Just Do It Nike and Kaepernick (buy or boycott?)

I had a whole other blog planned for today but I had to type up a new one for you today!

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Recently Nike and former 49ers QB, Colin Kaepernick revealed that he had been endorsed all this time. His deal signed back in 2011 had never been severed despite Colin not playing in the NFL since being fired. Kaepernick is probably more known for his silent protest than his quarterback stats after taking a knee during the national anthem in during several games during the 2016 season. Well now he is the new face of Nike. The Nike Dream Big ad seen (full add seen below) has already been viewed over 8 million times on YouTube, over 6 million times on their Instagram account and shared countless times everywhere else.

In attempt to revamp the logo “Just Do It”, which has been around since my childhood, Nike is trying to reach a demographic of “woke” urban youths. That being said since word got out, people have already turned this into race relations and have been on both sides of the fence. It’s like living in a real live sequel to Higher Learning (if it were to happen…just saying).

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On one side you have black Americans who support Nike and Kaepernick versus white Americans who do not. Then somewhere far right, you have Donald Trump who has again tweeted his opinion that no one asked for but expected. His last tweet a tad toned down but still “classic Trump” as he expressed his discontent Nike.

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This almost as to the point as previous tweets about NFL owners/coaches who allow support of silent kneeling protests (made popular by Kaepernick) and more recently Nike. You even have folks posting videos on social media of themselves burning Nike apparel.

I can understand boycotting and not supporting Nike, giving their purchased gear away or selling it on eBay…But to simply burn it?

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Maybe it perplexes me and I’m trying to understand the logic but you do realize that you’ve already supported them, right? They have made their money off of you and boycotting usually means “not” supporting someone.

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But whatever, who am I to judge rednecks? Alrighty then…moving along!

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On the other side, you’ve got folks buying Nike everything or at least sporting Nike stuff whenever possible. Hey I am all for that but don’t go trying to impress people with money you don’t have to buy stuff you don’t need. Like if you or your kid needs something athletic, ok fine. All I’m saying is don’t go in the Footlocker and go crazy only to realize that you’re broke trying to pay rent.

My thing is I actually applaud Nike but not because I like the ad…or not. But because as a former marketing major (for like a semester)…it makes sense or in this case dollars. OK this is why:

  1. They waited for the perfect time right as the NFL regular season was about to go under way.
  2. They targeted the black dollar. Black folks are known to spend a lot on shit. (we gotta look fresh)
  3. As a non-white consumer, I am not sure about the apparel purchasing habits of white Americans but I know black people have always clowned around about how white people keep wear the same sneakers forever. Like I said, I don’t know how true that is but if that stereotype is factual…then I don’t think the sports apareal conglomerate is afraid.

Nike ain’t stupid…clearly! NKE stocks climbed just after a brief drop and it held steady by the close of the day a shy amount $80… I will stay updated with their stocks as the days go by to see if I am right. Like I said, I’ve got a semester of know-how.

That being said, this country is still divided as ever. Perhaps as much as it was in the 60’s (I don’t know for sure because I wasn’t alive. Yet between this and so many tensions flaring…it’s scary. Not too long ago we had protests for both Black Lives Matter and whatever that Tiki torch bullshit was. The crazy part is that this and the political climate craziness is everywhere. I mean I cannot go on Instagram, Facebook or anywhere without seeing something race-related or otherwise political. Social media is now the platform for which everything is visible immediately. Long gone are the days of waiting for the daily paper or the evening news. This poses a dangerous issue because it only tells me that racism and so many other “isms” haven’t changed, it’s just being filmed.

It makes me wonder about the backlash that Tommie Smith and the other 2 Olympic winners faced in 1968. Their careers done because of a moment protesting against racism, poverty and awful oppression that blacks faced then and sadly are facing now.

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This protest much like Kaepernick’s has had the alt-right call these athletes unpatriotic or un-American, etc.

