Urban Disorders: Race Riots

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Critically assess the explanations that have been offered in understanding episodes of urban disorder, referred to by some commentators as ‘race riots’. In your answer make reference to at least two instances of urban disorder. The aim of this essay is to assess explanations offered by various organisations to explain and understand the cause and effect of episodes of rioting, and to ascertain whether they were racially motivated. Recent history has provided many examples, however it is three individual riots are looked at in detail: the North West UK riots of 2001 (Waddington et al 2013), the Cronulla riot in Australia 2005 (Poynting 2006) and the August 2011 UK riots (Jeffery & Tufail 2015). By focusing…show more content…
However, they were doing this in areas of the community that were overwhelmingly populated by various generations of Asian families, clearly suggesting that the BNP’s motivations were elsewhere. In fact, the BNP’s motivation for targeting Oldham was a response to the murder of Mr. Walter Chaimberlain by Asian youths, which according to police reports was racially motivated even though the victim’s family did not believe this to be the case (Waddington et al 2013). It has since been agreed firstly that the BNP were obviously trying to incite racial hatred (Waddington et al 2013) and secondly that the BNP’s apparent “canvassing” was not the only factor causing the “spark” of the riots. Indeed, as Ward reported, “This has been building up for years”…show more content…
However, some sources examined by Alexander (2004) attempt to lay the blame on “Incompatibility of British Muslims” (Alexander 2004, pp. 527). For example, John Townend, an MP at the time, blamed massive immigration since the end of WW2 for the breakdown of Anglo-Saxon society (Alexander 2004). When saying this, perhaps Mr. Townend did not realise that Anglo-Saxon society was a heavily patriarchal (a factor which is used to put Asian society in a bad light today as we shall see) society from the Dark Ages, largely irrelevant to post-war society. The BNP also blamed the Asian community for the riots, when in fact they were retaliating to the BNP’s provocation, without which perhaps the spark for rioting may not have been fuelled and instead a more peaceful protest may have taken its place. Centainly, the government at the time blamed the actions of the BNP and other political parties, with Tony Blair blaming the “bad and regressive motive of white extremists” (Anthony 2008, pp. 131). In reality, there are actually many reasons why Oldham and the surrounding area was on the brink of

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