June 20th, 2012
01:31 PM ET

Adidas 'shackle' controversy: Artistic interpretation or insensitive product?

By Mallory Simon, CNN

Sometimes a shoe is just a shoe. And art is just a creation. But the choices artists or brands make can have an unintended subtext. And these decisions sometimes create a firestorm of public outrage, especially when certain images conjure up painful stereotypes from the past. 

Adidas cancels 'shackle' shoes after outcry

When a photo of an Adidas sneaker, dubbed the JS Roundhouse Mids, was posted on the company's Facebook page with the line, "Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?" sneaker enthusiasts reacted strongly.

"Wow obviously there was no one of color in the room when the marketing/product team ok'd this," said a commenter, identifying herself as MsRodwell on nicekicks.com.

For some, the photo of a sneaker with affixed rubber shackles immediately brought up thoughts of chain gangs. For others, it was the painful reminder of slavery.

"The attempt to commercialize and make popular more than 200 years of human degradation, where blacks were considered three-fifths human by our Constitution is offensive, appalling and insensitive," the Rev. Jesse Jackson said in a statement Monday.

After the public outcry, Adidas decided to pull the shoe.

The man behind the design responded days after the controversy broke. Jeremy Scott said it was never his intention to provoke that kind of response. His design, he said on Twitter, was inspired by a childhood toy.

[tweet https://twitter.com/ITSJEREMYSCOTT/status/214852155528581121%5D

Designer Jeremy Scott tweeted a toy was his inspiration for the Adidas shoe.

Now the public often reacts long before a product makes it to market. People increasingly are making their voices heard and in effect becoming a focus group all their own, leading to a battle over whose interpretation matters - the artist's or the public's?

When do we become outraged about an artistic decision made by a company in an ad or for a product? And is it helpful for the public to keep companies in check from going too far, or are we too quick to respond?

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Filed under: History • Pop culture • What we think
soundoff (391 Responses)
  1. That Guy

    No one was intentionally being racist when coming up with the idea for these shoes. I think people are blowing this out of proportion.

    June 25, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Him

      I agree! I believe the media does this on purpose in order to strike conflict into society.

      June 25, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. PhilG

    The shackles are there with all these new shoes that get a senseless response from grown adults.

    They are just the invisible shackles placed on your soul as you are convinced a material thing is more important then simply living your life devoid of loving materiality and instead appreciating the greatness of the human spirit and what it can achieve.

    It's only a shoe-not a person.

    And as such is not important at all.

    Be nice to someone today and forget the shoe.

    June 25, 2012 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. Anonymous

    Another great idea ruined by the media. If all of the self-hating racists woke up and realized that not everyone is trying to offend them, we wouldn't have this problem.

    June 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. seelay

    that crazy looking blue long toothed stuffed animal that 'inspired' the shoe designer was controversial when it debuted too. I recall a write up in the paper. We never know what will spill over from the subconscious huh?

    June 22, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. HaamNoi

    Slavery, making it cool.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. 54StaryNights

    Beyond all the controversy, this is a stupid design. One can only imagine the sweat build up under the rubber shackles and how they would chafe.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • seelay

      Excellent point

      June 22, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jasmine77

    Many people like to express their typically rude and insensitive or ridiculous opinions about race or race issues in America without knowing much about a lot of it or how to really approach it. I see that in the comments for whichever races commented and in real life for every race. Just people....

    June 21, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Blake068

    @ Jimkress and Sawolf: Well said...well said.

    June 21, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sue Pane

    I don't care what color you are.....these shoes are just plain stupid! He calls himself a designer?

    June 21, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Blake068

    If Black people would stop complaining about every little thing they say "offends" them, all the crap about slavery and everything would not be brought up over and over and over and over and over and over again. Its always something. There are plenty of things that could offend every race, we choose not to conplain because we are better than that. Please find something else important to complain about. Jessie jackson needs to find a new day job, it is getting way old.

    June 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jimkress

    "painful reminder of slavery"

    What an absurd statement. The probability of ANYONE on Facebook being a former slave is nil.

    "no one of color in the room"

    Another howler. Adidas is a GERMAN company. in Germany those "of color" number about 500,000 compared to the total population of 82,000,000. Not many "of color" there to be "in the room".

    These complainers are just looking for ways to portray themselves as victims. It's pathetic.

    June 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. SAWolf

    Equating these ridiculous shoes with slavery only illustrates a shackled mind.

    June 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nikki

    To the detriment of all humans, slavery has been around for thousands of years. Every culture, every country around the world has made slaves of their fellow humans.
    Many things need to be learned from slavery, but once free, allowing it to rule your lives 148 years after it's been abolished needs to stop.

    June 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Margo

    My first thought when I saw them was they look like convict shoes. I never even thought salvery, I think this is just stupid all the way around. People look for things to get offended by, really, I just don't see this being raciallly offensive. I think someone reached real far to make this racial. Just sayin

    June 21, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dreamer96

    If they took the chains off...and had little wings on the straps then these shoes would probably sell okay..then all the people who wore them would look like Hermes... the mythical messenger of the Greek God Zeus...

    June 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • dreamer96

      Later the Romans would call him Mercury....The Romans had to rename all the Greek Gods, to make them feel important..

