July 05, 2019

Nike Fans the Flames of the Culture War
Nike is doing it wrong.I don’t mean the shoemaking, though that thing with Zion Williamson was pretty bad, I have to say.No, Nike is doing it wrong because it managed to do something that all the neo-Nazis, Klansmen, alt-righters, and other denizens of the lowest coprophagic phylum of our political life could never do: It turned the Betsy Ross flag into a racist symbol.By now you’ve probably heard that Nike decided to take the advice of Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who ignited so much controversy by refusing to stand for the national anthem. Nike was all set to release a line of sneakers for the Fourth of July featuring the original Betsy Ross American flag with 13 stars in a circle.According to reports, Kaepernick took offense because a handful of extremist groups like to brandish the original American flag to make some sort of point about something no one should care about. (I gather it has something to do with how this was “their” country before the federal government was formed. Or maybe, like many gibbons, they just like the sparkly stars and bright colors.)The thing is, most Americans — and when I say most, I mean, like, nearly all of them — had no idea white supremacists were doing this. In countless news stories, reporters contacted experts who either didn’t know about it or were only vaguely aware that this is one of the things these groups like to wear as capes during dress-up time.“If all these historians didn’t know [the relationship between white supremacy and the Betsy Ross flag], then Nike shouldn’t be expected to know it,” Mary Beth Norton, an American history professor at Cornell University, told CNBC.The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism has a database with more than 150 “hate symbols.” The Betsy Ross flag isn’t among them.“The Betsy Ross flag is a common historical flag,” Mark Pitcavage of the ADL told CNBC. While it’s been used by white supremacists “from time to time,” he has “never once thought about” adding the Betsy Ross flag to the list.Nonetheless, it’s true that if you search through enough old photos of Klan rallies and neo-Nazi pageants, you can spot a Betsy Ross flag from time to time.Do you know what else you can probably spot if you look long and hard enough? Nike sneakers. Does that make Nikes symbols of white supremacy?Of course not. But what if these groups started wearing T-shirts with the Nike “swoosh” on them?Frankly, I think it would be a brilliant move by these hate groups to do just that. Nike would freak out, giving these attention-seekers a bonanza in free publicity.Innocuous or even noble symbols can be appropriated for evil purposes. The swastika is an ancient symbol in various Asian cultures. It was adopted in Europe as a symbol of good luck until the Nazis made it their own. The KKK’s pointy hoods may have been inspired by the Catholic capirote of medieval Spain and Portugal, which looks dismayingly similar.But here’s the thing: When evil people acquire symbols for their own ends, the only guarantee of success is when everyone else validates the acquisition.If Nike had gone ahead with the special-edition sneakers, it would have been, in marketing terms, the equivalent of Godzilla versus Bambi. A few neo-Nazis and a few more social-justice warriors would have complained, and everyone else would have gone about their day totally unconcerned.Instead, Nike followed the advice of a man whose business model is to stir grievance and controversy for its own sake. Suddenly, millions of people who once thought the Betsy Ross flag was just an admirable bit of Americana now associate it with hate groups. Worse, other entirely decent and patriotic Americans will now likely start brandishing the flag to offend people who, until recently, had no idea some hate groups adopted the flag in the first place.The ranks of the perpetually offended will misread this trolling-to-own-the-libs effort as an endorsement of hate speech, and the culture war will have yet another idiotic fight on its hands, and a symbol of the country’s founding that should be a uniting image for all Americans will now be reduced to a weapon in that war.Thanks a lot, Nike.(C) 2019 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC



Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Nikki and Brie Bella take us inside their closets, talk pregnancy style | Page Six Celebrity News
April 01, 2020
T9art86o6FI
Is ‘Bigger’ better? BET+ sex scene review | Page Six Celebrity News
April 01, 2020
1XBLbXU1rPQ
Are Tyler Cameron and Hannah Brown dating? TikToks hints at romance | Page Six Celebrity News
March 27, 2020
gkwXOYkNxNA
'Ozark' Star Julia Garner Dishes on Season 3 and More
April 02, 2020
VeGwZ7qh1Y0
'Tiger King': Joe Exotic's Fourth Husband Dillon Speaks Out
April 01, 2020
vIVHtkWYsbw
'The Bachelor' Star Colton Underwood Opens Up About Covid-19 Diagnosis on Variety Live
March 31, 2020
7CgTPS7nPAc
Drew Barrymore's Funny Attempt at Staircase Challenge | E! News
April 02, 2020
ihwa161Tx6c
Kim Kardashian Shuts Down Thoughts of Baby No. 5 | E! News
April 02, 2020
O2cxUYinos4
John Mayer Breaks Silence on Ex Jessica Simpson's Memoir | E! News
April 02, 2020
dEJEtSB9QlY
Andrew Yang Says Coronavirus Triggered Racism Against Asians | TMZ
April 02, 2020
ZSsV6Nyx6dY
Daymond John Issues Dire Warning to Retailers Reeling from Pandemic | TMZ
April 02, 2020
0a83Yqkx5XM
Amazon Delivery Driver Caught Peeing in Homeowner's Driveway | TMZ
April 02, 2020
NKP5FG7-03c
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
08
Mar
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Inter Milan
08
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Manchester City
08
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Everton
08
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Betis - Real Madrid
08
Mar
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Genoa
07
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Tottenham Hotspur
07
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - West Ham United
07
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Sociedad
07
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Sevilla
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k tudKp5Vhs3k iwWHibhssSo kQr0XHPbICM 5NeCb7JxaRk u5xQKdNqazE 56CdjlzJqSA kw7uFRs-Az0 xNv0JZWLV7w
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.