Shackles on my feet

By: Adam

Ok so by now you have all seen the Adidas “Shackles” sneaker online and if you haven’t then just look at the picture above. Listen, I can see why you would look at this and scream  “WHAT THE F@C*!!!) at the computer screen. I also understand that Shackles on sneakers would make most black people have a serious roots moment; I get that. However I don’t understand how something this silly has become this serious. How did a pair of sneakers spark a black history moment? How did we get here?

Incase you didn’t know, Adidas has decided not to release the shoe due to a major public out cry (See Story here)  ok great, we did, we got Adidas to stop selling the racist sneakers. Now I agree the shoe is stupid and extremely ugly ( I would never rock those joints) but to be honest with you they don’t make we want to protest. Honestly I couldn’t care less about them. What I do care about and what I never see posted on Facebook twitter or anywhere else is the Number Black men that are gunned down everyday in our own backyard or some of the other major issues in our community. Now ok let me slow down. Let me at least explain to you all why I feel like this. I’m a radio host and two years ago the area I lived in had 17 murders within 20 days into the new year! That was a record and this was driving me crazy. So I decided to do a “countdown” on air and on my Facebook and twitter pages. Everyday I would close out the show or update my status with an update on the number or murders we had in the county. I would say “Oh by the way folks we are at 15, what are we going to do? Where is the outrage?” I did this for several weeks and a few people responded, but not a lot. After awhile I started receiving tweets and messages asking me to stop. Asking me to focus on the positive things  happening around me. Some folks even told me that I shouldnt bring it up because “There was nothing we could do about it” and “This is just the world we live in”. This left me feeling lost. I had to ask myself several questions. Is this just the world we live in? Is there nothing we can do? Should I just shut up and stop being negative? Then I remembered Don Imus and the “Nappy Headed hoes” Situation. Or how everyone spoke up for Micheal Vick, or how vocal we can be when someone white person says something racist on tv. We DO know how to speak up and we DO have power to change things. We are just focused on the wrong things

Now let me be clear, I’m not saying that you should be happy about those shoes. The design is insensitive and plain stupid. I just can’t figure out why I always see folks making a big deal about things like this but make no noise over crime and violence in your own backyard. Are we afraid to speak up? Is this issue so big and scary that we would rather just act like it doesn’t exist? Well let me remind you that it does! It’s out there and it IS scary, but we have to deal with it. We can’t sweep it  under rug any longer. We have Shown the world that when WE care we can create major change. When we speak up folks listen! Don’t underestimate yourself. Take that energy and focus on something that matters.  Here are some stats for you

Top Ten Killers of Black men

1. Heart Disease (24%) 6. Diabetes (3.9%)
2. Cancer (21.9%) 7. HIV/AIDS (3.0%)
3. Injury, Violence and Safety (6.5%) 8. Chronic Bronchitis, Emphysema (2.8%)
4. Homicide (5.2%) 9. Kidney Disease (2.6%)
5. Stroke (5.0%) 10. Conditions Perinatal/Newborn (1.9%)

Notice something? Most of them have to do with the way we eat and live and two have to do violence! Most if not all of them are preventable!


The issues are real family. I know we get tired of hearing about them; trust me I do too but we cannot run from them any longer. We are dying and our youth are dying before they even get a shot at life. If we are gonna outrage over something lets outrage over that!

    • Nargis
    • June 20th, 2012

    Adam I agree with you but only on the matter of it being a stupid thing to make a fuss over but the shoe doesnt make me angry. I’m not going to lie when I first saw the shoe I got excited. Because it was So literal and blatant I thought well somebody is atleast thinking to address the issue of being so chained to fashion and brand name shoes. And this is coming from a sneaker head! I may not have all the shoes but its just because I can’t afford them because I love my jordans and my new balance and my Nike’s that in a way yes I am chained to this need for branding. I am reading a book called ‘Brainwashed’ by. Tom Burrell and he discusses the culture behind our consumer addiction from the perspective of advertising and he talks about why we can’t stop spending our money. Half the reason for those murders u were talking about back home, they were centered around robberied. I’m not saying addidas creates the shoe with some noble intention. The shoe is a product of a company with no censory committee at all. But the image is thought provoking to me. There is an artist his last name is Lemons and he created an art book called branded and re-presents popular clothing and shoe brands that are controversial but extremely intriguing

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