For the past few months there has been a lot of buzz circulating around a new Nike shoe called the Air Yeezy 2. The shoe, created by Kanye West, is scheduled to sell retail at a whopping $245.
Many people cannot wait to buy this shoe (that looks like a cross between a sneaker and a moon boot) and have even paid the outlandish price of $90,000 on eBay just to be the first to own a pair (Today's WTF Moment). Since no one in the mainstream media has stepped up to the plate, let me be one of the first to say that paying $245 for a gym shoe is wrong on multiple levels. This article touches on some of the reasons why.
First, let me start by saying that I am a big Kanye West fan and I have nothing against a young brother making money. With that being said this shoe is the worst form of exploitation of the black community that I have ever seen.
Since as long as I can remember, brothers have always loved their gym shoes. From the early days of Converse Chuck Taylors to the 1980’s Adidas of Run DMC, African Americans have embraced gym shoes as a functional necessity and a fashion statement. In the early 1990’s however Nike forever changed the game. With their Air Jordan brand, what once was a $30 pair of shoes became a neighborhood status symbol that ballooned up to $150. Wearing the latest pair of Jordans suddenly went to a person’s most prized wardrobe possession; so important that people would literally kill for them.
In fact many people in the 90’s were beaten, robbed and even killed because somebody stole another person’s Jordan’s or even just stepped on them. Most of this crime was perpetrated by young, poor African Americans who were willing to beat each other down just to obtain a status symbol created by a mega-corporation. One group of African Americans buying shoes that they couldn’t afford just so another group of African Americans can steal the shoes right off their feet. Things got so out of hand that prices were slashed and new less expensive models were developed; all in an attempt to quell the backlash being leveled against Nike.
Fast forward 20 years and Kanye West and Nike have upped the game. Now these Yeezy’s are twice the price of other similar shoes and once again the marketing machine has convinced all young teens that they “have to have them”.
To be blunt, most poor inner city kids cannot afford a $245 pair of shoes, yet these are the very people that Nike and Kanye are targeting.
There is nothing inherent in the material or style that makes these shoes worth $245. The price is dictated solely by false demand created by the mega-corporation. They are successfully tricking the young, impressionable masses to buy something that would cost the average kid 6 months of his allowance (at $20/week).
Kanye West knows that poor kids cannot afford these shoes and will have to spend money they don’t have (using either credit cards or their parents hard-earned cash). Nike knows this too.
Neither Nike or Kanye care about price as they are too busy exploiting the poor youth who can’t afford the Yeezy and milking the rich kids who can.
Paying $245 for a pair of shoes that will only be in style for 6 months (until the next shoe comes out) is a fool’s game that is being played on our youth. As a poor (or even middle class) African American you are in the crosshairs of this exploitation. Before you run out and overpay for these shoes you need to understand that you are being used by the corporation and the debt that you create by buying these is exactly how the corporation will enslave you for the rest of your life.
Don’t be a sucker. No shoe is worth $245 – or your life.
In the 1990’s African Americans beat, robbed and even killed each other over $100 Air Jordans
The material plus cost to make the Jeezy is probably less than $20. The rest of the price is media hype
Buying overpriced goods on credit is the way that corporations enslave you; making you worship overpriced things that you don’t need and then giving you credit to pay for them.
Buying $245 shoes on a credit card and then paying the $20 minimum per month means that your shoes will actually cost you well over $300 by the time you pay them off.
Several reports have already been made of people stealing Yeezy shoes at gunpoint. Here is one report.
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