“Signature Significance For A Very Sick Culture” Redux: Great, Now We Have A Blackface SHOE Scandal…

I thought Nike pulling an all-white shoe because some race-baiting lunatics on social media said it was racist to offer such merchandise on Black History Month was as bad as race victim-mongering hysteria could get in 2019. Boy, was I wrong.

“In order to be respectful and sensitive the team is in the process of pulling the shoes,” a spokesperson for Perry’s shoe line said, according to The Guardian.

Ethics observations:

  • This is exactly the kind of mindless, fear-creating, creativity-squashing social media oppression that organizations and corporations have a social obligation to reject, articulately and decisively. It is also the kind of contrived offense that they cannot muster the spine to treat with the required contempt, thus empowering the next escalation in manufactured grievances.
  • Respectful? Of whom and what? Of hypersensitive fools?
  • This cowardice will continue until companies capitulating to such “gotchas” are punished in the marketplace. For example, I will no longer buy Katy Perry shoes…..
  • Boy, wait until it comes out that Governor Northam cross-dressed wearing blackface shoes when he was in school!
  • Are the shoes on the right also racist? Flesh-face? Leather-face? No, that’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” never mind. Are they only racist if a black woman wears them? Could Oprah wear the black ones?
  • Would such a design have sparked any controversy whatsoever in 2007? I am certain that it would not. What happened after that? You know. What happened after that is the supporters of Barack Obama,  including those in the media, working for eight years to weaponize contrived perceptions of racism to protect the first black President from legitimate criticism, and this has resulted in a culture of strangled discourse, suffocating art, and a desperately divided society.
  • President Obama allowed this to happen, and this is his damning and most significant legacy. I wonder if historians will ever have the integrity to say so.

 

21 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Business & Commercial, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, History, Race

21 responses to ““Signature Significance For A Very Sick Culture” Redux: Great, Now We Have A Blackface SHOE Scandal…

  1. Chris Marschner

    Couldn’t it be that these are the fugliest shoes ever created.

    • dragin_dragon

      On that, we totally agree.

    • Joe Fowler

      No. Fugliness, comfort, practicality, and value have absolutely nothing to do with women’s shoes. Haven’t you ever been married?

      • Other Bill

        Made my day there, Joe.

      • Michael R.

        It is very important for married men to understand the role of women’s shoes and purses. When my wife asks me “Don’t you have enough radios?” I answer, “Don’t you have enough shoes?” If she asks “How many guns do you own?” I ask “How many purses do you own?”. Men’s hobbies are like shoes and purses are to women.

        • I’ve only been married once, for 16 1/2 years and running, but one thing I’ve learned about shoes & X-Chromosomal Units: the former are taken VERY seriously by the latter.

          Why? Per Psychology Today:

          “(B)uying shoes taps into our most primitive instincts akin to what our earliest ancestors felt; the hunt, the chase, the KILL!” (caps mine)

          Broach the subject at your peril, the other shoe of ALL those freakin’ pairs will drop at warp speed!

          • Other Bill

            Let’s not get started on how to properly react when a wife comes home from getting a hair cut and asks “Do you like it?”

            • Shoes & hair…Oy!

              My lovely and long suffering wife sneaks her haircuts in on me, and they’re usually not much (read: noticeably) different.

              Getting set up increased the degree of difficulty by several orders of magnitude. Not unlike Inspector Clouseau’s (Peter Sellers) manservant Cato Fong mission of attacking him to keep him vigilant and alert.

              Anywho, I’m curious why there’s no female participation in this heartfelt discussion amongst us well-meaning knuckle-draggers?

              Aren’t we showing an ostensibly willing, if marginally disingenuous, interest in learning…?

              • Other Bill

                Despite 45 years together, just the other day my wife came home from a haircut and asked me what I thought and I made the tragic mistake of being honest. I just didn’t think it looked that great and I didn’t sufficiently hide this. What was I thinking anyway? Maybe I have what our host calls a flat learning curve. It was very disheartening. I usually say, “It looks great!” regardless. How do these sorts of things happen?

  2. Chris Marschner

    What I have great difficulty in determining are theses acts driven by fear of being lynched in the marketplace for being insufficiently woke or is it simply virtue signaling to increase future sales.

  3. Would such a design have sparked any controversy whatsoever in 2007? I am certain that it would not. What happened after that? You know. What happened after that is the supporters of Barack Obama, including those in the media, working for eight years to weaponize contrived perceptions of racism to protect the first black President from legitimate criticism, and this has resulted in a culture of strangled discourse, suffocating art, and a desperately divided society.

    President Obama allowed this to happen, and this is his damning and most significant legacy. I wonder if historians will ever have the integrity to say so.

    I suggest this is a *surface* observation. As if Barack Obama is a cause. He may have been an important actor or agent in the transpiring events but he is not their cause.

    What is going on today is an inevitable result of many decades of causes. In fact what is going on in the American present is a direct result and consequence of the American Civil War: the most momentous and consequential event in American history. The destruction of the South by the North. The determining current. Why is it so hard for this to be seen and understood? When all the signs are visible? It is exhausting to be called to point this out time and time again: What is occurring in America right now is a direct result of specific choices that were made in historical time.

    As long as the *mere surface* of things is what is examined (the contingent moment) one cannot ever arrive at an intellectualized position of understanding in a deeper sense the ‘causal chain’. And if this is so, one will never be in a position to act against it, to remediate it, to answer it, to oppose it, to set things moving in a different direction.

