So Nike Has To Stop Selling Expensive Shoes To Help YOUR Finances?!

Yesterday I came across one of the most upsetting, angering and frustrating stories I’ve read THIS year. Apparently, this fall Nike plans to release the “Lebron X” sneaker [pictured above] for $315 making it the most expensive shoe in Nike history. Upon hearing this, the National Urban League [i.e. the Skip Bayless’ of community organizations] decided to GO IN on Nike for charging so much for shoes which “encourages” parents to spend their money on a worthless symbol of materialism instead of something more substantive to their children’s needs. Sorry N.U.L. but your argument is 1000% BULLSH*T.

Please take a moment to read the RIDICULOUS statement these jackasses put out:

“I ask Nike – and the parents whose children are targeted in this misdirected campaign – to join us in our efforts to empower young people to value their own talents – athletic and otherwise – above material tokens and work together for broader access to the economic mainstream. To release such an outrageously overpriced product while the nation is struggling to overcome an unemployment crisis is insensitive at best.”

Dear N.U.L., you do NOT speak on behalf of anyone except your anti-intellectual selves, so PLEASE don’t try and trap me in a maze of your ridiculous logic as if you are doing ANY good with this “cause.” Here’s the reality of the situation: It is NOT Nike’s job to restrict or hamper their bottom line in order to make every one of their products more available for every different socioeconomic class. Why you ask? Because the decision to purchase ULTIMATELY lies with the CONSUMER – and in THIS case, the PARENTS – and it’s THEIR damn job to NOT buy sh*t they CAN’T afford [regardless of what their kids want].

The ideology that simply by releasing this shoe, Nike has done harm to poor and inner-city communities is ridiculously anti-intellectual, because it literally places NO form of discernible intelligence in the people who this shoe is being MARKETED to. It turns poor families into simple-minded PEONS without the capability to balance their check book, and then PLACES the blame for said PEONS irresponsibility, firmly in Nike’s hands.

Y’all can MISS ME with that STUPID SH*T.

If the N.U.L. really wanted to release an intelligent and meaningful message, they should have wrote something like this [even though they should have been minding their damn business on this issue]:

Dear Nike,

Please help us and all parents located in inner city communities, tasked with the difficult job of raising young adults in a tough economic climate, to financially empower our youth by providing them access to meaningful knowledge. Our collective communities have been thoroughly supporting your company since the Jumpman logo first appeared, and we would love your participation in helping us establish courses on financial literacy that could teach kids the value of your shoes as well as the intrinsic value of a dollar.

Something along those lines would have been COOL, but to lash out at a sneaker company for releasing an overpriced shoe, AND THEN using the inner-city as a shield to MASK your hating, is simply ignorant. All families [rich and poor] all over North America need to LEARN how to manage their finances in these tough-ass times, and we aren’t helping ANYBODY by attempting to limit access to overpriced items. If you want to REALLY help people, explain to them how eating too many cookies will make them SICK – not just moving the cookie jar and hoping they don’t find a way to get one.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.

31 Comments

  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    08/22/2012 at 5:59 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, Do You Think Nike Has A Social Responsibility To Take This Overpriced Shoe Off The Market Or Is It Up To The Consumers To Make The Decision That's Right For Their Wallet?

    • nolabels

      08/22/2012 at 10:18 AM

      Well, Nike knows the primary demographic who purchases their shoes, but from that standpoint, I can understand the debate. However, I feel like the N.U.L. has bigger issues to tackle that Nike's overpriced shoes.

      It is up to the consumer to make the right decision. Nike is betting that there are people who will do anything just to purchase these shoes, and unfortunately, they would be right.

      • GrandCentral

        08/22/2012 at 11:07 AM

        Another thing the N.U.L has done here is actually give NIKE free promotion and advertising. I didn't know about these sneakers until today. Sometimes an attempt to draw attention to something can have adverse affects and this is a prime example of that.

        • lincolnanthonyblades

          08/22/2012 at 12:08 PM

          Yup. They Just Made A Whole Bunch Of People More Aware And More Anticipatory Of The Shoes Release.