      June 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOHNEK

        Reminds me of the SPASMODICA I thought the shoe looked for a better term Stupid

        June 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  16. mike

    It is a shoe. I am now dumber for having learned of this story and reading the comments about it.

    June 21, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Dirk

    These shoes do not only educe images of slavery: they subtly remind segments of society that oppression and oppressed people still exist in this era. People are still policed by their skin color; expectations, roles, social success are largely a function of race. These shoes are symptomatic of a culture that tacitly conditions us to believe some races are superior to others. These shoes are whack.

    June 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • SAWolf

      Only people who are oppressed are the fools who spend hundreds of dollars on sneakers that cost about 10 dollars to manufacture.

      June 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Big Al

    This is just another example of how ridiculous this country is getting about making sure no one gets offended.

    June 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stebo

      It also points out that people race to judge or form an opinion without even having all of the facts!! There are so many more important issues surrounding our country right now that people have chosen not to speak out against, yet thousands found this as a topic of debate...DISGRACEFUL

      I believe in the power of the pocket book. If this was such an "insensitive" product then folks wouldn't have bought it correct?? Think about it, what does Adidas gain by enraging a segment of its target audience?? Think people THINK!!!

      June 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Tim

    These shoes shouldn't be sold because they are ugly as sin not because of 'racial sensitivity'. The funny thing is, the first thing that came to mind was a toy that I had as a child (My Pet Monster), he had hand cuffs that looked exactly like these things. The people that are getting offended over something like this are about as stupid as these shoes look. Shackles are not only a representation of slaves, criminals and combative patients (currently) wear them so maybe they should be the ones that are crying about this. I should be offended since my ancestors were taken advantage of, enlsaved, raped and murdered by European settlers... Oh yeah, and all of their land was stolen from them as well.

    June 21, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • A.

      So true. Why is it the only slavery that anyone seems to remember or make a big deal about is US slavery against blacks? Slavery is sick and wrong, but the bottom line here is just because shackles are attached to a pair of ugly shoes does not mean it was automatically inspired by black slavery. Leave it to the media...throw one comment in made by Jesse Jackson and it's a colossal racial issue. Typical.

      June 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • alex

        the bottom line is the shackle is insensitive and stupid and no matter how many more years go by, real Blacks who like me, had great grand parents who were alive when slaves were finally freed. To only watch family members hung and burned for fun and photo opts, put in prison cause a white women lied and said, (fill in the blank) and then had to endure what is still happening today with paying more for goods and services cause well you know, your kind (fill in the blanks), heck, the white only sign over the water fountain in my grade school didn't get removed until 1970. So stop with the hate and ALLOW BLACKS TO MOVE ON. We are trying but the occational noose hanging or the whites being promoted over you or they get a 'may I help you' at the store way before Blacks do...until all that stops, you deal with it.

        June 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  20. justen

    well, well, well liberty still has her eyes closed,,, well im closing mine too,,,, let me know when you guys wanna talk seriously about this problem other then that,,,, here's my card oh u can't beat that and also if it doesnt bother u,,,, go ahead get u a pair of these sneakers,,, let me know how many sensitive,,, and unsensitive people u run into,,,, more sensitive then unsensitive ,,, the unsensitive people will most likely tell u about how they feel about it in private they really dont show their true feelings in public,, and if u have to say out load ur not a racist then u have it in ur blood and ur tryin to fight it,,,, kudos to u i have more respect for u and applaud ur honesty for the rest of ya well wuh can i say,,,, get it together lol

    June 21, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  21. Gene

    I dont see companies pulling musical artists work away becasue its offensive to women, or whites or any other race/gender. There is such a double standard in this country. White college kids dress up as a ghost using sheets (prob because they are cheap) they are labeled KKK. Im tired of all this about slavery and everything is related to it. I am sorry that my ancestors enslaved yours. Its been 100+ years if you are still so upset with this country...im sure you can find a better life back in Africa.

    June 21, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  22. Malibu1369

    Artists need free reign, creation shouldn't be "shackelled" by the forum of public opinion. Commercial companies, however, live and die in the court if public onion and its checkbook. Who thinks Adidas was a wimp, and who thinks they did their bottom line a favor?

    June 21, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  23. John

    I find it terribly offensive that the black americans that are 4 and 5 generations from slavery have anything to say at all. With all the freebies your given and all the burden to society you have been, you have the balls to say the sneaker is opressive? Most white people in this country came long after slavery was ended. My family came here within the last 75 years and guess what? We all thrived and never needed public assistance. Get off your asses, get out of the ghetto, and quite frankly stop whining. You have a black president, your plight is over

    June 21, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Kellee

      Yeah well since your ancestor contributed and profit which you in turn you profit from the labor maybe you like all other white people should shut the he.ll up. White people will never understand cause they don't have empathy in their hearts soul or whatever to understand completely. I will never forget and I raise all the children in
      my extended family to never forget how evil white people were to our Native and black ancestor.

      June 21, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
      • Carl

        Am I missing something here? How is it that ALL white people are evil? And how is it that teaching future generations to be racist solves the problem? I think you're just as racist as the poster you're replying to.

