The phrase “Black Lives Matter” has been a hot button topic for the last few years and a call for equality of sorts. Used literally millions of times as a hashtag, BLM has stirred great debate and arguments between those who do and those who don’t get exactly what it means. Often we hear opposers of the movement say things like “all lives matter” and they’ll bring up the mythical focus of so called black on black crime. First off, let me say that crime naturally occurs amongst groups who live together. People of the same shared community are more commonly victims of crime by those who look just like them. Yet, there seems to be no such thing as white on white crime, even considering that on a whole whites commit crimes against whites far more than blacks on blacks and even blacks on whites. Be that as it may, we’re still somehow faced with questions such as “if black lives matter, then why is there so much black on black crime?”
Many times attention gets brought to the issue of violence caused by sneakers in urban communities. In man peoples eyes, black kids can’t seem to get enough of the hottest footwear. These loyal consumers will even stand in line outside of shoe stores for hours waiting just to purchase the latest Kanye/Addidas effort or the newest over produced Jordan Brand kicks.
Adversely, there will always be an element of crime surrounding those who can purchase high ticket items and those who cannot. Sometimes, those who cannot will resort to taking from those who have. That’s how it is and probably how it’s always going to be.
Recently, Michael Jordan, who’s been known to stay famously silent on controversial issues, spoke out against police brutality against African Americans. So it should be only a matter of time until he finally raises his voice concerning kids getting robbed and killed just for a shoe with his name on it, right? Will he finally have an opinion about the sketchy promotional tactics of midnight releases of limited shoes and how they many times end in violence and even death?
Excuse the pun, but let’s not jump the gun just yet.
People have been getting robbed and shot over Air Jordan’s since the first one was released in 1985, and not once has any Jordan Brand or Nike executive ever come out condemning the violence that has occurred because of them until now. Recently, Esquire interviewed the Senior Vice President of Jordan Brand, Howard White, and he has given the first ever statement regarding the issue of violence in the sneaker culture.
“It saddens me…”It’s a shoe that I want so I’m going to take it.” Unfortunately those things happen, which are systemically bad.
The good news is there are so many people that [sneaker culture] has inspired to do great things. The person that says, “Wow, man, I remember the first job I got because I had to have them and save money.” “My Mom got me those Cement IVs if I got good grades.”
So, I’m working here now because they inspired me. You know, the mother that says, “I got them for my little kid because it’s about excellence and standards and I want them to appreciate that.”
You hate to see that [sort of violence] over anything, actually. You would reduce yourself to this?
But then all of those people that stand in line, that brave the cold, that say, “This means something to me.” Getting that pair of shoes makes them feel better about themselves. If it gives them the ability to dream and hope, that’s hard to take from a kid. So you can always say, “Hey, because of this we aren’t going to do this anymore.” But are we helping kids?
Let’s say this person goes on to find the cure for cancer. Let’s say that the person that kept hope graduates from school, goes to college, and all of the sudden their family is able to rise. That’s worth its weight in gold. If you ask the parent to put a price on a dream they will say it’s priceless. So what I tell people is, maybe that kid is impoverished money-wise, but if this unleashes that force within them, what’s that worth? What price is that worth?
So, the unfortunates: I don’t know if they could ever outweigh the positives.”
I had to read this a few times and let it marinate for a second. I simply had to be 100 percent sure that this was bullshit. Turns out that one read was enough and my summation was correct.
This is total bullshit.
People who want Jordan’s aren’t basing it off delusional concepts of hopes and dreams. Sure, there may be a certain nostalgia that occurs for some, so sporting the shoes is sometimes an outward expression for an inner child; I get that.
Let’s be real though, people like, purchase and wear them because the shoes are hot. Yes, it may make them feel good about themselves, but I doubt if it’s on any sort of existential level. It serves ego more than anything else. I mean shit, essentially the whole purpose of exclusivity is being able to say ” I have these and you don’t”. Strangely, that does make some people feel better. However, it’s that same notion that causes the crime surrounding Jordan jacking and most theft overall.
“You have those and I don’t”
A simple switch of pronouns changes who feels what. It’s what breeds the animus that causes the crime itself. To be fair, this natural invocation isn’t a Jordan thing, it’s a human thing. Envy will always occur between the haves and have nots in any particular case, but the things that the Jordan Brand has done to fan those already natural flames can’t be forgotten about.
There’s a ton of things that the Jordan Brand could do to end the senseless violence that accompanies the “Jump Man”. One way is laying to rest the practice of midnight and early morning releases that many times end in uproar. Standing in line for hours outside overnight and not getting the shoe you wanted doesn’t cultivate the best environment considering all of the hurt feelings. Other ways to dampen violence could be Jordan Brand lowering their price point, or make more shoes overall but this would end the limited shoe hustle. Oddly enough, nigga’s don’t really want that either because it causes the shoe to lose what’s most special about it. If everyone has access to it then it kills the exclusivity. Also, it’s utterly terrible for business.
That’s what it all boils down to.
Whats the worth of the possible loss of life and or property versus steady and guaranteed money.
Green wins again, and it always will.