A lot of folks were upset with the proposed ‘shackle’ sneaker designed by Jeremy Scott (JS Roundhouse) ..It was understandable, because the shackles look like a throwback to slavery or modern-day prison bindings..The sneakers were set to be released in August and retail for $350.00. Because folks were so outraged, Adidas decided to cancel the release of those shoes..I’m not mad at that decision. Even though the designer claimed he was trying to be ‘quirky‘ and off beat, there’s nothing quirky or eccentric about slavery or prison..
With that being said, I gotta be honest and note the irony of folks being upset about this visible symbol of slavery but not too upset about it when its invisible. What do I mean?
Well over the years we’ve seen countless deaths over these and other expensive sneakers.. The outcry over these shackle shoes was the symbol and not the $350 price tag.. We have countless people hopelessly hooked on spending their last dollar on these and other shoes including the recently released kicks sporting rap superstar Kanye West‘s name.. Nike Air Yeezy II. They’re going for $285 a pair.. This wouldn’t be so bad except such über expensive items are marketed to poor people, many who’ve become mentally enslaved to the idea that they must own a pair at all costs. The end result as I mentioned earlier is more than a few deaths. If folks aren’t slaying and robbing each other, then we’re running around with our chest out and basing a lot of our inner self-worth on these shoes..We’ve become enslaved to blinging in the middle of a recession.
Of course the shoe companies like to step back and take no blame.. They like to kick it back to the parents, churches and schools and hide behind the concept of ‘free market‘ and ‘supply and demand‘. No one wants to talk about the mindset of kids that feel so compelled to own a pair of certain types of sneakers that they’ll kill or risk death over them.. No one wants to talk about the deep desire to own these shoes even if they are made in sweat shops with slave labor. They must own a pair at all costs.. That’s pretty powerful.
No one wants to talk about the millions they spend in marketing research which results in them honing sophisticated strategies designed to get inside the heads and psychologically hook particular demographics of people, most of them young. many of them poor. No one wants to talk about how these expensive shoes folks are overly attached to are made for pennies on the dollar. It was this fear of sophisticated marketing and the concern of folks deemed vulnerable and easily influenced that we don’t have cigarette and certain types of alcohol ads on TV..
Yes, I’m glad Adidas got rid of this silly line of sneakers.. We have enough symbols of prison and slavery we don’t need to spend an extra $350 for more conditioning.. I’ll be even more happy when I can wake up and not see folks who can’t identify their mayor or congressperson or the political winds and policy adversely impacting them, who will spend the night in front of the local shoe store to get their hands on the latest $300 kicks that have been deliberately marketed so there are limited amounts.
Food for Thought..
written by Davey D
It isn’t the fault of the sneaker companies that causes people to kill or maim over a pair of shoes. It is the fault of the parents who didn’t teach their children to be happy with what they have and not to try and keep up with the Joneses. My kids have never asked me for expensive shoes, clothes or games because when they were growing up, value was placed on what you have not how much something cost. They are adults now with jobs and still do not worry about spending their hard earned money to impress others with $400 sneakers and $1000 purses. Put the blame where it belong, the parents of those who are not satisfied with what they have and feel the need to take what others have.
SMH. Sensitive black people putting effort into pointless sh!t (I’m black and work in the shoe industry). First off, if you knew Jeremy Scott’s shoe line, which I assume you don’t, all his shoes are inspired by childhood toys and this one happened to be inspired by My Pet Monster (look it up). So this whole notion of racism and slavery is absurd. And this was just a terrible lead off into your rant about spending too much money on shoes and how it is marketed to poor people. show me one instance where shoes were marketed to poor people?? No company is asking people to spend their hard earned dollar on expensive shoes. 57 percent of the national shoe stores (footlocker, champs, finishline, etc) are located within a 10 mile radius of lower middle class families but yet its targeting the poor? This was real half-assed davey D.