        June 21, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
      • Joe

        you couldnt be more wrong and racist actually
        granted slavery was a completely diobolacal time in our nations history, the 3.5 million slaves brought into this country almost 300 years ago now, still doesnt even come close to the attrocities of the Holocaust and the extermination of over 6 million Jewish people, and you don't hear Jewish people now a days complaining and that wasn't even 75 years ago. So while you have a valid argument its almost futile now a days.

        June 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kellee

        It really doesn't come close to holocaust. Let me see you counted 6 million Jews died over the span of 6 years from the Nazi regime. Tell me how many African slaves died in captivity during the middle passage or how many slaves died total from the start of slavery to holocaust the end of Jim Crow? The number is so astronomical that nobody could ever count. Added that those people didn't want the world the extent of their evil nature and they didn't care cause they believe slaves were not people.

        June 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • GonzoMc

        I had written a response to you kellee but I erased it because its pointless to argue with someone like you...people like you...ya you people. Ignorance is not bliss when your ignorance drives you to hate people that never did anything to you. Good luck acting like white people are evil and having a good life at the same time. Signed, a human being.

        June 21, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • guy

        black ancestors made profit selling their week to white people. Dont forget blacks enslaved themselves and other races as well as conquering and raping women to remove the spanish blood line. How about you get over it, this was in the past and had nothing to do with you.

        June 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        Your just "shackling" yourself by living in the past. The past happened and happens but nothing will change. We are clearly living in a new world, so you should join us.

        June 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joe

        english next time please and it was about 250,000 who died on the voyage over to America and as for Jim Crow, unless those numbers exceeded 2.5 million, the Holocaust victims still out numbered the enslaved 2-1, I understand where you're coming from but like I said these arguements are almost futile now a days.

        June 22, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darren

      YES! Exactly.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • guy

      actually quite a few people who are on public assistance are proud of it cause they dont have to work a real job and if they want anything they just do side jobs under the table. Sadly I was raised to earn what I get and never take hand outs or owe, or I would be at home right now chillin

      June 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Aujolie

    I find it highly insensitive of anyone that isn’t African American to tell an African American that they don’t have the right to be insulted by these shoes. If you aren’t black in American ( which in fact is a large portion of the demographic that would in fact buy these shoes) it was poor decision making on part of the team at Adidas that approved these sneakers, their inability to see the moral controversy of selling this shoe design, and what is even more funny is the individuals that comment on how they see nothing wrong with the design, neither would wear these sneakers, nor have ever felt the pain or discomfort or hurt of hearing stories from the elders in your family talk about painful racial hate experiences nor have experienced CURRENT socially immoral racist behavior from others that we STILL deal with today, so please quit the bs on telling " black people to not throw the race card" when in fact in relation to this shoe it is so much so race related and right in our faces... its shackles .. around your ankles....and your selling them to little black kids?! DUH we are going to be insulted! Doesn’t matter how much you try and tell someone the intent was different the feeling aroused is still the same.

    June 21, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Reality

      Young blacks are not the only ones who would buy these shoes. Young latinos and really young anyone who wanted a quirky or over the top shoe. Blacks were not the only people to be enslaved or hated. Chinese, Mexican, African and many others that were not in the white majority were treated as second class citizens. The African slaves took the brunt of it and were enslaved in many countries. Your slave ancestors were amazingly strong people. They rose up and fought in a situation that most on the planet would consider hopeless. It was the black people who lead the charge on the civil rights front. All other minorities benefit from those brave men and women. Please be stronger than letting a pair of silly shoes have this kind of effect on you. If they had been made in the U.S. by some backwoods company I could understand. Grow some thick skin.

      June 21, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
      • Lawrence

        How can you in the same breath praise the plight of the african american and then say grow some thick skin? It doesn't matter where these shoes were made or who made them, the symbolism rings loud and clear. My people died to get out of shackles. They died to get off the plantations. They died to rid themselves of Jim Crow. The died to get Civil Rights. And now you expect us to be closed lip when this ugly symbolism rears its head? I will not! I have no anger towards the man who designed this because he doesn't know the plight that my ancesters felt, but I will speak up in disgust of what this would look like on thousands of kids feet. Designers have free will to create whatever they want, but the public has the same will speak out against it. Adidas made the right choice by pulling these sneakers because thier target market didn't want this type of symbolism.

        June 21, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Aujolie

        I respect your stance and response, but if you are not in my shoes and have not walked the path i follow then please dont tell me how i should feel.

        June 26, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  25. OregonTom

    I need shackles for my flip flops.

    June 21, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  26. BV

    The design was not inspired by slavery and did not relate to any form of slavery. Jeremy Scott, the designer, created the shoes from an inspiration of a stuffed monster toy he had as a child in the 80's. If this country is every going to move past the atrocious wrongs in the past we all must never forget but also never get so upset by the simplest things by calling them racist when in fact they arent. Many of the comments posted throughtout this article are ignorant and just plain moronic. And if people are going to place comments concerning history of slavery, maybe they should check they're facts and realize African Americans weren't the only group of people in the world that has undergone slavery. This article is a rediculuous ploy to anger people in our society to drive their philosophies towards anti-art hate mungering.

