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Writer, editor, activist. Featured at HuffPo and MSNBC.com.  Creator of the original We Are Woman. Married mom. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

White Conservatives are Boycotting Nike by Setting Money on Fire

Image from Twitter

On Monday, Nike revealed the new campaign for the 30th anniversary of their slogan, "Just Do It." The person Nike chose to be the face of this campaign is Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who was the first player to kneel during the national anthem. Kaeperneck knelt to protest the inequality and injustice that affects African Americans every day in this country. 

When white conservatives learned of Nike's decision, they began using social media to express their outrage. More accurately, they began taking photos and videos of themselves destroying Nike apparel they already owned, calling on others to join the "boycott." Paying for something, then cutting it up or setting it on fire, is not a boycott. That's just stupidity.

And why are white conservatives posting videos of themselves attacking their socks and shorts with scissors, or setting expensive athletic shoes on fire? Because they have no idea what it's like to be black in the Divided States of America. Because having white skin means they will never be shot during a routine traffic stop, or followed around a store by security, or pulled over for DWW (driving while white). 

Angry white conservatives are making such a big deal out of Nike choosing Colin Kaepernick that Reuters, an actual news organization, with actual journalists, featured an article about Nike on their website Tuesday morning. Nike stock fell 2%. #NikeBoycott is trending on Twitter. Yes, ignorant white conservatives are affecting Nike's stock prices, all because they vehemently refuse to even try and understand why Colin Kaepernick knelt.

Conservatives feel that a black man kneeling during a song written by a man who owned slaves is unpatriotic. Conservatives feel that the National Anthem is sacred, in spite of the fact that when it's played at sporting events, many spectators stay seated, go to the restroom, buy food, talk or text on their phone, or continue drinking beer. One white man on Twitter went so far as to accuse Nike of "forcing" him to choose between shoes and country:

First the @NFL forces me to choose between my favorite sport and my country. I chose country. Then @Nike forces me to choose between my favorite shoes and my country. Since when did the American Flag and the National Anthem become offensive?

No one is "forcing" conservatives to do anything. All of this fake outrage is their choice, as is their racism and ignorance. Nike did not force a bunch of idiotic white men to set money on fire by burning $200 athletic shoes they already own.

But the institutionalized and systemic racism in this country forced Colin Kaepernick and others to kneel, because as the Nike ad reads, you have to believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.

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