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Could We Please Stop Rioting Over Sneakers?

There was another riot this week, only this time it wasn’t a protest against Wall Street, police brutality, or even a soccer game. It was over sneakers. Ugly sneakers at that. Nike decided to release its new limited edition sneaker, the Nike Foamposite Galaxy One, to coincide with the NBA All-Star game in Orlando. The sneakers cost $220 and were set to be released at midnight at a local mall. Naturally, more people showed up than Nike had sneakers available and the SWAT team and the cops had disperse the angry crowd.

Besides the fact that an ugly sneaker that looks like a busted-ass alien on “Farscape” is a stupid reason to riot, this bothers me. It bothers me because of who made up the crowd. It was 99% Latinos and Blacks, with Latinos in the majority. I could just hear mainstream America saying, “Yup, that’s who I thought would be fighting over sneakers.” Do you have any idea how stupid that makes us look? At a time in our history where racism against Latinos is increasing, do we really need to be fighting in a parking lot over some stupid sneakers? The only way to defeat stereotypes is to stop living up to them.

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