    June 21, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Brenda Evans

      I TOTALLY agree with you! I am not black or racist and the thought of slavery NEVER entered my mind when I saw these shoes! Why do people feel the need to continue to bring up the past issue of slavery. It was wrong and we all know it! Slavery was thankfully abolished years ago and everyone needs to let go of the need to bring it up at every turn. My first thought was simply..."A prisoner"... NOT a race!!!

      June 21, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        I agree with both, however, my first thought was it was there to make sure the kids didn't loose there shoes... guess I have been a dad too long.

        June 21, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  27. Nat

    Only a child would where something like this. No grown, educated adult would ever be seen in this novelty. When I look at these things the first thing that comes to my mind is economic slavery. People have the right to buy whatever they want and look ridiculous too.

    June 21, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  28. dreamer96

    The first thing I thought about when I saw these new shoes is how runners get addicted to the human endorphin rush from running.. There is a a real endorphin rush that causes regular runner's to get a real high...When I was younger and ran a lot, I noticed this myself, and I also noticed, if I skipped a day or two, I felt down from that too...Slaves to the endorphin rush from running...but not in a racial way...I can now see why many see a different kind of reference to slavery..

    June 21, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  29. mikrik13

    I can see these shoes sneaking into Carrot Top's act.

    June 21, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  30. aimeedorsey3351

    I am so freaking sick and tired of the blacks playing the slavery card. The current blacks never were and never will be slaves. Shut the hell up!

    June 21, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • dreamer96

      How do you feel about the Native American Indians....pulling their broken treaties card..
      Google Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota...and the current conditions there...over 30% of the homes do not have indoor plumbing, running water service, sewer service, electricity...8 out of 10 homes have alcohol problems..and 400 yards south of the reservation the town of White Clay..some town only 14 people live there..but they have four stores that sell 4.1 million cans of beer and generate over 3 million in yearly alcohol sales..Nebraska makes a lot of tax dollars and the beer companies make a lot of money, the stores make a lot of money...by selling alcohol to the Native Indians that have a well known problem with alcoholism...Those God Loving Christians in Nebraska do not seem to mind making money from a sin at all...and those treaties with the US government do not mean much either...IF the United Nations ever investigated the conditions at the second largest Native American Indian Reservation in America...they would be disgusted...It is like a Nazi prison camp were the prisoners are addicts and come and go from the camp to get their drugs...and slowly kill themselves..while the guards just watch it all happen and make money...

      June 21, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • AshleyM512

      How can you not see that you are even more racist than most of the white people on here?

      June 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stebo

      Even as a Black Man, I'm concerned with your comments like "pale, pasty faces". If anyone on this thread referred to you in such a racist manner, you would go crazy! The biggest concern I have is even after the designer has explained his motivation for the sneaker, there is still outrage as to the intent. Yes, slavery was terrible and yes, racism is still very alive today, but not EVERY event or action is done with the intent to be insensitive to the events of the past. I hope you all are able to be as animated with the very concerning current issues that threaten the futures of all of our kids, white or black!

      June 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kellee

        I finally get it now we should only protest and be outrage against Muslims who try to built a religious Mosque in downtown New York close to the twin towers everything else people should be forgetten. I understand completely there is no racism in America only black people who refuse to move on from the past. What black people suffer was tragic but so long ago. If the Native isn't crying than why should we. Forgive and forget

        June 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • GonzoMc

      Kellee have you met and spoke to an African American since the 1800s? You should really try to take responsibility for why your life sucks instead of blaming white people in general for how white people treated black people 200 years ago. It doesn't matter anymore because now you have a choice. I don't like the way black people were prejudiced against or forced to do what white people wanted them to do and had I lived back then I would have been killed by white people for protecting black people (you know, the human beings) Blacks during slavery didn't have a choice to make their life better. You do, if your smart enough to do it.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Christiana

    these are only offensive to my eyes.

    June 21, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  32. Darren

    What an object means isn't always what the creator intended or necessarily have anything to do with its inspiration. I don't think whoever designed these shoes intended them to reference slavery, but that just shows them to be even more oblivious.

    The African slave trade was the largest ever conducted by mankind, these trainers were intended for the US market and the vast majority of African Americans are descended from slaves, so I think its safe to say that in the US & most of the Americas, shackles *mean* slavery.

    June 21, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  33. Chris

    Well even if they are inspired by slavery, doesnt mean specifically one race of slavery, this guy isnt even american who designed them right? Jeez age of the over sensitive politically correctness SUX! I want shackle shoes!!!

    June 21, 2012 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
  34. Art del Ayre

    "This Gallery Has Expired
    Please browse other topics in this story to reload story content."
    Can't view what's the issue about this, and it's NEWS?

    June 21, 2012 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  35. Steve

    Ok. The fun is over over, we as Americans must put a stop to this utterly horrendous and ridiculous junk.First off, if you equate these little rubber shackles with slavery, then you are a tool and a complete fool. What's next? Will we have to redo all the re-runs of sesame street and digitally insert big birds "person of color" friend?

    We have to stop this idiotic blubbering about racism and slavery. I'm not saying we forget it all but we have to turn the page here as Americans. But to sit here and say that these shoes are anything at all to do with slavery is just plain dumb and further yet it sets black America back a few steps. Ever wonder why people don't want to hear your views on racism? Well this is one reason why.

