When thinking about riots there are two primary faith stories that come to mind.
The first is Jesus in the temple, outraged at the exploitation happening at the hands of the religious and governmental authorities. His anger motivates him to turn over tables and turn a rope into a whip.
The second is an older story, that of Samson, who after being unjustly imprisoned tears down the temple killing himself alongside the spectators.
While violence is not necessary a “solution,” our faith traditions teach us that when the systems that are supposed to support and sustain us continue to deny voice, humanity, and any hope of change … those systems must crumble.
As a white woman, I cannot imagine the daily violence and stress this world places on the shoulders of people of color. What I do know is that my tradition teaches me that there is a place for riots. And if I had to guess, Jesus would be on the streets, crying out for change, and turning over tables.