Violence in American society from a conflict theory perspective
The Cincinnati Riots
Cincinnati riots of 2001 are some of the greatest reflections of racial discriminations resulting from ineffectiveness of security institutions sparking massive losses and stunted development. These riots pointed the great divide that undercut the American society. The case is a strong indication of unresolved personal feelings of superiority of whites over other people of color. This paper explores unresolved conflicts between blacks and whites using the conflict theory, conflicts for resources, ineffectiveness of institutions and how politics influenced the riots. In addition, the paper analyzes how the problem was resolved and the outcome of deliberations on the issue. It is the view of this paper that conflict from resources and the sense of threat to whites by blacks in the society was the underlying cause of the riots. The paper concludes by reiterating Martin Luther king Junior’s call for the coexistence of all people and their judgment to be based on their characters and not their skin color (Lan, 2009).
Causes of the riots in Cincinnati
Direct murder by police
Cincinnati riots were precipitated by a wide range of events that saw massive discrimination of blacks in a manner that reflected flashbacks of slavery. Between 1995 and 2001, Lan (2009) report that about fifteen people were executed by police or lost their lives in the hands of the security agents. As a result, the black community became alarmed about being targeted by security agents and ultimately being executed or dying in their hands. With the fifteenth execution of Thomas Timothy taking place in the streets of Cincinnati, David (2003, p. 283) explains that the entire black community reached a “boiling point” and could no longer hold on. Hewitt (2005) noted that while a community might be unable to act because it is lacking power, cumulative anger reaches a point when it disregards the threat that could arise from taking the law into its own hands and comes out fighting. With news of Cincinnati racism taking over all news headlines, the damage had already been done and battle lines were already drawn.
Failure to put racial discrimination and murder to justice
While cases of murder are heartbreaking, the notion of the accused being set free without justice to the offender is a recipe for conflicts. Even with clear evidence of police being involved in targeted killings, the state appeared unwilling to follow established law in prosecutions. As a result, the cry of slain blacks was answered by the Cincinnati black community that was awakened to the reality that it was a direct target. Following Roger Owensby’s death from wrong police procedures [asphyxiation by chokehold], involved police officers never faced full charges for murder (Hewitt, 2005).
According to Hewitt (2005), the report that blacks were more likely to commit crimes was unfounded...