Race riot
A race riot or racial riot is an outbreak of violent civil disorder (i.e. a riot
A riot is a form of civil disorder characterized often by what is thought of as disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of violence against authority, property or people. While individuals may attempt to lead or control a riot, riots are thought to be typically chaotic and...

) in which race is a key factor. A phenomenon frequently confused with the concept of 'race riot' is sectarian violence
Sectarian violence
Sectarian violence and/or sectarian strife is violence inspired by sectarianism, that is, between different sects of one particular mode of ideology or religion within a nation/community...

, which involves public mass violence or conflict over non-racial factors.
The term had entered the English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 by the 1890s. Until 1968 the use of the term in the United States referred to race riots which were often a mob action
Mob Action
Mob Action is a clothing label based in Leipzig, Germany. The name is synonymous with riot, outlining the company's political appeal....

 by members of the majority racial group against people of other races.