    June 20, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  36. otis

    Give me a break with all this slavery bs. no one alive today was ever a slave, and no one alive today was part of the South that condoned slavery. ALL white people are not responsible for slavery.. I saw an article the other day where people were outraged because a teacher called a middle school student a black boy. What in hell is he/ A red zebra. And they went on to say if they said white boy there would have been flack. That also is crap. Everybody from 6 to 66 is called white boy, except we don't whine about it. i'm not walking on eggshells because all you welfare grubbing illiterates think i owe you a free ride. What i really owe is justice for the time I was attacked for nothing by 3 blacks and kicked in the face etc. So get over yourselves, perhaps relocation may be a good idea.

    June 20, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  37. teleny

    Did they come in my size? They look fun!

    June 20, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Goose66

    Why the question? A few, squeaky wheels complained; Addidas pulled the shoes; those that weren't offended or maybe even wanted the things will never get the chance to buy them. Doesn't matter what most people think or wanted - only matters what Jesse Jackson wants, right?

    June 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  39. DrDan

    It's not about whether it's proper to voice our opinion, and no one is suggesting that we should be meek and refrain from having one. The point is to see how outraged people become these days over things that are ridiculous, and can be easily ignored. I have a great education, a great job, wonderful friends, a beautiful girlfriend, and numerous hobbies....so I couldn't care less about some fake outrage over some stupid thing that doesn't affect my life. I just read through these articles as I'm winding down for the night to get a good laugh at the ignorance of people who get up in arms over nothing.

    June 20, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  40. akababysitter

    Not offensive.....just really ugly!!

    June 20, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  41. NorCalMojo

    Hypersensitive crybabies and ugly shoes. The whole thing is hilarious.

    June 20, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Keith

    The answer to the question that the article poses, neither, it is not art and it is not insensitive, it is just stupid. What dumb As s German thought of this line of merchandise?

    June 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • mugzee44

      Probably the same ones that build those crappy cars!

      June 21, 2012 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
      • Keith

        Some of their cars are okay

        June 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Joseph

    Here's an idea – offended? Don't buy them!

    June 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      The real question is why is this news?

      June 20, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sir Lawrence

      Thank you, Being Black Do I understand the point...Yes.
      Do I agree....NO.
      These are just real ugly sneakers, and to be honest don't we in the world have real problems to deal with?

      June 20, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Carl

        Thank you! Couldn't have put it better.

        June 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  44. KeepItReal

    Seems to me you can't make the connection between shackles on shoes and colonial era slavery unless you first associate the concept of running shoes with African Americans - which is racist. When I see chains, first thing I think of is S&M, but that's just me.

    June 20, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      I don't know if it would even be considered art. I personally thought they're butt ugly. Plus, who ever came up with the idea was beyond wrong and totally insensitive. A lot people still live in the shame of having history slave times, either as slave traders or having ancestors that were slaves. That was a sad part of our history, but it did happen. There are still a lot of sensitive nerves around that whole thing.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

        I’m afraid not.
        Most people don’t know their family history that far back. Blacks assume someone in their past was a slave and use it as a crutch to justify poor behavior. Slave owners were actually a very small group; chances are our white ancestors were NOT slave owners. Why feel guilty over something someone did a few hundred years ago? (and likely were not part of our family line anyway) The real shame comes from being part of a failed culture, hence looking to blame it on anyone or anything. Even if that person / thing was 149 years ago.

        June 21, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  45. Elle

    I disagree with the author on their claim that sometimes "art is just a creation." Given the inception, concept, process and labor put into their work, no piece of art is "just a creation". Every artist knows or at least should think about the implications and/or public reaction their work will provoke. Having a certain intention is another thing, but every artist has an unwarranted responsibility to all possible negative connotations of their work, regardless of their beliefs.

    June 20, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Orion

    Ironically, if it had been a black artist talking about how "sports are just a new form of slavery for blacks" IE that blacks can't find success except in sports or entertainment where these types of shoes would be worn...well then everyone would be applauding how avant garde the artist was.

    June 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darren

      Yes but if it they were created by an artist the meaning would be different. As they are they're a product, so they aren't a 'comment' on anything.

      June 21, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  47. Techsupport

    I don't really know my heritage very well, so I make sure to get offended by pretty much everything just to cover my bases.

    June 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  48. BlackCalvinist

    So let me get this straight......

    The Holocaust – Never forget.
    September 11th – Never forget.
    Slavery – get over it.


    June 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Offend the offended

      The Holocaust – Never forget------doomed to repeat--it's in the past
      September 11th – Never forget----–doomed to repeat--it's in the past
      Slavery – get over it---------–doomed to repeat--it's in the past

      June 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sheila Davis

        Get over it? Shame on you, any cruelty against God's children is horrible and won't be forgotten. Sounds like you need to read a real history book instead of His-Story. Shackles on your brain.

        June 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • justsaying

      I think if it's affecting the freedom of expression, then yes we need to get over it.

      It's insane the number of times black people pull the race card on so many issues, while many (not all) white people put up with the injustice shown towards them because they are white...many will sit at home and complain about it privately and then they GET OVER IT because there is no sense in making a ruckus about every single little thing.

