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So , about that Adidas "Shackle Sneaker"...
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I wish Google+ didn't do such weird things with the video's thumbnail..
I didn't find them racist and I'm black. But they are ugly.
yeah, i don't think they are racist, more over, i think they cost a bunch and the shackles refer to people not stealing them, or them not flying off your feet while playing ball. however, i do wish they would come out with more consortium series shoes.. just cause the economy is bad, doesnt mean some of us arent willing to shell out a lot for dope kicks.
What would the reaction have been if the photo of the shoes was on a cover of Adbusters and not Adidas showing off a new line? To be honest, I thought it was a statement about materialism and status and Adidas was trying to be ironic. Maybe I've been hanging out with too many white hipsters. 
that could be it, the designers at adidas have always been ones to show irony and sarcasm. 
racially insensitive, historically ignorant might be more accurate terms, imo. However, intentions always matter? I don't know. I do agree they aren't everything.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Good intentions (as mentioned) is not enough to dispel away potentially racist comments/actions.

I don't feel this is racist but racially insensitive.  It still doesn't take away the fact that this product is hurtful toward a subset of world. 
i wonder if there were shackles used under Nazi rule, i would imagine so. so why isnt the outcry from the Jewish community? i would imagine with Germany's history, that would be the first thing you would be sensitive too.
Do you know for certain there is no outcry?  Heck, there maybe no organized outcry effort but it doesn't mean there aren't individuals who are upset by this.

I think it's a waste of time to concentrate on why this group has a public outcry versus another group.  The important factor here is understanding why this can be hurtful and how this product made it into production without someone connecting the dots to the history of slavery & internment camps
perhaps they are just a bit more forward focused, than living in the past. idk, but i love me some adidas.
Really, Brian? Living in the past?
Excuse me... I don't know if you realize this but that sounds very patronizing. 

We have to learn history for a reason so we don't repeat the mistakes that our ancestors made.   You can't live in the past cause it makes you the person you are now.  Most of the mistakes especially dealing with racism and prejudice are repeating over and over again but most people want to "look forward".  It doesn't work cause no one is bothering to discuss how the past can dictate our present
Kin M
Kunte Kicks. And they look terrible on top of that.
im not german, nor am i a shoe designer. so i am unsure as to their creative process. but slaves have been white AND black since the dawn of time. with the jewish people being enslaved more and for longer periods of time than any other race, it would make sense that if anything, that would be the outcry. from reading any of the thousands of articles that come up when you google this issue, every one of them is relating to young african americans. i am not defending whoever released the shoes, or who green lighted the project. i think honestly, that the us specifically, has become way to pc. if we constantly are looking in the rearview mirror, we are doomed to crash.  
Then, Brian, wouldn't looking at the Holocaust to see if shackles were used there be qualified as "looking in the review mirror"?
If you don't know your past, you are doomed to repeat it. 
#1 Goal is not to repeat it.
ALSO, this issue clearly referring to African-Americans. It's even said in the video
+brian thomaston - being a Jew, I am going to say shackles aren't a big symbol of the holocaust or Jewish Oppression while I would say that shackles are a representation of slavery in general and black slavery in the US in particular into the peonage system that rose up in the South after the Civil War. Now, if we start talking about yellow armbands with a star of david or tatooing a number on your arm as fashion statements, that might rile a few Jews as those things are representative of the Nazi regime that killed about 11 million civilians, more than half of them Jews.
+brian thomaston Yeah living in the past = bad. That's why the Jews and Israelis have that does it go again? oh yeah:

It amazes me that everyone else can talk about their history with pride and purpose and determination. From the civil war re-enactors to the various pride parades celebrating cultures and victories and rememberances around the globe. BUt aas soon as African-Americans say word one about slavery "Oh stop living in the past..." 

