Long before I was born Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and to put it mildly, many people were justifiably upset. But it doesn't take much for justifiable anger and protest to turn into riots. And looting.
At the time Chicago had a Mayor Daley, the father of our so recent one. He gave police the order to shoot arsonists. It sounds brutal, but I think it was perfectly justified. Vandalism and theft are bad, but are they truly dangerous? I don't think so. But fire, fire spreads, it catches innocent people, and it destroys on a much larger scale. Arsonists are potential murderers. So there's a line to draw.
Some of this is caused by people with problems who don't think the democratic process is on their side, or accessible, or however you want to phrase or spin it. I see why people in that situation would turn to riots, as a way to say... something (riots aren't good at coherent messages), when they don't feel like the 'system' will let them speak.
But riots are disorderly. And disorder attracts opportunists and criminals. Well fuck them!
The saddest part may be that violence doesn't encourage people to look for solutions to underlying problems, but to instead retaliate, crack down, demand justice, and then a lot of people lose their jobs and a lot of people go to jail and a lot of useful ideas get thrown out because they don't satisfy the desire for retaliation.
I hope nothing like that happens here. We do love our guns so much... It could be uglier.