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But how do you show patriotism to a country that enslaved, beat, killed and caused so much worse to your brothers and sisters abroad? As much as I love my country, I am equally not proud of it. Although a sporting event is probably not the best place to protest or be political, the sad problem is that racism in this country should no longer be ignored. That being said, honestly it doesn’t matter where we protest, blacks will always be scrutinized for taking a stand. Look at Dr. King after he made his famous speech about the Vietnam War… but like Tommie Smith said in an interview in 2008, “…We had to be seen because we couldn’t be heard.”

But this is the problem with this country. Why is a man kneeling or raising his fist more controversial than cops beating a man to death or shooting him or worse when kids are being attacked with dogs and fire hoses?

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Now I am not saying that all cops are bad or that all whites are bad but there is a fine line between effectively using “force” and brutality. Why are we in such a tizzy about one thing and blind to another? The above 3 photos are from the 60’s and below a lot more recent. Read here I feel about HOW BLACK LIVES MATTER? Makes you think how fucked up this country really is.

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I mean it’s funny, we call Colin (I’m sorry but I am getting tired of spell check with his last name) disrespectful & unpatriotic but we won’t speak out against what he is protesting for. Mind you a green beret was the one who told him to kneel as opposed to sitting! He also supported his Constitutional right to protest. Colin has also expressed his respect for the armed services. If kneeling is so disrespectful, why do soldiers kneel for the fallen or everyone else in prayer? And again, there is actually no law saying that we have to stand during the national anthem…in fact the Constitution says it’s unlawful to force people to do so.

That being said… if I have this straight, we protest Nike for a PR campaign about racial injustice but where was this concern in the 80’s and 90’s when they paid unfair wages and used child labor/sweat shops? Really?

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Gotta love the “privilege” of saying there’s no racism but enjoy the benefits not being black…all of this often blows my mind. But again… This is America.

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Until later kiddies,

Shalom

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HOW BLACK LIVES MATTER?

HOW BLACK LIVES MATTER? MODERN DAY LYNCHINGS!

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Well as usual I was poking my head around social media & scrolled to see in my feeds that a young black man, Alton Sterling  was shot in cold blood, up close by a police officer in Baton Rouge, LA!  The following footage was posted online on various social media.
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[VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED]

But then in the ripe hours of this morning, I saw yet again ANOTHER young black man, Philando Castile was shot and killed.  Like Alton, it was up close & point blank range. However the victim was in a car with his girlfriend in the passenger side & their small child was in the backseat. This following a traffic stop for a busted tail light.  The following footage was recorded live on Facebook by the victim’s girlfriend.
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[VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED]

I was rather saddened last night because regardless of why or how, another family has to plan a funeral for another senseless murder. When will this end, I asked myself? And then it dawned on me…the shit may never!

I have come me to a serious conclusion: “…[We] justify those that died by wearing the badge…”

I don’t know if it’s irony or just coincidence but I just wrapped up a binge session of Orange is the New Black. [SPOILER ALERT…skip this next paragragh if you haven’t seen the latest season]

Anyway, after I got done I was a little saddened as one of my fav characters was killed off. The assailant, although just being stupid & overreacting was a male, white correctional officer & the victim was one of the lady inmates who was of course black & unarmed. But the way they spun it for the show was purely racial!  They spent 45 minutes of the show trying to find a way to use the victim’s past against her like some sort of scapegoat to escape being liable. When that didn’t work, they tried blaming the C.O. but eventually found a way to make him the “victim” again. It went on simply to prove the point that Black lives don’t matter. Not in a “poke fun at” kinda way but in an eye opening sort of way.

Before that I watched the entire remake of the book-turned-miniseries, Roots on demand a few weeks ago. So I was feeling a bit Rage Against the Machine-ish!
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Fast forward to last night! It brought me to a serious conclusion.

WHAT THE FUCK MAN???!!!

Today I’m not sad. I can barely even grieve for these families I barely know. I am angered! I am pissed off! I am enraged!

Our black lives don’t matter! Women’s lives don’t matter! Our kids’ lives don’t matter…not in America & probably not a few other places on earth!

