Clearly this is a break from your regularly scheduled WIP Wednesday to lay down a very important message: Nike isn’t racist and everybody claiming Nike is racist clearly doesn’t understand racism. Although I will try to be as diplomatic as possible, I do have strong personal feelings on this issue. Therefore, if the next sentence offends you, you may want to just stop reading and respect that our opinions differ. You cannot claim both that Nike is racist and that Kaepernick’s protests were anti-American.
The flag stands for freedom. We need to just agree on that; that is what I was taught and I truly believe that is what is true. This means that regardless of if I agree with the platform or the timing get, I have to look at the freedom that the NFL protests stand for. To me, that is painfully obvious. I am still unsure if it is so obvious because I am a black person living in America, or if it’s because I am a decent human being. I hate to say it like that, but if you see a protest, do you look at it and say “oh these idiots” or do you try to understand the reasoning?
I have had to learn, that even if I disagree with the way in which people choose to protest, it is to my benefit to try to understand what the protest is about. Most people don’t protest to hop on a bandwagon, or just for fun. For most people there is a deep rooted meaning behind their protest, and for many people the platform that they choose is what they truly believe is best. Which means, regardless of your feelings, you have to look at the causes. You can criticize all you want, but if you criticize without trying to understand them, are you growing as a person?
I was absolutely moved by the new Nike commercial and it has nothing to do with Colin Kaepernick. (It did have a little to do with Serena Williams, TBH.) The message that Nike is sending is that you need to try to do what other people tell you is impossible. If you want it, you should go after it. No dream is too big, wild, crazy, etc. You can achieve anything you set your mind to. Just because Nike chose Kaepernick to promote this agenda, does that make it less strong of a message? I hope not.
Finally, I do want to touch on the boycott of Nike. Nike is speaking to their money with this one. Have you watched that commercial? How many white people did you see? Nike knows what Nike is doing. So, if you truly believe that what Nike has chosen to do here is wrong, by all means, boycott Nike. Say your piece, let your voice be heard. You don’t have to agree with everything that happens in the public eye nor do you have to disagree with everything. Just stay in touch with your values and do what you feel you need to.
Are you feeling strongly about anything right now? Do you hope that you can make a difference in your community? Let me know in the comments- I would love to hear what your “impossible dreams” are!