chapter  7
24 Pages

COMMODIFYING/RACE

As urban or streetwear became de rigueur among young people of all ethnic backgrounds, black celebrities acquired a kind of crossover status that enabled them simultaneously to earn fortunes while acting like card-carrying members of the ghetto. The verdict was a catalyst for widespread, often violent protests by African Americans across the USA. The "Rodney King riots," as they were known issued a reminder that assumptions that racism had disappeared were ill founded. The conclusions of an investigation into the police's handling of a murder of a black youth in London prompted a similar recognition in Britain. In 1985, Clint Wilson and Félix Gutiérrez wrote "advertisers promote consumption of their products as a shortcut to the good life, a quick fix for low-income consumers". Minorities were urged to remain mindful that they lived in "a system of inequality that keeps them below national norms in education, housing, income, health and other social indicators".