Nikes Up in Flames

Furious rage spreads like wildfire among former Nike consumers following the multinational brand’s 30th anniversary ad campaign featuring, former 49ers Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick on Monday, Sept. 3.

As people across the nation relaxed from a day off work: indulging in festive barbecues and parades; the fate of the nations political stance relied on (Kaepernick) who yet again broke the internet-not by taking a knee this time, but standing in alliance with the iconic brand, inevitably sending social media users into an enraged frenzy.  Which led most to raid their closets and rid their wardrobe of Nike apparel. Supporters, applaud Nike for its act of morality in commending Kaepernick rather than condemning.  

Since the announcement, social media uncontrollably buzzes with supporters reposting Kaepernick’s controversial Nike ad.

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Along with celebrities and ordinary civilians, alike, creating their own variation Kaepernick’s photograph.

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The country now in divides as Nike supporters take a celebratory stance on this decision versus the opposing side igniting flames to their Nike gear.

When did freedom of speech and protest represent disloyalty?  Athletes and public figures, who have an established platform are entitled to exercise their personal beliefs and advocate for unresolved social injustices (i.e, routined police brutality).  When did protesting for basic human rights and equality become a symbolism of national hatred or deemed as unpatriotic?  

Even with all this heat Nike faces from protestors, the brand seems to have its laces tied tight, in preparation to walk through the fire, refusing to kneel to the status quo. Even if it means jeopardizing the global brand.

According to Edison Trend most recent sales report, mentioned on MarketWatch, Nike has witnessed a 31% increase, in opposition of the anticipated decline influenced by national protests.

We are not too sure what the national divide in consumership means for the future of Nike sales performance. Evidently, Nike is unwavered by the protests and threats.The company remains optimistic about their choice and refueled to extinguish any flames set in their path.

“Are your Dreams Crazy Enough? If they seem impossible right now, you’re doing it right.” (Quote featured on Nike’s official website page.)

Feel free to indulge in some hilarious and controversial memes featuring familiar faces. Enjoy!

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Long Live X !

Lately, I’ve been doing my best to ensure that I  practice what I preach; keeping in mind to reciprocate the same energy unto myself I exude to others.

It always seem to amaze me how the death or birth of one person could shake the world up and evoke universal emotions, causing people to put their differences aside. So, when you hear people say music is their life, believe them it’s no joke. XXXTentacion’s influence on his cult-like fanbase is proof.

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The name XXXTentacion might be unfamiliar to most and up until his death that was probably your first introduction to him. For other people, just hearing his name brings tears to their eyes. I have a confession, when I received the news of his death, it took me a minute to put a face to the name. Even then I still had some difficulty and immediately did what most people do when we need a visual reminder, googled him.  I had never personally went out of my way to search his music and listen to it.  I told myself I wouldn’t listen to the hip-hop freshman of this generation and cancelled him out before even giving him a try.

Well, look at me now. I spent the last few days since XXXTentacion’s transition (06.18.2018) obsessively listening to his music on streaming sites such as sound cloud and apple music. I have to admit his talent exceeds far beyond intense messages of his troubled life and turnt up riot music. He presents his real life experiences, pains, and inspirational messages to fans, then etches them into his musically inclined talents.

His musical style is an infusion of diverse genres including: alternative rock, heavy metal, and of course, hip hop/rap. My eyes have been glued to youtube searching for any answers to reveal the truth about his untimely death-others may arguably say, it was a publicity stunt and he’s still very much alive.

This is why the cliche “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” quote continuously resurfaces in my life. Before listening to his music, I remember seeing images of XXXTentacion: dreadlocks wildly protruding from his head, dark squinted eyes, tatted body from face to torso and a grim, unsmiling face.

0621-xxxtentacion-insta-3I saw the images and instantly judged him. I’m usually not one to judge, but let’s be honest everyone judges to some extent, whether it’s intentional or unintentional.  I’m in no position to judge, but his pictures gave me a eerie vibe. My first thoughts were, he’s either on some heavy drugs; a demon worshipper in the industry; or just another trap rapper, with nonsensical rhymes who will end up having a short lived career.

I guess in some instances my judgement was true, indeed his career was short lived but to my knowledge all of my other assumptions held no truth.

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From what I read in articles, heard in his lyrics, watched on youtube interviews and his social media videos, his life wasn’t perfect and he wasn’t perfect.  Based on the alleged assaults and incidents he seemed self destructive; constantly getting into fights and harming others. Yet, he was mindful of becoming a better man and he used his music as a cathartic method to express his personal pains, while voicing his opinions about the injustices of the world. He served as a catalyst for the youth to promote love (on all levels), and speak positivity; always reminding his supporters (mostly adolescents) to not cheat themselves of living to their greatest potential.

