Free «Birmingham Riots How It All Began» Essay Sample

The YouTube video summarized in this paper is a video showing the events that took place during the Birmingham riots in August 2011 (IAmBirmingham, 2011). The video shows confrontations between black gangs and Muslims. The Muslim who owned a shop along the street where the violence took place claimed that black gangs targeted Muslim shops. They broke into the shops and looted them during the riots. In response, the Muslims armed themselves with stones and other crude weapons with an aim of defending their shops and communities. Nevertheless, this only heightened the confrontations between the Muslims and the black gangs. The Muslims started attacking cars driven by black gang members that were passing along the street where confrontations were taking place. This resulted in death of three young Muslim men as one of the cars was driven right into the Muslim crowd.

This angered members of the Muslim community, and they proceeded to the Mosque to protest. The police arrived at the scene and attempted to calm the Muslim crowd. However, the crowd accused the police of arriving at the scene late. They also claimed that the young men who lost their lives did so while doing what the police should have done. On their effort to calm the angered Muslim crowd, the police said that they had already arrested the suspected driver and eleven other gang members. It was said that the riots were caused by the ethnic tensions, but there were also claims that some people took advantage of the situation to loot.

Although, the ethnic tension was cited as the main cause of the gang violence and riots, there are those who felt that there was an underlying cause. Those who dismissed ethnic tension as the cause of the riots argued that the riots were caused by unemployment, and discriminatory policies that denied minorities’ opportunities.


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