      June 21, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Kellee

      That is exactly what their saying if they didn't systematically destroy the Native people's culture and lives they would be telling Native Americans to get over the trail of tears. They already anointed Andrew Jackson a great President even after he sign the order. White people have no sympathy or empathy for any other race the Nativs already know, but the other races need to catch on Hispanics included.

      June 21, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
      • SAWolf

        Native??? They just arrived here earlier, North America was devoid of H. sapiens, until the Asians emigrated. A paleolithic, static culture for some 60,000 years, continually warring with each other, life expectancy 20+ years, real paradise.

        June 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      The holocaust- those with a heart try not to talk about it.
      9/11- those with a heart try not to talk about it
      Slavery- those with a heart try not to talk about it. Those concerned with their ego talk about it.

      June 21, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darren

      I think you've pretty much just nailed it.

      June 21, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Techsupport

    I don't know of any slaves that were ever cuffed to their shoes, so they could run really fast. Maybe as the ad says, he was trying to imply that you might lose that shoe, or maybe someone is going to take it. Also, are they now implying that only black people wear adidas? Sounds like the hecklers are more racist than the designer, looking for something to be offended by.

    June 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Social Preacher

      See, you just don't know your history. Liberals never really do.

      The fact is that slave owners commonly would shackle the work-boots directly to the slaves so that when they woke up in the morning they could remember where they put them. Also, it was impossible for the slaves to go much faster than a slight jog because the chains were filled with white magic which kept them from running. There were only problems on rare occasions when they would all start playing basketball and jumping away. They have extra muscles, you know, and are hard to catch once they start bounding.

      June 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  50. v


    June 20, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  51. mikrik13

    I am going to find and wear a pair of those shoes. On the left band I am going to write Democrat in big letters and on the right one, Republican. Then wear them to the voting booth in November. All Americans are slaves to these two mindless beasts.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Offend the offended

    When I see a hoody it doesn't conger up memories of the Klan. When I see a rope it doesn't bring up memories of linching. The same applies when I saw the picture of these shoes, it did not remind me of the good ole days of slavery. Why do I have no memories of the Klan, linching or slavery? I was not alive when these things were in our society. I have as about as much a connection to these things as any American black man has to Africa. It was in the past, we really should move along now.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • seriously

      But I'm black and it offends me that you're not constantly thinking about slavery and oppression. Get it together!

      June 20, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Offend the offended

        We are all slaves, and yet we enslave. It is a never ending argument to which will never find a solution.

        June 20, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • seriously

        I'm black though, and spell check reminds me of the advancements we've made in technology and how my ancestors, who were slaves, didn't have any technology.

        June 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Offend the offended

        Seriously! Of all things to point out, spelling is that which most draws attention.

        June 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • seriously

        You know what? My Great Aunt Bea won a spelling bee once, and her grandfather was a slave. You just don't know when to stop do you?

        June 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • MajeztyRene

      Weren't you alive when spellcheck was created ? Use it. How about that ?

      June 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Offend the offended

        Thank you for your input.

        June 20, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Good Fortune Cookie Shem

    Regardless of what someone interprets the shoes to mean, they are very tacky. I imagine they were probably designed by some German person for white people to wear ironically. Yet, so tacky still. Poor taste..

    June 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • SAWolf

      Then don't buy them. In America we don't censor or at least we didn't, we vote with our dollars.

      June 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  54. onceacpa

    Those shoes are just darn ugly. Why would anyone want to wear them regardless of any "controversy"? Its' not worth the time of day to argue about them.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  55. gaucho420

    I owned that toy as a kid! How can this country be so PC, yet have the KKK doing parades and have the Confederate flag still flown in some counties? Give it a break already, get some humor and learn to laugh.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  56. kevin

    50% of todays ideas could be deemed as racist or in politically correct... I really doubt they were thinking of blacks and slavery when they made these shoes... the people who find it racist, are the ones who are racist for making the wild assumption that these represent slavery in anyway... when they see snazzy high top adidas shoes and shackles, they think racism... its all in their head, they are the ones who keep bringing up racism in the world....

    next time i see a goth sportin chains, I'm going to tell him he is a racist

    I personally wouldn't buy the shoes because they are ugly as hell but my first thought upon seeing them wasn't, wow, a bunch of redneck racist hicks designed these.... our country is becoming pathetic.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  57. kevin

    50% of todays ideas could be deemed as racist or in politically correct... I really doubt they were thinking of blacks and slavery when they made these shoes... the people who find it racist, are the ones who are racist for making the wild assumption that these represent slavery in anyway... when they see snazzy high top adidas shoes and shackles, they think racism... its all in their head, they are the ones who keep bringing up racism in the world.

    next time i see a goth sportin chains, I'm going to tell him he is a racist

    I personally wouldn't buy the shoes because they are ugly as hell but my first thought upon seeing them wasn't, wow, a bunch of redneck racist hicks designed these.... our country is becoming pathetic.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Jerry

    Last time I checked blacks were not the first nor the last ethnic group that was subjected to slavery. Every ethnic group in the world has been a slave to every other ethnic group at one time or another. Slavery is the world's third oldest profession. It's time the black population puts something that ended nearly 150 years ago behind them. It's ancient history for them. Slavery exist right now, today, in 2012 all over the world, for many non-black groups. Today's slaves are the ones who need our help.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • UsuallyObserving

      You bring up such an important point, that slavery continues to exist in our world today.

