Adidas Slave Shoes
Making the rounds on the news, Twitter and other social media is the story that Adidas is planning to market shoes that has a shackle-like attachment, dubbed ‘shackle shoes’.
The big issue with this is that critics are crying foul over the choice of decor. Apparently, to some of us, this conjures up painful memories of our slave ancestors working in the fields with shackles on their feet. I must be a bit slow because at first glance, that’s not the picture I got. I saw an ugly pair of shoes that would look silly on any wearer’s feet. I bet I could have looked at them for 24 hours and still not make the slavery connection but I never said I was very bright.
Coincidentally, Mr. T of ’The A-Team’ fame, recently made it known in his book that his famous gold chains were worn to represent the chains of bondage black people wore during slavery. Apparently, someone forgot to let him know that his chains evoke painful and best-unforgotten memories. I pity the fool who tries.
Adidas’ shackle shoes, Mr. T’s big links or whatever emblems that supposedly evoke buried memories, somehow does not work on me. Blatant racism does. Injustice against blacks does. Seeing Mr. T’s gold does not bring me pain-filled memories of my ancestor struggling under the sun while tethered by chains of bondage. Am I a cold-hearted human? Do I need help? Or maybe like I said, I’m just not smart enough to connect the dots? You tell me.
If anything, stuff like this makes me proud. I see a shoe with shackles and if it makes me remember slavery, then I will remember where we came from and look at Obama and see where we are. I will urge Adidas and Nike and whoever else, to keep reminding us where we came from and the struggles that we endured. I will feel no pain because my ancestors felt enough pain.
We can’t allow ourselves to get perturbed by images and objects that have seemingly have some remote connections to history, no matter how painful. If I did that, I would be boycotting all material made from cotton for isn’t that where it all started?
It’s only a shoe and coincidentally, it’s also only my take.
- Adidas criticized for ‘shackles’ sneakers, denies link to slavery (thelook.today.msnbc.msn.com)
- Adidas Slammed for Launching Slave Shoes With Shackles Around the Ankles (shoppingblog.com)
- Adidas pulls shackle sneaker after slavery controversy (abc4.com)
- Controversy over new Adidas ‘slave shackle’ basketball shoe (offthebench.nbcsports.com)
- Adidas’ New Shoes Seem Pretty Racist (buzzfeed.com)