By BASN Wire Services ATLANTA — The sneaker industry has gone...
It’s gotta be the shoes: Christmas craziness and funky shoe fetishes
NORTH CAROLINA (BASN) Sometimes, Christmas brings out the worst in us.
According to Reverend Ray Hagin, for 1,683 years, Black people have been suffering from psychological impairment called Christmas. .
“To believe in anything or anyone that has no historical or archaeological evidence of its existence, to the point of such belief affects one’s behavior pattern and/or conduct, is a psychological impairment and is therefore a form mental illness.” Hagin stated.
With that said, we aren’t going to debate whether December 25th is Jesus’ real birthday. And we definitely aren’t going to argue over whether the story of Jesus’ birthday is simply the celebration of the winter solstice. Or whether the story of Jesus is simply astrological symbolism of the Sun traveling through the so-called zodiac.
But we are going to discuss, how December 25th has become a day of consumerism.
That’s right; every year corporate marketers create a product and convince the American public that they must purchase it in order to be cool or happy.
Do you remember the 80′s? It was Teddy Ruxpin.The Rubric’s Cube. The Care Bears.And the Cabbage Patch Dolls. In the 90′s, it was Telly-Tubbies and Beanie Babies.
In 2000, it was the Bratz Dolls, X-Boxes, Play Station 2′s and Razor Scooters.
All of these items, to some degree, caused a large segment of the American population to “seek, kill, and destroy” in order to obtain them during the Christmas holidays.
The mental madness displayed on the face of these people pushing and shoving in order to get inside these stores was beyond disbelief.
This type of behavior goes back to Rev.Hagins point that Christmas is a form of mental illness, in which people’s belief system affect their behavior so much that they would actually harm another individual in order to obtain a product of their passion.
“You have turned the so-called birthday of Jesus Christ to a commercial feast of foolishness. Santa Claus has knocked out Jesus at the top spot.” stated Minister Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam.
“And the merchants, who don’t even believe in Jesus, are busy selling you foolishness. Making themselves rich. And you poor.”
Minister Farrakhan was absolutely correct with his assessment.
The so-called holy day known as Christmas, has become an orgy of consumerism and commercial feast of foolishness, where prices in the marketplace go up and people spend all of their money and go into debt buying things they don’t really need.
We saw this last year when people all of over America bum rushed shoe stores in order to purchase a pair of Air Jordan’s.
That’s correct, a pair of sneakers, which valued at $180 a pair.
And even though, Jesus, according to the story, usually walked around in a pair of saddles, shoppers still stood in lines overnight at Nike stores across the country to cop a pair of $180 Air Jordan 11 Retro Concords.
And within minutes, they were all gone when the doors were finally opened..
Yes, even during the worst economic recession in the history of America, where employment peaked at 9%, people were still willing to pay $180 for a pair of basketball shoes made in China for a little more than five dollars.
This proves that Capitalism is a system of exploitation, where U.S. corporations establish overseas sweatshops in order to exploit poor people for cheap labor.
Consider the fact, that workers in Nike factories in China earn an average of 20 cents an hour, which is equivalent to $1.60 a day.
Those sweatshop sneakers then travel from China back to America, where another class of poor people, foolishly pay $180 plus taxes in order to wear them.
But truthfully, it’s really a damn shame, that mostly Black people would rather “riot” in the streets for a pair of tennis shoes when the rest of the world is boycotting corporate greed and government corruption.
Seriously, there is a global uprising occurring around the world especially in the so-called Arab world.
But, a small segment of the Black population is fighting for footwear.
Sadly, there are even people willing to kill for a pair of sneakers. For instance, on December 22, 2011, 18 year old Tyreek Amir Jacobs was stabbed and killed for a pair of Air Jordan 11 “Concord” in “Washington DC” during the midnight release of the popular shoe.
This type of action is far from the spirit of the civil right movement of the 1960′s or the Black Panther Party protesting police brutality.
But I guess, when in Rome, you do as the Romans do.
As a result, people nationwide in a religious frenzy rioted and brawled in order to purchase a pair of basketball shoes. Matters of fact, many of these sneaker-lovers withheld being pepper-sprayed and arrested by the police in order to own a pair.
With all of the foolishness that comes with Black America’s foot-fetish, many people blame NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan for all the mayhem and madness.
“Michael Jordan bares a lot of responsibility for these obscene snapshots of imbecility and retarded priorities. Urban children have been killing one another over Jordan attire and memorabilia since the 1980s.” wrote TerryShropshire of Roll Out Magazine
“Yet, he has not uttered a single syllable to condemn the behavior or offer condolences. He most certainly has never lobbied to make his shoe prices more in line with the demographic that inordinately patronize his products.”
“He just shoves his bloodied hands in his tailored suits, where those collected bundles of Benjamins are, and keeps it pushing towards his next exploitative deal and opportunistic endeavor.” Shropshire continued.
“Expecting him to voice a word of reason or articulate anything that resembles reason and caring, is like expecting to see water flowing uphill or see a thunderstorm indoors.”.
Despite Jordan’s silence in the sneaker wars, we can only imagine what pair of shoes will be release next year, a day before Christmas, that we drive customers even crazier. (a pair of Air Jordan XI a.k.a “Space Jams,”which were originally released in 1996.)
The controversy around Jordan’s sneakers, which are marketed by Nike, has caused such an uproar, that Spike Lee, whose first commercials sparked the Michael Jordan shoe craze, to comment on the issue.
“The Nike commercials Michael Jordan and I do have never gotten anyone killed,” Lee told NewsOne for Black America.
“The deal is this: Let’s try to effectively deal with the conditions that make a kid put so much importance on a pair of sneakers, a jacket and gold. These kids feel they have no options, no opportunities.”
So, when you hear sirens, and see blue lights, along with police officers with billy-clubs, pepper-spray and their guns drawn, Christmas is right around the corner.
And maybe, this year, I’ll be a part of the 1% who can afford to pay $180 for a pair of Jordans.
I doubt it.