in the 2016 Fourth-Amendment case Utah v. Strieff as evidence of systemic racial bias in police practice.

Riots are a tool that protesters use to show how dissatisfied they are with the current system.

As Dr. King stated, “rioting is the language of the unheard.” Rebellion as performance, with no plan of action behind it is used as political activism by victims of injustices. In a society where everyone seems to look the other way, the oppressed often feel that this use of behavioral rebellion is their only option. Riots are useful in helping push the truths of racial injustice further into the national conversation which is usually ignored. The fact that this tactic is still used in modern America shows how the social divide is still extremely prevalent and remains a crucial problem for minorities. The riots are not just an excuse to loot and destroy but a desperate result of a long pattern of police abuse, harassment and violence toward the African-American community in the context of systemic class inequality, custodial citizenship and mass incarceration.


An interesting correlation of prominent race riots in the U.S.:


Pre-Election Results: What Did The Riots Look Like?

In my (Kali) own home county, riots ensued throughout the town of Costa Mesa, which neighbors my hometown of Newport Beach, on April 26th. Although I was not there in person, I witnessed these riots via numerous videos, texts, Snapchat stories, and pictures my friends at home had sent me. It was violent and it was not peaceful. It made me wonder, how can such a hate-filled riot occur? Only when a person filled with hate is truly feared of holding power. What does this say about us?