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The London riots are an excellent example of how much damage the Political Correct nonsense and the victim culture promoted to our communities over the years has influenced our youth. The lack of manners prevalent today has contributed to a breakdown in civility. If you don’t have self-respect first and foremost, you cannot have respect for anything else, your partner, your boss, the police, the justice system, or your community – let’s get back to basics and teach our kids that to respect yourself is the first step to becoming confident adults with real self-esteem, not some superficial version better associated with ferrals and their “gangsta” rap image.

Read the following article published in The Guardian this week…

Fashion statement: Young men charged over England’s riots targeted shops selling ‘‘gangster chic’’ items — brands which now have an image problem

Purveyors of gangster fashion aimed at youth have been dismayed that England’s rampaging pillagers found their wares particularly appealing.

When rioters went on the rampage, the shops that suffered some of the worst damage were those belonging to the JD Sports chain.

Peter Cowgill, chairman of the clothing retailer, said as many as 30 of its stores had been looted and the clean-up and replacing of lost stock would cost in excess of £10 million ($A16 million). He said he was ”depressed” by how  quickly things had spiralled out of control. ”Ultimately you have to have  faith in the law and this resolving itself,” he said.

The riots affected a broad range of businesses, from the Debenhams department  store chain, to pharmacists Boots, Carphone Warehouse and discount store Argos,  which said 18 stores had been looted. A report said at least 10 per cent of   retail and leisure businesses had been either directly or indirectly hit by the  riots.

But JD Sports became the enduring image of the devastation. Robin Knight, a  retail expert at restructuring firm Zolfo Cooper, said it was targeted because  it is seen to embody youth culture.

He said: ”It has clearly positioned itself as a purveyor of very aspirational  product amongst the UK’s youth. Currys and Comet [both electrical/computer goods  stores] got raided because they sell high-value products. But JD was very  clearly in their minds as [the place] where they’d get the stuff they aspired  to. JD has almost been a victim of its own success. It worked hard to appeal to  the youth market and, when the country tipped into lawlessness, it still  appealed to that market.”

Branding experts are warning that the riots are a wake-up call for the fashion brands that JD Sports stocks. They have cultivated a ”gangster chic” image and found themselves targeted by looters across the country. Mark Borkowski, a PR and branding expert, said that image was now coming back to haunt them.

”The riots are an absolute disaster for a number of brands. From the day the Daily Mail and the Guardian used that picture of the hoodie equipped  completely in Adidas it has become a massive crisis.

”It has been a wake-up call for many brands which have spent millions developing ‘gangster chic’ and ‘dangerwear’ images.” A rioter dressed head-to-toe in Adidas was pictured on the front pages of most of Britain’s national newspapers last Tuesday. One of the youngest offenders appeared at court this week in a full Adidas tracksuit. The brand, which is one of the major sponsors of the 2012 Olympics, condemned those taking part in the riots.

Renaldo Tekl-Giorgies is taken from City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court after being sentenced to four months for a public order offence and criminal damage

Mr Borkowski said brands have been aligning themselves with gang and criminal culture for decades but had ramped up their association in recent years. This week Adidas will launch an advertising campaign featuring rapper, gang member and convicted criminal Snoop Dogg. The Adidas Originals advert also stars fellow US rapper Big Sean, who recently was charged with sexual assault. Last week Levi’s withdrew an advertising campaign that featured a young man squaring up to a line of police after a public outcry that it glorified riots. The 60-second  film ended with the words ”Go Forth”

What is your view about this “gangsta” rap culture?