Typical internet silencing tactics.
which is sorta my point. Both groups could have equally taken offense, actually with the Jewish community, they have even just as much if not more reason. So why is the outcry only coming from the African American community? It seems to me when a society sees everything as having racial undertones, even if not solely intended by the manufacturer, artist, etc, that a healing process can not begin. 
Kin M
Who needs to heal in that situation? The healing process involves changing stereotypes and pointing out racially insensitive behavior that many among the unassailed majority would not even notice. There's already a current issue of people assuming the worst of random black males, and this does not help. Which is why we chose to get up in arms about it.
+brian thomaston Well, your point comes across as a typical silencing tactic.

"Oh those silly thin skinned negroes! Always looking to take offense at the slightest thing! Look at the Jews! Why they got their own homeland and sovereignty! Something that is theirs! It's not like they had to live through Jim Crow or be thought of as second class citizens in their own country! It's not like their STILL thought of as second class citizens in their own country! HAHAHAHAHAHA. GROW A SPINE and STOP LOOKING FOR TROUBLE! SILLY NEGROES!!!" 

Listen Brian I know you mean well. Wel...actually I dont know that. But I live in America. I'm a college grad, a son, a husband and a father. I've worked since I was 14 years old and when I wasn't working  I was in school or both working AND going to school. I dont have a criminal record and I dont or never have carried myself as a thug. but that's never stopped people from viewing me as the WORST POSSIBLE STEREOTYPE OF BLACK PEOPLE. 

When I'm dressed in dress shoes a buttoned down shirt and slacks or sneakers and jeans and on average I still have white / asian people stepping around me like I was covered in shit. AND I LIVE IN NYC. 

So while there may be white people out there who wonder what the big fuss is about because THEY dont treat people like that there are still enough of you out there who do. THAT's why we're so sensitive about shit like this. Not only for us, but for our children as well. 
You know the little brown boys and girls who get killed, beaten and kidnapped and no one outside of the community really gives a crap about? THOSE children. 
+brian thomaston - part of the problem here is that you seem to be saying that if the Jews aren't bothered by this, why are African Americans. Well Jews aren't because this simply isn't a symbol of oppression to us or at least not our oppression, certainly not as viscerally as in the black community with an over-representation in the penal system to this day which started with the peonage system which was a eay for the south to continue having cheap black labor. Check your history.
+rick bullard  everyone cant talk about their past and history with pride. in just about every nations past, there is at some point, a time where they took advantage of an indigenous culture. be it their fault or not. maybe not in all nations, but america, mexico, the caribbean, south america, etc. etc.. all took advantage and in those situations to the victor goes the spoils.  pretty sure i never said stop living in the past.. but i dont dwell on it.. im not racist, my family is not.. can i affect the rest of the world and force them to do the same? no. can i choose to move on and see this shoe for what it was? a mistake? or should i assume they meant it as a slight towards african americans? if you agree it was a mistake and not intentional, then you take away all fuel for the fire that is this debate. 
"perhaps they are just a bit more forward focused, than living in the past."
yeah.. that means that they, the shoe company, was looking into making profit off of an odd idea for a shoe, rather than thinking about history and how it would effect the shoes sales performance. do you honestly think they would sell a shoe that might hurt brand recognition on purpose? Or was it a mistake?
No, I think you might want to take more care with your words b/c I'm fairly certain most folks who read that interpreted what you typed as "African-Americans are living in the past as opposed to Jews."
Context and detail are very key when discussing these issues.
see case in point, you assumed my statement was racist, while i was referring to a shoe companies development process. although my intention was completely different than you assumed, i imagine that so was the designer of this shoe.
No, that is not "case in point". I didn't "assume" anything. I gathered data from the conversation, as well as context clue information. You failed to clearly reference the subject of that comment you created. So, no.
well.. then you obviously didn't read the very last statement of the person ahead of me.... to quote:

'I think it's a waste of time to concentrate on why this group has a public outcry versus another group.  The important factor here is understanding why this can be hurtful and how this product made it into production without someone connecting the dots to the history of slavery & internment camps'

to which, i commented, that they were looking forward instead of back. THEY meaning the shoe company that the person before me was referring to. we can do a tit for tat all day if you would prefer, the simple fact is you took something that wasn't racist, and painted it that way. just like this shoe. you can tell me its all because i did not use the proper, clear reference, and tag all of the G+'s in order, so that you knew who i was referencing, OR you can admit that you may have taken it a bit out of meaning. i have my bets as to which you will choose. but lets see how it plays out. 
If you watched the video, I believe the answer to your question is within.
i watched it, i dont remember it ever mentioning a +maria j's tenacity for proving a point.. but i am not watching it again to find out.
Kin M
What's forward thinking about this shoe? What does it revolutionize, inspire, or create? Just because the designer ignored what the shoe would mean doesn't make it forward thinking. It just made the designer seem insensitive to the past and the present.

