The United States has seen more than its fair share of riots over the last couple of years. Many like to see riots as spontaneous events that are completely unpredictable; and some forms of riots of riots are, such as those after sporting events. Most, however, are very predictable. Certain conditions need to be in place before an inciting event can trigger a riot.
The reason the United States is seeing more and more riots is because the conditions are prevalent in more and more communities. These conditions are present in Flint, and the longer it takes the government to act, the more likely a riot becomes. Many times, the cause of the riot is seemingly unknown to the government. In fact, it’s almost a prerequisite for a riot because not many governments are callous enough to let an important grievance of their people go unattended if they are aware of it. In Flint, the government knows what will cause the riot, they just don’t care.
Martin Luther King famously said that a riot is the language of the unheard. He’s right. The conditions for a riot are simple. A populace needs to have a long-standing grievance of life and death that has gone unheard by the government, and they need to be economically depressed. Those three conditions set the stage, then an inciting incident must occur.