I don’t own a TV box, and although I could find it, I rarely watch breaking news on television. But judging from my twitter feed, the coverage of the reaction to the George Zimmerman verdict was infused with the assumption that riots would happen, and surprised that they didn’t.
I've heard the word "peaceful" at least four times in the last 20 minutes.
— Grace (@graceishuman) July 14, 2013
Obviously, first and foremost the problem with this is the dehumanizing nature of it. It treats the black (and other, to the extent they’re acknowledged) folks who would protest this verdict as simply violence just waiting to happen. It certainly doesn’t give voice to the actual reason people were out to describe the level of violence.
Now sure, it’s more complex than just that. This has something to do with media sensationalism in general. Here on May Day even before some smashed windows, the story of some anarchists overshadowed much larger peaceful protests for immigration reform.
And it all adds up to a disincentive to participate. Don’t go to that march, it might be violent.