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Of course technology today makes it easier to shed light on these horrible things & social media makes it effortless to spread it across the world but it does nothing to stop it because we do nothing to stop it. We may pray and protest but until the next trending event, I fear that these events will too be forgotten.  Why? Because if one thing I learned is that a generation that forgets its past, repeats it! We make light of our past & even poke fun at it but we don’t truly hold onto it. We don’t pass it down to our children. We leave no legacy. Shit we barely observe Black History Month.

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We CANNOT expect a system that was built on oppressing people to save those very same people!

Point blank fucking period!

You can go on posting all the hateful shit you have experienced in the past or will experience today or tomorrow all the fuck you want! You can protest and march or even pray! It won’t change the fact that BLACK LIVES DON’T MATTER!! Regardless if it is a degenerate/delinquent youth or an upstanding member of so-called society… Our lives aren’t enough of a factor to bring change.

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Black lives didn’t matter when our youth were given drugs to poison us & foolish bullshit on TV to distract us! Black lives didn’t matter when our mothers, fathers, sisters & brothers were racially profiled/harassed by so called law enforcement & hate groups. Black lives didn’t matter when our sons/daughters hustled to make a buck as drug dealers/strippers because we weren’t offered “their” good jobs for shitty wages! Black lives didn’t matter when our grandparents marched & died for civil rights! Black lives didn’t matter when our great grandparents hung from trees! Black lives didn’t matter when our ancestors were sold/traded from forgotten places on a whole other continent….not to mention later kidnapped. Black lives didn’t matter when those that eventually made it to America were chained/branded/beaten/bred like fucking cattle! Black lives didn’t matter when our ancestors were raped & murdered, their homelands pillaged & our history nearly wiped out of existence. Not to mention the fact that we’ve been taught our history by the very same educational institutions that tried to hide half of the shit from us.

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Which brings me to a dire point… Our black lives barely matter to us. So why the fuck do we act so disillusioned? Maybe while we were partying & fucking up our own lives, we forgot somewhere that racism & sexism have become blurred lines and spun off scandals instead of the blatant torture we endured first hand. Where and how did we forget that we were always targeted and taken out without thought? It happened when we became sheep amongst the packs of wolves & left our young to be slaughtered. Broken homes with no discipline, guidance or nurturing.  We removed G-d from everything important until tradition & tragedy begs us to call on HIM. We worship reality stars and filth on TV and wonder why our lives are soaked in drama. We shout “FREE MY NIGGA” after he murders or harms others until that same nigga is then slain. We went from proud to belligerent & from decent to ratchet.

But it doesn’t validate or  justify centuries of this shit!

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I am so full of emotions today. Although this shit is not new to me. It is not new to our history. But I won’t be so close minded to say that all cops are like this.  Nor will I negate the fact that some of the victims of cop shootings have put themselves in questionable situations in the first place.  That leaves cops with what starts out as good intentions to protect and serve but ends in disaster. I can’t imagine the stress this kind of job places on the human psyche, which can be jaded by years of dealing with race, poverty & any other factors that can affect judgement.  Not to mention some of the police altercations that end in violence are often the result of them having no other means of diffusing situations.

However you have those individuals who are racist and who do approach with extreme prejudice even when it isn’t called for.  But the bottom line is that officials need to give psyche evaluations to their police counterparts every month or something. Too many cops are using needless force against unarmed folks in rather “standard procedure” situations. Yeah tax dollars, yada yada but something has got to give and someone has got to be accountable. Because some fucks do hide behind a badge either to cover racism or to cover their asses.

But since I always play devil’s advocate, some if not most victims of police brutality  are not always clean and cut nor are they as innocent as we want to believe.  Even Rodney King was a repeated trouble maker before the cops wailed on him.  Did his past make his beating justified no, but it didn’t help it either. Sometimes what we as bystanders may perceive as racial profiling  is often times a cop’s lucky hunch. Some cops are honest and fair who simply get put into situations that give them moments to make life/death decisions & others honestly make shitty mistakes on duty but like the song says,  “…Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses…”

So many slaughtered senselessly or approached with lethal force for no reason.  All of this just a few days short of the year anniversary of Sandra Bland whose suspicious death was ruled as suicide or something while still in police custody. She was apprehended during a traffic stop & held for resisting arrest.