      Slavery has existed throughout humanity and, at least in my opinion, has always been an abhorrent practice. At least in America, however, the dialogue on the subject seems to be dominated by the slavery of african americans in the early years of our country. This is not to say that such and era is not deserving of discussion, but (and, please note, this is not in anyway meant to be racist or an attempt to limit the rights of african americans to sympathize with their ancestors) is a concentration of pre-emancipation slavery in america the best direction to push discussion on the issue of slavery as a whole.

      I mean no disrespect, but african americans do not (for lack of a better word) own slavery or the right to feelings of anger over the practice, and continuing to focus any discussion of slavery on this early american period risks perpetuating the idea that slavery is a practice of the past. I only wish the comment from Jesse James would have expressed disdain for the design of the shoe because it perpetuated a centuries old practice of slavery, or the current practice of slavery.

      The slavery of african americans in early america was a horrible practice, but, thankfully, it is no longer permitted. This is not to say it is not an important part of our history, I just wish individuals would be more focused on helping another group who is currently experiencing this horrors, instead of focusing on what individuals none of us have ever met perpetuated and experienced directly. The mistakes of our ancestors should guide us, not condemn us.

      June 21, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  59. oh please

    Great. Next someone will get offended over friendship bracelets.

    And why the hell is Jesse Jackson shooting his mouth off over nothing again? This guy lost his credibility a long time ago.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Social Preacher

      "Friendship bracelets"? Don't you mean "slave shackles"?

      Whenever I see a friendship bracelet all I can think of is that they look like African slave bands. It's pretty obvious that they have been marketed to black people the whole time and that white people just see them as a big inside joke. Don't tell Jesse, though. He'll let the cat out of the bag.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • seriously

      I'm black and friendship bracelets remind me of my friends, and while you might not think that's offensive, their ancestors were slaves. So it's actually really offensive to wear friendship bracelets.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  60. The Social Preacher

    These are obviously racists because only black people wear basketball shoes. Anyone that wants to say that it's marketed to anyone else must be a complete fool. How or why would a white person ever want to wear high-tops? You can't wear high-tops while playing tennis and eating a mayonaise sandwich, can you? How silly would I look in my hiked up slacks if I had the goofy tops covering my high-waters? I would probably look like a black man, I guess. Plus, whenever I see shackles the only thing that comes to mind is black slaves. I remember this one episode of Spartacus when this guy was all shackled up because he was not being a good gladiator, and I was like "hey, that's totally a comentary on black people being slaves!" This is all so obvious.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • SAWolf

      I love my Chuck Taylor All Stars, been wearing them since they cost 8 bucks a pair. High tops are needed when doing sit ups at a 40 degree incline with weights behind my head, and I'm an old WHITE man!

      June 21, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Saint

    If prison attire aka saggy pants have crept into mainstream, why not shackles?

    June 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  62. P.

    I'm pretty sure Jesse Jackson doesn't speak for most folks anymore. I'm not particularly interested in owning a pair of these shoes, but I'm sure lot of perfectly rational, non-slave owning people would. In fact, shame on Jesse Jackson for assuming only black Americans like cool shoes. And shame on CNN for reporting on such a frivolous and trivial "news" item.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  63. James

    I'll have to rewatch Amistad because I dont remember seeing anybody bound in bright yellow plastic cuffs.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Really?

    ALso, not every shackle every attached to a foot was attached to a black foot. He11, J3ws were shackled as slaves in Egypt, should they be offended? People need to get eh F over it.

    I'm a gay man and I hear people toss around the word f4g all the time. F4g relates to gays as our kind was once burned at the stake over a pile of f4ggo7s. It would be the equivalent of calling a black guy a noose. Do I get offended? No. Do I raise a big stink and casue all sorts of problems? No. Why? Because I know its not intentionally directed at me as a hate-filled term. Everything out there has the capacity to be offensive to some group, and unless it is horribly blantant I think people need to just move on and worry about real issues.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  65. fedup

    I am of and am therefore offended by . Clearly the struggles of my ancestors, which included , are not being thought of by . Because I'm every single thing should be run by me first so I can approve it. If can't do that, then nothing should ever be done. I wouldn't be as callous as to say get over it, because some scars last forever...but I would be very quick to say get over yourselves. By your line of thinking, every person who descended from a family who owned slaves should be starting a campaign to get these on the market. While every person who has had a foot amputated should complain about shoes being sold in pairs. Color blind people, we need to hear from you about the fact things are made with colors at all. Who am I forgetting? Oh no...am I insensitive for forgetting people?! I need to go ban myself.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  66. dave

    This product is a perfect fashion statement for Obama voters who love the yoke of the democrat plantation and love to advertise their self acclaimed victim status. He l l – I will buy a pair for any Obama supporter who promises to wear them every day until November 5.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Helen

      Dave are you really Romney posting on this board. Your comments sound just like something he would come up with. Congradulations. Maybe he will ask you to be VP.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Anomic Office Drone

    It is no more or less insensitive than a Skip-It.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Really?