XXXTenatacion was categorized as a  “black sheep” “troubled”  whatever other adjectives the media and the general population have listed him underneath are welcome to this list. It truly saddens me to write this post because we all have a purpose-maybe his was fulfilled or only getting started. What so ever it was, each of our experiences are different for a reason and no one leads a perfect life. By the way, what is perfect? if you’re perfect then you’ll have no room to grow or learn. Ask yourself this, would you rather be perfect than flawed?  The human race has fallen into the dark pit of desensitization. We are quick to label, judge, scrutinize and condemn without having  full awareness of ourselves and confronting our own demons.

I didn’t know him on a personal level or even reached a pinnacle to converse with him. From my personal research, I’ve only seen the media depict a distorted perception of him. Yet, i decided to perceive him in my own light and not based on someone else’s opinion of him. I always try to remind myself:

Keep an open

Research

Know the facts

& Bring them to the table with YOUR perspective

In the days, months, years to come, I hope the novelty of XXXTentacion’s death doesn’t wear off instantly. We live in an age where gun and gang violence are normalized, we mourn for a few seconds then quickly forget and move on with our lives.

Yeah, you might read this and call me a “fake supporter” but sometimes it takes death for someone to live eternally. I don’t mean live in the sense of physicality but spiritual and lyrically. I’ll admit, I’m not a day one but from now on I’m a forever.

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Rest easy Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy,  the world will NEVER forget you.

LONG. LIVE. X.

Take a Knee or Flee

I don’t know much about football or any sport at that.

This should get your attention.

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Now you see where I’m going with this, right?

Lately, amidst the unexpected announcement of  Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy and Cardi B’s major career milestone as a female rap artist. There’s been some serious shit going on in the country.

I admit, I don’t watch Football or care to watch it. In my opinion it looks painful to endure and it’s even more painful to understand why men choose to do this for a living.

I digress, let’s get to the main point: Taking a knee.

Yet again, citizens of the great U S of A seem to be at odds with major racial tensions which no one wants to admit are racial tensions, even your President Trump is in denial.  For generations, and now within this modern progressive era the same cruel acts are repeatedly expressed without any actual repercussions for those violent actions.  Some American political officials as we know it-learned in history classes as well as watched on news channel- often approach the cruel mistreatments of Black people with some form of naivety. So why do these malicious acts continue to receive pardon and the real perpetuators get to walk freely, meanwhile the common civilians who are rightfully allowed to practice freedom of speech by standing in solidarity to protest the wrong doings, are the one being punished. Now tell me if that doesn’t sound like the definition of hypocrisy.

The government and the “justice system” are astonishling incognito during moments when hatred is overtly portrayed. As soon as groups assemble in efforts to protest the injustices, the conscious-mind individuals carrying grief in their heart and discontent on their faces  are casted with the villainous roles. .

Im not sure who taught Trump or his supporters their lessons in basic humanity, but I’m sure their handbook is definitely wrong and needs some serious editing.

So here we go, once again with not only regular civilians taking charge by expressing their concern and the need for systemic reform through the means of protesting.

It’s great seeing celebrity athletes using their platform to encourage widespread recognition. During these silent protests the athletes did not execute any physical harm towards anyone. All they did was display their respect for the numerous Black lives lost at the hands of countless police officers. The only harm that’s being done, are heartless patriots who dismiss the problematic genocide of Black lives. If you’re not human enough to see that, then maybe you’re blind, if you’re not human enough to believe it, then there’s already a racial stigma conquering your mind. If you do not want to hear it, you’re choosing to believe the systemic fear of certain groups to appear as a reality.

You see those people taking the knee, when they’re playing our great national anthem. Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He’s fired!’

Once again,  it’s no surprise to me Your President expresses himself in an unprofessional manner, it shows you whose concerns he takes in to account and his stance on the entire issues that stems further than a FLAG.  It’s not about the flagIf you’re able to  talk about fellow Americans who are more than happy to play an all-American sport and represent America, then what would you say about other people? Well, who am I kidding, he’s expressed his views on Middle eastern people, diverse immigrant group and his favorite of them all Mexicans. So we’re pretty much clear on where he stands. Trump hates everyone, except…you know who. His own. More power to you, but as a prominent (I use that term loosely) figure, you have to intuitively know when something is unjustifiably wrong and know to apply morality, hell basic humanity to a recurrent situation.

These Football players aren’t turning a blind eye to the injustices so many innocent lives have fallen prey to. It places fear in my heart to see the impact a paper with numerical signs and white figures can have so many lives. And for the simple fact, of their wealth, the athletes are expected to play the role of mute, deaf dummies being controlled by their master puppeteer, the great old dollar bill. I guess it upsets Trump that they won’t just take their money enjoy their wealth and exclude themselves from extreme racial affairs.  Eat, sleep and breathe Football- that’s the motto.

A flag  as we all know is an inanimate object, therefore, it doesn’t possess emotions, hold regard for people and neither feels nor understands harm. As for people, no matter their complexion, race, social/ economic status, nationality or religion, they possess all of the qualities a flag lacks, plus more.

Honestly, who’s or what is really being disrespected a flag, a song or a specific race?

I commend these football players for standing by their mission and remaining peaceful.

And I commend them all for celebrating the lives lost at the hands of complete injustice and racist intent.