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