I woke up this morning and as usual turned on the morning news, expecting to see the latest idiocy spewed by some brain deprived Teapublican. This morning, however, they were out moroned by a representative from the Urban League, a group that primarily represents ( as the name would indicate) city dwelling black folks.
What was this worthy going on national television to talk about? The recently accelerated spate of racist comments and actions from the right? The fact that urban blacks have much higher unemployment rates than almost any other population? The problem of single mother births? The deteriorating infrastructure of the cities in times of economic hardships? Poor schools in poor neighborhoods? Food deserts?
Nope, this cretin was on television complaining that Nike was releasing a new sneaker that costs $315.00. I was, as my British friends would say, gob-smacked. With all of the plagues and perils confronting black people in our cities he wants to focus on their angst at not being able to afford $315 sneakers, or their inability to snag a pair?????? As our middle class shrinks and most of us find ourselves closer to having more than we need or having less than we need this kind of simple minded and quite frankly racist drivel only drives the wedges deeper.
Any population that would riot ( as he suggested) for sneakers is obviously in trouble far beyond what they put on their feet. If the values system of urban blacks has actually been eroded so much that this is what is important to them then I am going to have to presume that they are beyond help, mine or anyone else’s, and quite frankly if that is what they think is important I don’t have much interest in helping them. This only makes us more alienated from each other within the black race. We already have economic divides, skin color divides, education divides, do we really need footwear divides as well? Or the desire for footwear divides? Who could believe that rational people faced with hard economic times would be obsessed with sneakers of any kind? If the people have that kind of mentality how can one relate to them, support them, defend them or care about them?
I have some questions for the UL guy. 1) Do you realize how stupid what you said makes you sound? 2) Do you realize how stupid what you said makes the urban blacks you represent appear? 3) If a white person went on television and appealed to Nike not to release expensive sneakers because it would make the natives restless what do you think people would say? 4) Shouldn’t your efforts be towards making your constituents more savvy about life and economics so that they covet ownership of real property, stocks and bonds or at least fat savings accounts rather than sneakers? 5) Have you thought of sponsoring free workshops that will show what you can do with $300 that would improve the quality of your life more than sneakers? 6) Why did you make idiotic statements like how many museum memberships or admissions they could buy with $300? Didn’t it occur to you that some people, even some urban blacks, there are rich ones too you know, can afford both $300 sneakers and museum memberships? And probably do have $300 sneakers and museum memberships?
Your talk was so steeped in stereotypes that it stank to high heaven. Urban blacks are poor, ignorant, not interested in higher pursuits like museums, too dumb to understand that they should not want, let alone buy, $300 sneakers. IN other words you portrayed your entire constituency as a vast mass of ignorant, grasping, brutish people obsessed with owning fancy sneakers.