As London’s youth is in revolt, Barbara Kruuger’s message ‘In Violence We Forget Who We Are’ seems an appropriate reference.
Kruger’s Art Truck is part of a travelling exhibition called ‘America: Now and Here’ and is meant to stimulate conversations about American politics and culture but in light of what is happening in the UK, I think the message is universal.
Riots have broken out throughout the city of London and as of last night ‘copycat’ riots have spread to other UK cities including Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool and Nottingham. It all kicked off after a man was shot by police in Tottenham , North London but it’s clear that the misguided derelicts prowling UK cities have little or no connection with that specific event. Further, when interviewed one classless piece of work stated that young people feel disrespected – by who, I don’t’ know. Why they feel that they deserve respect, I don’t know. Do they know how to earn respect or what the term actually means – I think not.
Businesses and homes have been burned to the ground, high street shops and restaurants destroyed and widespread destruction on a massive scale. Though the number of police on duty has doubled, they do still appear to be approaching the situation with trepidation. In the face of the rioters who are largely young people, police are still adhering to ridiculously “politically correct” behaviour. I think that is the number one problem, these kids have no fear of authority of any kind least of all the Metropolitan police.
I’m with Islamic law on this one, I say cut off their hands!
Although this is a extreme situation, the more astonishing issue is that this is not an isolated problem. As a native New Yorker, now living in South London, I have noticed that adults in London are literally afraid to approach teenagers and as a result these kids feel that they are unaccountable and untouchable. Thugs sit in the back seats of public buses blasting their music from whatever mobile device they have, they throw their garbage all over the place, cut up and generally intimidate commuters. The outrageous thing – there’s a bus load of adults who do absolutely nothing but sit there and ignore the problem and that includes the bus driver. This is a small example, but I think you get the picture. Troubled British youth need to be put in their place not feared. And all of this political correctness needs to be reconsidered. Youth outreach programs should be made to include a reach out with a back hand or a clip around the ear. It worked for my generation!
Of course there are those who blame it on the economy, unemployment, Marxist mentalities, etc and comparisons to the riots in the 1980s are inevitable. But what are we really dealing with in London? I’m not so sure that these hooligans clad in hooded sweatsuits can even spell the word economy! I seriously doubt that any of them are worried about securing places at university and subsequently entering the job market. We are not looking at a bunch of aspiring CEO’s here!
Police are urging parents to call their little looters back home. What do you imagine these parents are like? Surely, not ideal role models if their kids are out setting fires, looting and generally reeking havoc.
The plan is to increase the number of police on the street from 6,000 to 16,000 tonight. But no word of an increase in tactics – how about bringing in the army or water cannoning the thugs? How about shooting them in the legs as they are celebrating their booty? The latter is of course my own recommendation!
What is the alternative? As London prepares to host the Olympics should our slogan be ‘Welcome to London for the 2012 Olympics… PS. Beware of the Teenagers!’ ?
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