        • @FutureTomorrow_

          07/04/2013 at 9:14 PM

          Same thing with the Nike ID fiasco. Sales went through the roof.

      • lincolnanthonyblades

        08/22/2012 at 12:07 PM

        I Don't Even Understand How This Is A Debate, Because I Would Need The N.U.L. To Provide Evidence That Sneakers Are The Leading Cause Of Financial Ruin In Inner Cities For Me To Get Behind That Bullshit. There's a MILLION more essential items that are overpriced in our inner city communities, but the N.U.L. categorically overlooked ALL of them.

  2. GrandCentral

    08/22/2012 at 6:27 AM

    Yes, because Black people (12.8% of the population) are the only people who buy expensive sneakers. The National Urban League apparently has no concept of prioritization. There is a Presidential election in 11 weeks, how about they concentrate on that. The vote is going to be suppressed (disproportionately effecting blacks) in Ohio and Pennslyvania (recent court decision), how about they make some noise about that. No this is the bullshit they choose to make noise about and draw attention to. It baffles me. I didn't know about this Lincoln. Good catch, I'm going to have to steal this one from you.

    • nolabels

      08/22/2012 at 10:19 AM

      You are speaking some truth!

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      08/22/2012 at 12:09 PM

      Good Points.

      Steal Away!

  3. petersburgh

    08/22/2012 at 6:53 AM

    Well if my limited but yet well directed knowledge of the American way serves me correctly, isn't capitalism a free market ideology where you can sell, buy what you want? If so Nike isn't doing anything wrong in my point of view. Consumer purchasing power is in the consumers hands so I would think they have control in what they buy etc. This situation reminds me of here when people keep noise about foreign recording artists coming here and "carrying away" people money as if they came into your house and took up your wallet. YOU decided to pay for that expensive ticket and it's you who is going to buy those sneakers just because Lebron finally got a ring

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      08/22/2012 at 12:09 PM

      PREACH!

  4. Vicky

    08/22/2012 at 8:46 AM

    I'm going have to go with the consumer making the decision to buy it or not. If you can afford it, go for it! If not, settle for your outlet bought Jordan's! Children will always want what's new and hot in the streets, that hasn't changed from when we were growing up. However I find that our parents used the word "NO" a hell of a lot more than today's parents. But that's not Nike's fault or problem.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      08/22/2012 at 12:11 PM

      Because My Post Was Getting Long, I Really Didn't Get Time To Go Into That, But What Happened To Parents Telling their Kids "NO! DEAL WITH IT!"..Is That An "Old School" Thing Now?

      • Vicky

        08/22/2012 at 3:11 PM

        I guess the saying is "it's been done" comes to my mind

  5. mena

    08/22/2012 at 9:00 AM

    I cannot begin to tell you how much I do not like groups like the Urban League or anything that Al Sharpton, Jesse, or Tavis touch. Seriously, we should not be surprised that they would come up with this bs since the people and groups i just mentioned LOVE to coddle the black community and instead of empowering us and would rather we have low esteem about ourselves so that they can exploit it for financial gain. Nike should raise the price of the shoe to $400.

    This is the letter that the Urban League should have sent out:
    Dear Parents and Guardians,
    Instead of purchasing $315 shoes, please put this money towards a SAT/ACT tutor for your high school student. If your son/daughter isn't yet ready to take one of these tests, please put this money towards a math/science camp for next summer.
    Thanks,
    The Urban League Management

    • NurseJilly

      08/22/2012 at 10:06 AM

      Well said Mena!!

    • nolabels

      08/22/2012 at 10:19 AM

      Definitely in agreement.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      08/22/2012 at 12:12 PM

      That Would've Made Too Much Sense For Them To Write Unfortunately.

      I Think The N.U.L. Just Wants Attention, And Wants To Become A Major Player In Some Field.

    • Paul B.

      08/22/2012 at 5:17 PM

      Great letter, but there were some things left out. We left our sending the kids to school with school supplies like notebooks and pens/pencils too, and showing up to school's parent/teacher meetings, and not waiting until the grades are released and their child is failing to be concerned.