Stop and Frisk me if you've heard this before but America has an issue with how the majority views blacks. This shoe does not help matters. Instead the unwitting statement is "Hey, you're likely a crook, so why not accessorize?"
many shoes dont do any of those things +Kennedy M , actually, i cant think of one shoe that i ever owned that did any of those things. if you honestly think they made the shoe to be a racial slur, then i honestly dont know what to tell you. maybe i should go market yamakas with a swastica on them too, i am sure those will sell really well.(sarcasm intended)
That doesn't make any sense.
what doesn't? selling something offensive to their core market which may be offended? 
Brian, you're coming across as defensive, to such a degree that it's reactionary. There are symbols in the Jewish community that would elicit just as powerful effect... but the fetishes of the slaver and the warden don't quite have that significance. Also, the basketball shoe itself doesn't partake of Jewish stereotypes, but it certainly partakes of African-American ones. Honestly, I'm impressed that the other people in this conversation have been as civil with you as they have.

Back to Jay - As far as the idea that nobody at Adidas noticed this possibility... I have my suspicions that there were some serious conversations about the race-baiting element of this design. I bet the designers themselves talked about it, I bet they mentioned it in meetings with their higher-ups, and I bet the executives had some talks about it, as well. I'm guessing that it came down to a cynical monetary calculation... they thought that any outcry against the racial implications would be worth it, because the shoes themselves would be profitable either way. In fact, the company may have mis-applied that old maxim of "all publicity is good publicity" and assumed that a controversy would actually increase the return on the shoes.

Ultimately, public accountability can be both a poison and an antidote. In any case, I would love for someone from the company to be straight-up about how those conversations went. I wonder if they've figured out where they went wrong in a rhetorical/ethical sense, and where they went wrong in their economic calculus. It's scary to think that these days, the former -- the ethics of the situation -- are entirely subsumed within the latter -- the short- and long-term economics.
so your opinion +Jesse Miksic  is, that they(adidas) are racists and that to some degree they intended them(the shoes) that way. also, that because i believe it was a mistake and not malicious that i do not deserve a civil discussion in relation to that point? wow.. maybe i am just a bit too optimistic. but to me, honestly, it would not make any sense to sell something that is purposefully offensive. especially by one of the largest shoe manufacturers in the world. you know, manufacturers also sell calendars with half naked women on them, that would probably be seen as offensive by many. guess what i do in that situation.. i dont buy them.
also interesting fact, Germans have been used as slaves many times over history, and this tidbit from wiki, in relation to abolishing slavery.. 'In 1688, four German Quakers in Germantown presented a protest against the institution of slavery to their local Quaker Meeting. It was ignored for 150 years but in 1844 it was rediscovered and was popularized by the abolitionist movement. The 1688 Petition was the first American public document of its kind to protest slavery, and in addition was one of the first public documents to define universal human rights.' Maybe racism just isn't as much of an issue for them. 
I have yet to see any one here profess that Adidas is racist. Also, I do not understand why it seems such a hard task to concentrate on African Americans and their slave experience and how those actions effect our society today.
Once again, you are trying to compare oppression of very DIFFERENT GROUPS.   It's not apples to oranges.  It's like apples to tennis balls.  
Why are these views just an assemblage of put downs, historical revisions and excuses that are repeated over & over again?   +S. Joseph 

Cause apparently they look forward & don't live in the past...
+S. Joseph ...because it's not them or theirs so it doesn't matter. It's easier to be clinical and detached and logical when it's not something that effects you directly if at all. 