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We posted memes & #hashtags to remind never to forget but here we are a year later posting, praying and protesting a system that has changed very little…At least at it’s core.

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I wonder just how soon will we again forget…

Just makes me think about those little girls in Alabama that were bombed in a church in 1963.  Had they instead lived to have children or grandchildren today…would they too have to bury them because of a racism that was once blatant isn’t so much anymore?

Until Next Time Kiddies…Shalom!

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A Country on Fire: Gun Violence

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Am I the only one pissed off and enraged about these senseless killings? First we hear word of the church slayings, then mayhem with the Marines in Chattanooga and more recently there was a shooting in a local movie theater down in Lafayette, LA!Walton Street Double Shooting

We are a country at war with itself. No matter who pulls the trigger, it’s nothing more than domestic terrorism. It’s not about if black lives matter but ALL lives!!! We all want to sit back and point fingers… be it race, gender, the movies, the music or socioeconomic status… No matter how you spin it, this country’s society was founded in violence & fortified in blood!

The news you hear is not at all surprising to me. It’s not even shocking anymore. I mean I hear news of gunshot violence all the time but is it all that different than the atrocities the Native Americans experienced or us black American?

FUCK NO!!!

We traded nooses on trees to the bullet casings on the streets. No matter how you feel or try to justify it… MyCard_The_JokerBloodshed is Bloodshed!

Malcolm once said, “The chickens have come home to roost!” That’s not simply a harsh statement to white Americans but to ALL Americans. While we are at arms attending funerals in sadness or protests in anger… While we are ignoring our financial crisis & several other issues in our communities, our children are dying. It’s about damn time we start dissecting the problem at the root before we have no future left.

This country is the equivalent of taking several combustible ingredients & wondering why it goes BOOM!!
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That’s our history in a nutshell. We are programmed what to fear, what to hate & what to love… early on from the uterus! No matter what you believe in, history, science & even religion shows us that every beginning has an ending… And the U.S. eventually will need to take its number.

Churches aren’t safe! Neither are schools! Hell homes aren’t either.

So where does this leave us? What do we do? How do we prevent the inevitable if we can’t even stop the madness leading to it?

I can’t even begin to try to figure that out!

Well my friends… America the Beautiful doesn’t look so pretty when you smear its drag queen makeup and reveal its very own true nature at the core!

Well Until Next Time Kiddies…
Shalom

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I See More Than Rainbows! 🌈💀

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So last week, The Supreme Court passed a law legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states here in the land of the good ol’ Red White and Blue! Well if that wasn’t good news then I don’t know what is.

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But lets look past the colorful distraction & pay close attention to some issues that have been outshone by gay rights…which I feel is more of a political move than civil rights one:

Just recently a church was shot up by an individual who’s motive was racism.

California passed a law stating vaccinations were mandatory in schools despite religious beliefs.

Washington state was engulfed in wildfires.

A Carolina court refused to remove a confederate flag while the biblical content was thought to be offensive.

Convicted murderers escaped a prison & remained on the loose until one was fatally shot & the other apprehended.

A slew of reported & unknown black murders were going on and continue to be going on all across America.

So much else is going on but what really grinds my gears is the constant comparison of gay rights to civil rights. Not saying either group has the right to be discriminated against because no hate crime should be tolerated.

I’m sorry but blacks in the US have been enslaved, brutally murdered & targeted for much longer than any gay person. I may be an advocate for gay rights but at the end of the day, a gay person can conceal their identity & stay in the closet but being black in this country is something you cannot hide/change.

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The genocide & holocaust of slaves & their descendants not only continues to this day but also in other parts of the world…and has so for centuries. Even our native continent, the birthplace of creation has been raped & its natural resources constantly depleted.

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Police examine the Nissan Altima that Sean Bell (inset) was driving the night he was shot to death by police.

Police examine the Nissan Altima that Sean Bell (inset) was driving the night he was shot to death by police.

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My aim in this blog is not to discredit one plight for another but to shed light that black lives simply don’t matter…

Well Until Next Time Kiddies…
Shalom

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