      • mena

        08/22/2012 at 5:20 PM

        That was in the P.S. section that can be found on page 2. :-)

  6. Jared

    08/22/2012 at 10:02 AM

    I don't feel sorry for these inner city people at all. They spend more money than they make while collecting food stamps.Parents need to wake up and realize all these jordans that your "baby" must have is just making companies like nike more rich by the day and the funny thing is I have not ever seen Jordan once go back to speak to the youth and I can see why he does not associate himself with these people. Their just to hard headed.

  7. NurseJilly

    08/22/2012 at 10:12 AM

    This is 100% not Nike's problem. Children today need to know the value of a dollar and that you can't have everything you want in life. I started woking in my parents bakery when I was 10 years old and trust me that taught me the value of a dollar. My sisters and I paid for our own dance lessons, field trips and anything else that was not necessities. At the time I thought it was mean and ridiculous but I'm grateful for it now. I wouldn't have dreamed about $300 shoes back then, do you know how many tarts I would have to fill for that…. Too damn many!

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      08/22/2012 at 12:15 PM

      Good Point.

      Why Does The N.U.L. Assume That Because Nike Puts Out A Shoe, Parents Just HAVE To Pay It Like It's A Mortgage Payment?!

  8. Smilez_920

    08/22/2012 at 1:00 PM

    The NUL must be bored. Like someone said up top their are more serious issues affecting the urban community than 350 Nike sneakers.

    One thing some people in our community need to learn about is priorities. If you are on government assistance your first priority shouldn't be worrying about buyin your child 350 pair of sneakers if you don't have it to spear. 350 is a lot of money, I know too many kids who are pass the 4th grade but read on a 3rd grade level yet they have these expensive behind sneakers.

    Most of the teens who buy theses sneakers have part time or full time jobs. If they want to waste their money on those sneakers that's their business.

    Idk lately the " media representation" for the black community has been irking me about what topics they choose to cover, that should be a major, immediate concern to us. this should be the last thing on the NUL minds.

  9. mena

    08/22/2012 at 4:24 PM

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/top-bask

    Hey Lincoln, I saw this on your facebook page so wanted to post the article i found here. Granted, we don't know the entire story but: "Farmer assaulted Lane, dragged her by her hair outside the building and then took her cell phone, bank card, computer and car keys, prosecutors said. He was also charged with intimidation for sending threatening text messages and voicemails to her, the newspaper reported."

    What's honestly sad is that, if this is the case, too many star athletes get so used to having the world at their feet, that they feel that their are no repercussions for their actions. This is an extremely sad case.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      08/23/2012 at 3:10 AM

      It's Extremely Sad Because Word Is, Her Dragged Some Girl By Her Hair, Beat Her And Kidnapped Her.

      And I Was Actually Waiting To GIve HIm The Benefit Of The Doubt. SMH.

  10. miss mo

    08/24/2012 at 4:17 PM

    it's not about the urban league infantilizing consumers or treating them like "peons." it's about corporate social responsibility.

    the $500,000 price tag on stuart weitzman shoes makes the "lebron x" look like the ewings they used to sell at byway. so why doesn't the league write an open letter to weitzman? because nike and other shoe companies spend a grip promoting their products in television shows, movies, and video games that are targeted at young (black) kids.

    the average cost of producing a pair of nike shoes is $12. all the league is saying is make your shoes cheaper or don't spend millions upon millions targeting poor black people.

    the ultimate decision is obviously with the consumer but that doesn't mean that nike doesn't play a role. again, it's about corporate social responsibility.

  11. STEVEN SYKES

    09/06/2012 at 6:46 PM

    The fact that so many are looking at the capitalism aspect of the issue vs the overall social impact of the shoes, what it represents, and things is really sad. You can't build YMCA's and other things, but turn around & rob from the community mentally & socially. It is wrong to spend that much on sneakers and wrong for anyone to support it.

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  13. Corrina Duchesneau

    07/13/2013 at 4:17 PM

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  14. Peter

    10/07/2013 at 1:41 PM

    I think Nike has taken a right decision and I appreciate them and their decision and I hope now we can increase our finance level although a bit. Anyway, now just waiting for the exact time. Thanks dude

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