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Friday, December 27, 2013

Air Jordans, Economics, and the Negro

I was reading reports over riots at sneaker stores over the new Retro Air Jordan sneakers. Again.  Some want to make this an annual event.

 Somewhere in heaven Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King *FACEPALM* Is this what they fought and died for?

It’s sad that Black people will sacrifice their own dignity and self-respect over a pair of tennis shoes that cost less than $3 to make in a Chinese factory.

It’s even sadder to say Black folks have been killing themselves over Air Jordan sneakers for over 25 years. Ever since these sneakers first went over the $100 price tag in 1988, I have heard of Black people robbing Black people for them and killing other Black people over them. I even knew a few victims back in high school.

Twenty five years. Wrap that around your head. Black folks fighting and killing each other over sneakers for over twenty-five years.

Seriously, The Civil War and the Civil Rights Struggle weren’t that long. And in both cases Black folks got tired and frustrated. But the Negro somehow finds the energy, tenacity and the passion to continue to fight and kill each other over tennis shoes for twenty-five years.

It shows you how sad and pathetic this Negro is. Still looking for his self-esteem on his feet.  I doubt slaves in 1835 would fight over corn bread as hard as the Negro fights over Air Jordans in 2013.

What’s even crazier is that this Negro will sacrifice his personal power and his intangibles like his dignity by sleeping outside of a store and waiting overnight in the cold to go to a store and give a nonblack retailer $200 of his hard-earned money to buy shoes made by a White man that cost $4 to make.

A retailer who tells him he has to check his bag at the door because they believe he steals. A retailer that scrutinizes his money to make sure it isn’t counterfeit. A retailer that tells him there are no refunds on his purchases.


Even crazier than that is that the CEO of Nike Phil Knight and Michael Jordan over 25 years ago both have said they are not responsible for the mayhem and violence caused by these $200 sneakers. For them, the deaths of Black men over their product is just business as usual.

But the Negro continues to spend his money on these sneakers. And smiles while doing it.

What’s most disheartening about this annual fight over Air Jordan tennis shoes is the fact that just a month ago Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips were racially profiled at Barneys for buying a $345 belt and a $2500 purse. Another man was racially profiled at Macy*s for buying an $1100 watch.

But because Al Sharpton comes out with a non-binding Customer Bill of Rights, (Bill of Sale, IMO) the Negro believes it’s okay to go back to business as usual instead of taking a long hard look at how he spends his money.

Pacified by this Civil Rights dinosaur and his publicity stunt the Negro continues to sacrifice his dignity camping outside of Foot Locker and other sneaker stores and fighting in the street like a savage so he can spend $200 of his hard-earned money on a pair of shoes at a nonblack retailer who didn’t want him there in the first place the other 364 days of the year.

A month ago there were calls from self-aware Black people to participate in group economics and shop at Black-owned stores this Holiday season.  I even wrote several blogs and made a YouTube video asking Black people to participate in group economics and told them about my books.

A month later I notice I still get next to no traffic from Black customers for my books on Amazon or any of the other online retailers like Barnes & Noble and Smashwords where my products are sold. All my calls for Blacks to support my business and to support the businesses of other Black people fell on deaf ears.

All while the Negro eagerly takes his $1.1. trillion dollars of spending power and uses it to finance their own unemployment and poverty. Spending money with people who take 97% of Black dollars out of the Black community and use it to build wealth for nonblack communities.

The Negro will fight and die for a pair of $200 shoes. If only he pursued the education, SATs, college, or started a business with that same passion and tenacity he’d be much further ahead in the game. What’s most disheartening for me is that twenty-five years after the Air Jordan was priced over $100, the Negro still hasn’t come to realize that he is more valuable than these shoes.


  1. I have read and seen many articles on this same subject. And as an Economist myself, I see the black community regressing backwards. The solutions are very simple but the real problem is black self hate and ignorance.

  2. Yeah, I've seen this regressive pattern since the OJ Simpson trial. Some say it's been going on since the late 1960's, but my first notice of it was after the OJ trial.

    The solution is simple. Shop at Black owned stores. I've been doing that for over 25 years. I find Black people will TALK about solutions but when you ask Black people to ACT,they do nothing. Case in point the whole racial profiling incident at Barneys. A month later when the New Jordans come out we see Black folks eager to spend their money at nonblack retailers not taking the time to critically think and put 2 and 2 together.

    I have to agree with you Black self-hate and ignorance keep people from acting in ways that are constructive. I'll also throw in apathy as well. Many Black people have just resigned themselves to the status quo.