I wish people would STOP calling Blacks sensitive. If the idea came from dude’s childhood toys (HA!), then whatever. But this whole sensitive thing….slavery is STILL happening! Just because we’re not out pickin’ cotton and singing slave tunes doesn’t mean it’s not. Besides, it wasn’t only Blacks who were disappointed. The critics (non-Blacks) were the first to comment on them. Adidas, right along with most companies, use slave tactics; I think that’s pretty obvious today. Hell, I just signed a petition for someone who’s in that position. Kept locked in the facility, 24/7, with NO breaks, for small piece of change….while the company itself continues getting filthy rich. Some of them may be children. THE IDEA WAS WRONG, PERIOD. If a Black made this (like kanye’s dumb ass), it would affect me in the same way.
Oh, and the blame lies on EVERYONE involved, especially the companies. And stop blaming parents for everything; they can’t be with their silly kids 24/7. Doesn’t matter how well you raise someone, they’re STILL gonna do what the hell they wanna do.
Appreciate Davey D’s insights as we are all impacted negatively by capitalism’s oblivious manipulations, especially of the youth. In times when families are so deeply disrupted by a myriad of reasons, including dire poverty, violence, lack of decent education and meaningful work, the impact of such materialistic, abusively made items such as the Adidas shackle shoes really have nothing good to offer. Dismissing concerns raised by Davey D is much easier than examining the impact of another notch in the belt of racist, oppressive corporate profit that dovetails into the overall mess humanity faces in these dire times. Ignoring the potential for further violence that is indeed instigated by such shoes is no help. Solution requires hashing out such disturbing details.
Lori is it the fault of a t-shirt manufacterer that kids fight over colors? No , but guess what schools and police will ban u wearing those colors in public spaces where there’s a likelihood for folks to fight. In fact in many schools you aren’t even allowed to wear cloths outside of the prescribed uniform.. so stop making excuses for this nonsense..Many kids don’t have parents who raise them correctly thus impacting us all.. So yes its the shoe companies fault..
Terrible ..stop defending slavery.. No I don’t know or care about his cartoon inspirations… This is not a cartoon.. Some cartoons the folks shoot each other and laugh.. funny in a cartoon, tragic in real life… he missed the mark.. I didn’t pull the sneakers Adidas did.. I didnt sign a petition or anything like that.. I told people stop embracing slave shyt
I stopped wearing slave type gym shoes years ago,It’s ironic how so many black people complain about racism and white people.But if you go look in their closet you can see their gym shoe collection on display. The kkk just laughs at us on a daily…. .
Another thought from me: it took something like THIS to make my people see how companies can be?! Why? Why does it always have to be the obvious that makes many of us stop and think? Examples: The love for jordans disgusts me. It’s made by a company that i’ve been guilty of buying from, and the man behind the brand name doesn’t deserve the pedestal he’s on. But many, especially in my generation, don’t seem to notice. Or the apple thing: it took stories of people committing SUICIDE to pay attention, and even then, people are still buying them up, so I don’t know. I just wish people would do more research and get involved more, especially before supporting people who don’t give a damn about us. Regardless of what many say, there IS something we can do about this. They’re only doing things that we’re letting them get away with. I guess we don’t have to stop buying their’ just demand better treatment for their employees. They don’t have to treat them the way they do.
Maybe this happened for a reason (answering my own question). I guess sometimes it takes something “drastic” to happen to finally catch people’s attention.
Correction: I guess we don’t have to stop buying their products; just demand better treatment for their employees.
Davey, I usually agree with you but not this time. I’m tired of people in America trippin of everything and calling everything racist. Land of the sensitive!
Those shoes are hella expensive and its annoying that people in our communities are in slaved by this sneaker culture but I think internet reactionaries are really tripping by calling these shoes racist.
Reblogged this on TheBrabbleRabble and commented:
It was my understanding that the “slaves to kicks [fashion]” was what Jeremy Scott had in mind when he designed these sneakers. That said, if/when you stop being a slave to expensive kicks is a personal choice.