Witness the conservatives and members of the republican party who love drawing out the old "Slaves had it better here than in Africa". Like our ancestors were supposed to be thankful for being slaves and all that entails. 

Man! Americans are AWESOME! 
+S. Joseph See now as a nerd type who's been playing RPG's for the past almost 30 years and have had quite a few friends in the ren faire scenes? I've often thought about and brought up that same thing. 

A lot of the time these same cats who are proud of their southern heritage are the same ones telling me and mine to let slavery stay in the past. 

Again, Americans are AWESOME. 
my apologies to Maria and JP, i thought we were discussing shoes not the history of slavery and how it relates to society as a whole. but, i guess everything relates to something if you try hard enough to draw that line, which again is my point, which NONE of you will even acknowledge. they either made the shoe knowing it was racist, and didnt care, or they didnt realize it would be such a hot button issue. which do you agree with? cant answer that? then please dont reply. i have better things to do and read.
+brian thomaston I think that they made the shoe well aware of the blowback that it would create. If the publicity was something that they felt that they could weather, then they'd proceed with the shoe. If it wasnt then they wont. 

This time the publicity was of the sort that going on with the shoe was a bad idea. One thing is for sure: 

We're talking about the shoe and we're talking about Adidas. Which is something I'm pretty sure their marketing dept is losing ZERO sleep over. 
Maybe you should stop replying instead of insisting we are trying to make something out of nothing.

What is your point?  Exactly... I know my point was that whoever made this shoe didn't take into account the HISTORY OF SHACKLES FOR SOME RACIAL GROUPS.

You seem insistent in trying to separate that from the entire discussion.   The issues our society face becomes rooted in the clothes we design, the shoes we wear and how we even live.  It's not one or the other.  Everything is interconnected in some way but don't sit here and say I'm pulling the issue of slavery out of no where concerning A SHOE THAT HAS SHACKLES ON IT.

please don't act brand new..
At this point I think that Brian is just being a troll rather than having an actual point and is best ignored.
So please, explain how a company this size should intentionally put out a shoe that has racial undertones, and expect it to go well. I have said over and over that I feel it was a MISTAKE, and not intentional, but rather than anyone possibly considering that, I am somehow the troll because I will not accept YOUR point! Gmafb, talk about hypocrites.. 
And entitlement! Holy fvck at the irony, you assume a shoe made by a company on the other side of the planet is automatically intended as a slight towards your cultural background? Talk about entitlements.. I guess I should feel guilty for the fact someone somewhere did something to someone I was somehow not even related too? My grandparents were German immigrants that came here to flee nazi Germany, yet somehow I am tied to slavery in the us? Please, save that hype for someone who actually buys into it.
smh Im waiting on the day when I see a new era logo on a KKK hood
a product so unreal that i figured it was some horrible satire on consumerism
My bubble is nothing like that, I would say my experience is more like one of the first comments, where someone said, I don't think they are racist, just ugly shoes. As I said before I thought it was a mistake, and not intentionally racially insensitive, and that's really where the issue lies. If there was no fault, there wouldn't have been a mistake. My only argument was that it wasn't intentionally done as a ploy to strike up such a volatile topic it was a mistake. Yet no one here in this discussion will possibly consider that, instead I am attacked as someone who doesn't know what its like. So that makes me a troll, because logic dictates that a company wouldn't intentionally alienate their key demographic for this shoe? So here I will entertain the idea, they did it on purpose and did it to insight all this heat.. If that was the case, wouldn't they continue to sell them, knowing at because of this hot button issue would make the shoes in high demand due to the notoriety? If they somehow someone knew this would happen, as others have stated prior, then they would have to be complete morons, and whoever let it go to production should be fired.

So there, I actually looked at the possibility of both, and stated an idea of what could or should, IMO, happen if it was discussed and overlooked as some here have stated. Now let's truly have a discussion on that note, anyone else here agree that it could have been a mistake and not intentional? Or is everyone else equally slated as a troll? 
Ans +S. Joseph thanks for lumping all whites together, I believe that's called racism when you lump all people together based on their race or color of skin and make generalizations based on that. I could point out how ironic that is, but all white people probably do that in this situation and I wouldn't want it perpetuate the stereotype.
+brian thomaston Could it have been a mistake? OF COURSE. 

