Slave to the Shoe?

JS Roundhouse Mids by Adidas…. What do you think?
The issue with the shoe is the shackles that are attached to the shoe and to be placed on one’s ankles.
On their Facebook page, Adidas explains the design by saying:
“Tighten up your style with the JS Roundhouse Mids, dropping in August. Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?”

While the shoe has received over 2,000 comments, they are mostly negative. Many are speaking out against the shackle design as an reminder of slavery and/or prison.

Dr Boyce Watkins wrote on Your Black World:
“Shackles. The stuff that our ancestors wore for 400 years while experiencing the most horrific atrocities imaginable. Most of which were never documented in the history books and kept away from you in the educational system, all so you’d be willing to put shackles on your ankles today and not be so sensitive about it. There is always a group of negroes who are more than happy to resubmit themselves to slavery.”

While he does have a point, let us remember that this is not just a Black issue. It is a slavery and prison issue for all colors. Another question here is that of desensitization. Are we accustomed to our men getting arrested or so “far” from slavery that wearing shackles, no matter if they are bright orange or not, is okay?

With this in mind, Dr. Watkins added in his op-ed:
“I’m offended by these shoes as there is nothing funny about the prison industrial complex, which is the most genocidal thing to happen to the black family since slavery itself.”

These are another example of Jeremy Scott’s designs… the Gorilla Shoe

It is also important to mention that the designer Jeremy Scott is known for his crazy designs like the adidas wings. So he may have just been going for the next crazy look. However if this is the case, someone in the Adidas family should have caught on.

When thinking about it, there are a number of ways to interpret ths new sneaker design. But saying the JS Roundhouse Mids is “just a shoe” is not really one of them.

This also points out that we are slaves to consumerism… But that is a topic for another post.

What do you think about this design? Is there more to the shackles than Adidas or is it just a shoe?

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