    Without a fuller picture there cannot be any effective activism. There can only be *complaints* about what happened today.

    i can’t go on / i’ll go on

    • What is going on today is an inevitable result of many decades of causes. In fact what is going on in the American present is a direct result and consequence of the American Civil War: the most momentous and consequential event in American history. The destruction of the South by the North. The determining current. Why is it so hard for this to be seen and understood? When all the signs are visible? It is exhausting to be called to point this out time and time again: What is occurring in America right now is a direct result of specific choices that were made in historical time.

      Explain further.

      How did the Civil War cause this?

      • OK. A civil war is a momentous event. That is pretty obvious. The conquest of the South by the North is laden with layers of meaning. It cannot be reduced to a simplicity. Interpretation as to if it was *good* or *bad* depend on the intellectual structures in the one undertaking the consideration. So, the view that I offer (the interpretive lens I use) is not the popular one, but the dissident one.

        My understanding is that the South represented, more than the North, the ‘original Republic’. The structure of values, the strong sense of hierarchy, and also the aristocratic forms. These were the attitudes and even the beliefs of the so-called Founding Fathers who were all southern men. It is not a simple, binary equation where good and bad can be expressed simply though. Analysis of it requires nuance and subtlety.

        The Northern conquest of the South put the industrial North into motion. It concentrated capital into specific sectors. That sector seized, as it were, the historical moment and the war became the means by which that sector empowered itself. Over a relatively short span of time it concentrated itself, insinuated itself into government, and the former ideal of ‘the Republic’ with its lofty idealism, were subverted by those dreaming of America as a *neo-imperial project*.

        So, the Civil War conquest, and the defeat of the *former republic*, gave birth to a different America than was the original scheme. I would argue that these processes, still in motion, eventuate in our present. I think that one could *explain* the recent Covington event if one used the lens of analysis and interpretation that I here suggest. It was the convergence of *currents* that arose out of deeper time. The *hatred* that is directed against whites now is an octave of the intensity of hatred that was brought to bear against the South. It is a national reflex.

        Backing up, in order for this different America (essentially a neo-imperialism with on a democratic foundation) to consolidate itself, other wars and adventures were necessary. The Spanish American War was that vehicle. Both the Cuban War and the Philippine War (1898 and 1899-1902 respectively) were anti-democratic adventures. That is, an idealistic democratic Republic, when it becomes a conquering and occupying force, in that act betrays itself. It has changed, but it holds to a false-image of what it was (and is no longer).

        In contradistinction, one can point out that what would express the ideal of a democratic republic would be, could only be really, the giving of aid and guidance to a group within a foreign state that sought to imitate the Republican-Democratic forms of the US. This did not ever happen, as far as I know. In the South, the US was interpreted as ‘the Colossus of the North’ (Bolívar).

        But when a democratic Republic like the US, with its very high idealisms, invades and occupies — subjects — another nation, through those acts it betrays itself. That is, a process of destruction begins. Immediately after the Spanish American wars began the occupations of the Caribbean. These are, of course, historical facts. But how they are interpreted of course is very different depending on where you stand!

        These events and issues were hotly debated at the turn of the 19th century. The ‘writing was on the wall’ as it were. It was predicted what would happen if America took this turn. And America — with all its magnificent skills and qualities — took that path.

        If I say that our present can only be seen if it is seen through a long causal chain (there is in truth no other way to look at things as to deny the causal chain is to deny causation!), it means that the *disorder* we see in our present has historical roots. To trace all of the present manifestations back to their causes is, of course, a necessary object.

        The analysis that I have just presented is in a skeleton form. I would go on to make an effort to explain how the shift of America into a neo-imperial project necessitated radical forms of egalitarianism. This egalitarianism became radical-egalitarianism and became associated with America and ‘the tenets of America’s civil religion’ as a patriotic mythos. But this occurred, in certain senses, within a newer and ‘false’ republicanism.

        And not long after the Spanish-American Wars and the Caribbean adventures the US launched into true-blue neo-imperial projects in Europe, all the while constructing the largest (non-)empire Empire that the world has seen. It is an empire, but it cannot call itself that.

        Obviously, I am suggesting that the construction of the American Walmart Culture (the post-war project in essence), required the importation of new stocks of people and the dilution of the original demographic. The present ‘race-conflicts’ have come about as a result of this. And the origins of the motivation to create this sort of neo-republic are historical, part of a long causal chain.

        I suggest that America is now dis-integrating. I mean this on numerous levels. The glue that holds it together has come undone. A police state will not be able to hold it together, and yet the republic reveals itself essentially as just that sort of police state. It is the inevitable result of ‘betraying republican principles’ by giving power to the industrial-military powers within such an idealistic and delicate republic. What they do to others, now is done to us.

  4. Glenn Logan

    This cowardice will continue until companies capitulating to such “gotchas” are punished in the marketplace. For example, I will no longer buy Katy Perry shoes…..

    Then it will continue indefinitely. The customers she reaches would agree with her reasons for pulling the shoes more often than not, and by a wide margin.

    However, extrapolating past the instant case, you’re absolutely right. Corporations currently believe that pandering to the grievance industry is an opportunity for the kind of virtue-signaling mea culpa that enhances rather than detracts from their brand for a majority of customers. It seldom produces a backlash sufficient to force them into backtracking.

    As long as consumers ignore this, the cowardly corporations are safe doing it. Most people aren’t even aware of corporate virtue-signaling and don’t care enough to take action even if they are. Don’t look for this to stop in our lifetime.

  5. Michael R.

    If you had gone to Vegas and tried to bet that there would be 2 scandals involving racist shoes in one week, what kind of odds would you have gotten?

  6. Gamereg

    So…you used to get Katy Perry shoes?

  7. If those who make these decision fail, the shareholders should sack them. Rinse, wash and repeat until the message sticks.

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