Exploitation is not in fashion…EVER.
I will refrain from profanity because this is still a well-liked publication.
Our social tragedy has been reduced to a freakin’ Jibbitz charm with a donut sugar coated in pink glaze, sprinkles, witchy looking nails and a weird double branded campaign.
I was leafing through my emails when I saw a post from one of my favorite sites; Highsnobiety and I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. A “curated” line of Crocs featuring impressionable Gen Z’ers (I think) & Youtube sensations from all walks of life and then this:
Last year Croc announced this launch of BLM Jibbitz just when not many people were looking. I myself made a nod to seeing Crocs in October of 2020 at the local mall in Brooklyn, New York and even saw some people on the streets of East New York rocking these peculiar looking foot coverings. But today…no, I cannot. Not after watching horrific footage of a Black teenager being shot in a High School bathroom, then sat on until he died (the reason is irrelevant – that is not this story – I heard the recording and yes saw both angles of the body cams).
A BLM charm surrounded by diabetes and mashed up concrete? This is fashionable today. It’s totally what everyone is wearing.
According to Crocs, there were requests for this Jibbitz. I cannot imagine that Black people were shouting from the mountain tops, to please make a round of emoji charms in a knee-jerk reaction to the death of George Floyd. Crocs was kind enough to pull a talented Black artist from behind the curtain to create…a text graphic. Not a shoe, but a text graphic. And make donations to the NAACP organization when that could have been done at any time, not only when Black people die.
We have always been an advocate for equality and inclusivity and encourage everyone to Come As You Are™. As a response to Croc Nation’s many requests, we worked with one of our own extremely talented Black artists on our Crocs creative team to create these Jibbitz™ charms. We are also very proud to have donated to the @NAACP in honor of this movement.
Black Lives Matter.
Not a toy. Not intended for children under 3 years of age.crocs.com Black Lives Matter
Not a toy? Sure looks like a toy. Like a joke.
Crocs is not the only brand exploiting our social injustice. It seems to be a trend. Consumers would not know why there is a NIKE mesh sleeve in the image (I guess it’s because some NIKE Executives are over at Crocs leading the pack). But it was approved. There are so many off-site Croc Jibbitz makers pumping this stuff out in the honor of Black Power, Black Girl Magic, on and on, to wear alongside your Greek sorority or fraternity sigmas…and Mickey Mouse.
I wonder what the R&D meetings were like for these companies:
Director: Hey there guys, well there are Black people being killed and we have some Black people – uh, African Americans – just good solid people in our corporation, and they are hurting.
Let’s make a shoe and splash BLM all over it.
(People in the room: nod their heads in an odd agreeance)
Director: While we’re at it, let’s go grab that one Black “designer” we hired and put them in front of the charge. It’ll be great publicity and the consumers will eat it up.
I thought about making meme-like images here.
It is pure nonsense.
Who is approving these decisions?
Is it the founders of BLM? The ones buying up the luxury homes?
Is it the Black staffer who feels so blessed to be working at a place like Crocs, that they don’t want to spoil their big break?
Who decides it is ok to exploit anyone on the basis of injustice and standing up for what they “believe” in? Did they believe Black lives mattered 10, 20 years ago when the footwear industry was on a super high and there was literally one Black face per brand, or did Black lives matter just now?
I am pissed.
How can this be allowed? To take the injustice of a people with blood, tears, death and all – then make a stupid charm out of it and sell it back to the community that is in pain. What gall and audacity. Any company right now with the fake pouting about Black lives or the darn pumped fist should be put down.
I call for a “cease and desist” on any novelty made off the death of Black men, women and children who are inherently at a disadvantage in this country and manipulate the action for profit. This display is not an act of kindness. It is an act of disrespect and disregard for humans.
Where is the Stop Asian Hate official Jibbitz or Trail of Tears moccasin?
Crocs is not Black Owned, by the way. Leave it up to the people who are in pain to express how they feel in their own community and product or display. It is not and was never necessary to jump on the bandwagon of people being slaughtered. I don’t see anyone rocking a gas mask Jibbitz in honor of the Houlocast or any genocidal, racially charged violence, lest we forget. And if so – it would be done on their own terms as an act of recognition. Not by a corporate nudge.
STOP USING THE DEATHS OF BLACK MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN TO FUND YOUR BUSINESS.
Death to a people is not a novelty. This is not a pop-culture icon to be used as street cred amongst the cool Black kids. Plugging an “I can’t breathe” charm on your EVA toxic garden shoes is not a way to support the real lives of real people who are on the cusp of realization. Or is that the plan with these young Youtubers? To distract them and make them think “Hey they are supporting a cause it’s fine, it’s for us, right?” It’s not for you – it is a backhanded tax write off in the guise of kindness and it is 100% for THEM.