So is there a difference between someone spending $285 for some sneakers vs. Spending the same amount on a pair of “dress shoes”?
many kids don’t have parents who raise them correctly; so yes its the shoe companys fault ????
hmmm; still tryin to figure that one out !!?!
Maybe your saying they can’t think for themselves ; so the shoe company is responsible for their thinking and actions. Aren’t you now discrediting these people by saying they can’t rationally think for themselves…. Food for thought Dave.
Reblogged this on The Hip Hop Nerd and commented:
Hip-Hop sage, Davey D brings common sense and reason to our culture. Check out his blog for some enlightenment.
The bigger issue here is one of cultural perception. Black Americans (at least the ones upset) PERCEIVE this to be a symbol of slavery or prison. That in-and-of-itself is the real issue. Not the shoes. Adidas pulled them because listening to their audience is good business. Not because the shoes were actually a symbol of slavery or prison. They are only a symbol of slavery and prison insofar that people (in this case black americans) have assigned it to them. No one is “defending slavery” Dave. They are confused by the displacement of these ideas toward shoe companies that have created a line based off a cartoon called “My Pet Monster”.
These days it seems like everyone is pulling the ‘race card’ seriously people get over it. Its 2012! Everything is expensive. Breathing is expensive. The point is stay within your shopping budget. The people is money management NOT racism.
*problem* sorry, typo.
Davey D, I thought your followers would be smarter, or at least ATTEMPT to be smarter, than they are. Young ignorance is understandable, but CHOOSING to be ignorant, especially when you’re an ADULT, is just plain stupid. Usually don’t go to name-calling, but enough is enough. Have to call’em how I see’em.
When people say “pulling the race card” and “it’s 2012, so get over it!”, I already know what time it is smh
Damn stR8 Dave. Now this is a story that raises conciousness. I stopped buying AIR JORDAN and the like around 2003. Main reason being because of the useless ass soles for which they have none not to mention the astronomical prices and the fact these companies probably make 100% profit on each pair paying the workers who make them as low as they can. Don’t get me wrong, I still like having a look at catalogs of the old vintage kicks. AJ, Air Max, Fila, Converse etc but that’s about it. If i’m playin ball then thats an exception. I only buy hiking/work boots because a good pair of those are built to last. First thing I look is the soles/tread. The more they have the better boot.
I was at the market last week and saw a young white kid with an all black pair. It shocked me because I only seen the shoes here.
Reblogged this on Les Blanchisseurs.
This is why I am an authoritarian. Shoes that cost more than $100 should be illegal. Children under the age of 18 should have an extremely limited selection of utilitarian shoes. Schools should have strict uniform codes.
Damn I’m waiting for holucaust shoes made with real jews ashes from concentration camps.Or wait a minute native indians shoes made with real redskins scalpes from native indians.Those shoes I talked about would never exist in existense of humanity.The devils who run Adidas,Nike,Reebok and other shoe companies have never changed. In their mind, they’re still the master and black people are still slaves.Don’t buy such expensive shoes made with slave labor in China or somewhere in Southeast Asia.Remember that capitalism was built with slavery. Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson,Roberto Clemente were black men who stood for righteous things in black history outside of sports involving black civil rights.Clowns like micheal jordan,lebron james,kobe bryant are useless house negroes who should gotten tossed over a cliff along time ago.I wonder if they will make slave ship shoes detailing the tens of millions of Black Africans killed during 400 years of chattel and Trans-Atlantic slave trade.You know they wouldn’t even dare to!!!!!
Anyway Kanye West,Jay-z,nas are a bunch of minstrel clowns anyway.FUCK ROCNATION AND 5%ers pathetic…….
I never in my 45 years of life thought about pulling the race card and i’ve lived in maryland and Virginia. I figured hey it’s 2012. Well come to Texas. Whites and Hispanics are extremly bigoted in their behaviors and mannerisms. Trying to tell blacks to bow their heads, calling black children apes. All kinds of stuff, I wouldn’t believe if you just told me. Theses are the frontline people, I can just imagine what the money folks are doing (but Davey can). Hate will never go out of style as long as their are haters.