The problem here is that you believe that it was a mistake and not done out of malice and other people here believe that it's entirely possible that it was done if not out of malice but out of pure insensitivity. 

Your response to that was in a nutshell If no one else was offended why should African Americans be. Alluding to the fact that African-Americans for some reason have no right to be sensitive about this sort of thing and we should just move on from it. And as much as youre here calling people out on how they're not seeing or considering your point of view, you simply refuse to see how ANYTHING that you've said could be considered the aggravating at he least or baiting and intentionally condescending at the most. This is where I think the frustration is coming from on my part at least. It's also why people are considering what you're doing trolling. 

The fact that you keep coming back to stoke the fires without trying to even understand where people are coming from or even addressing where you might have misstepped is adding fuel to the fire. 

I know that I came at you both guns blazing (uh-oh black d00d using GUN metaphor at white d00d! No need for Stand Your Ground law to apply here on the internerd right? uh...right?) but after that I saw the question that you posted about intent and answered honestly about what I thought the intent COULD have been. Because seriously we're all guessing based on our personal experiences. But instead of engaging in a discussion you chose to keep snarking it p with people here who think youre a troll or being purposefully antagonistic. and D00d where is that getting you exactly? 
its not getting me anywhere, just as its not getting any of you anywhere. which is sad. apparently there is no way society or this planet will ever get passed our past. there will never be a discussion with how we can move forward as a people, and although i am not racist in any shape or form, because i am white every remark i make that can be taken that way, will be. and THAT is racism.
+S. Joseph "Why do you think that anything that you have said isn't something that we hear over and over +brian thomaston ? You are not saying anything new, insightful or informative. If black folks got a dollar for every time whites spew the same repetitive garbage each of us would have a 40 acres & a mule." that sounds like a generalization based on race. at least to me, and isnt this what its about? what insults me, or you, as a person? 
i didn't edit anything, i copied it, using copy and paste. and now even more generalizations, i don't watch fox news at all. i don't have any bias, but its plain as the nose on your face that you do.. and as for other 'black people are the real racists' no. there are actually several people in this conversation who have actually made valid points, and didn't generalize, and were generally cordial, even in discourse. I called you out because you are the one making the generalizations. and wow.. was i right, now its go somewhere else, we don't want to read your views.. and twaddle.. whatever that is.. i was actually extending an olive branch, with the final statement about whats really the point, whether you or i are insulted.. and yet you bash me.. i wont reply further on this topic, since obviously my opinion is not wanted or appreciated. good day. 
+brian thomaston Real simple Brian, are you here to fight or are you here to talk. Because now? I'm here to talk and you seem like youre want to fight and WIN. 

I've already conceded that your point of view is entirely possible. It's not what I believe but it IS possible. I'm afraid that you're not going to get me to believe otherwise and if that's what you're going for, THE WIN, then I'm afraid that you might as well pack it up because that's not gonna happen. 

It's not because you're white Brian. There are enough white people out there who GET IT. Even if they dont agree, but they understand where we're coming from in this and other particular instances. 


Your arguments and tactics are very familiar to me in that I've run into them on many boards where I've been the minority and have DARED to speak up about race and race relations. You think this thread is bad? There's nothing quite as AWESOME as an echo chamber of white guys discussing race (especially about blacks) with the arguments of...wait for it...

*Blacks are constantly looking for things to complain about.* 

or my other favorite argument

*If blacks are complaining about racism, THEY ARE THE RACISTS.* 

Things that you have either said or alluded to in your arguments here. So to be fair it's not that +S. Joseph is generalizing. It's that we've all seen these same arguments and dismissals time and time again from people we've engaged who happen to be white. I've encountered it in meatspace AND on the internerd. 

So again Brian and yes I'm pressing, what exactly do you hope to achieve here? 
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