    Seriously I would totaly want to own a pair of those. They look cool and I like the feeling of shackels. And yes, I am into the S&M scene, but so what? If wearing cuffs and shackles makes me happy why does anyone else care?

    June 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • NatashaB


      That's actually a really great point! When I saw them I thought of my cousin in jail. When you saw them you thought of S&M. The problem is perception I guess. While I stand by what I said about this shoe potentially having a negative (mental) implication on young men "the 'hood", of any color..I can see why the shoes should be made. It's a choice to see them negatively. You can also just really dig chains around your ankles for other non slave related reasons! I like your comment so much because you provided and alternative rather than a criticism 🙂 Thank you


      Natasha B

      June 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  69. jeremy2020

    Wow, I didn't know Slavery just started 200 years ago.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  70. ohSilly

    Oh man.... we continue to pound the carpet for our "racism!" stories.

    If this shoe story and the Zimmerman are all we have, ... then Houston, we DON'T have a problem.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  71. seriously

    Hi, I'm black, and I think EVERYTHING is about me.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      No, sorry....not unless you are gay and want to get married. They get first headlines.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • seriously

        But I'm black, and OBVIOUSLY Adidas was thinking about oppression and slavery when they made these shoes!

        June 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Tim Knecht

    It's either the work of an insensitive boob or a shallow clown who knows absolutely no history. Either way, he needs some serious instruction.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  73. The Social Preacher

    Thank you for your concern Natasha. You'd better be offended by Adidas for selling running pants. They are obviously marketed only toward black people and it's obvious whoever came up with them is racists because black people are always on the run from their slave masters. Go sue them for me, would you?

    June 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  74. NatashaB

    Okay so..wow where to start. You are white.. like mayonnaise. And upset. Black people have a history of oppression..such as chained ankles. And don't want a sneaker that will encourage black youth to chain their ankles and forget they are free.
    How does that comparison even make sense? I am black and I have never had shackles clasping my ankles, I never want them to be around my ankles, and I don't want black people to start chaining themselves up!
    My God man, I can understand that you aren't able to connect with this particular story. You're lucky that THIS isn't something that bothers you. But I'm sure you have people in your life that you care about. And I'm sure you know of the rampant political apathy running through the veins of the American pulse. So before you start mocking the response of those who were offended by this sneaker (people of all color, not just brown), consider how you'd want the same people to react to YOUR natural response to something that doesn't sit well.
    Most of us can agree that the design of the sneaker is horrendously ugly and most us us wouldn't wear these. They aren't being marketed to you. They are largely targeting young Black and Hispanic men..the ones with a lack of education and a lack of social leverage. They are saying to these guys "hey, put these on. get used to this. they'll end up here anyway".
    Racism is so embedded in American culture that most of us don't even notice it. And while artist's should be able to create WHATEVER they please..and while they may not be racist themselves or had racist intentions, that DOESN'T mean it doesn't exist and we shouldn't care!! Ignorance is the sedative of the people.


    Natasha B.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Sagebrush Shorty

    Certain groups are offended by every little thing.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darren

      I'm white and I'm offended by these shoes.

      All the folks saying its down to black people being oversensitive, are you saying you'd be ok with a pair of 9/11 sneakers, with two smoking towers and planes sticking out the back?

      2,800 people died on 9/11. 12 million blacks were taken from Africa and made slaves . I think I can see why they might be a bit touchy about the subject since the vast majority of modern African Americans are descended from slaves. Texans still get uppity about the Alamo.

      June 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • SAWolf

        Sold into slavery by their own, first to the muslims, FREED by a war, by White men, given trillions since the 1960's, yet continuously surpassed economically by Asians and Hispanics. Time to stop complaining and to start creating their future.

        June 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  76. BP

    At over $300 for a pair of these, the people who would buy these are a slave to fashion. It's criminal that someone would pay that much to improve their image. It's a shame that we push the edge so much these days to get attention that half the people are shocked and outraged and the other half are past feeling and alright with it.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Ol Dad

    They say Im crazy, I really don't care. They say Im nasty, but I don't give a damn, gettin girls is how how live. Tell me, tell me, why? can't I just live my life, without all of the thangs that people say?
    That my perogitive! do-do-do-do do do

    June 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Ol Dad

    hey baby. if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it.
    Im gonna miss you

    June 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Parkerman

    These shoes should mean no more to todays black teens then it would to white teens. No blacks today have ever been in shackles (unless being a criminal) and in that respect black and whites are equals. This is way overreaction.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Jack

    Well put Sam, I agree!

    June 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  81. NatashaB

    I respect Jeremy Scott as an artist and I believe him when he says offending people wasn't his intention. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans are such junkies for misinformation and are quick to make their own hasty judgments. Why are you assuming the outrage is solely based on racism? When I saw this it hurt me because the other day i was reading a letter from my cousin who is in jail. He told me that because of a traffic violation (he was on parole fighting a gun possession charge and shouldn't have been driving) he was forcibly manacled and thrown in jail. Despite compliant conduct his release date kept getting pushed back. They were suppose to release him last year and they've just pushed his release to 2014. The worst part is, when he got pulled over, he was coming back from Boston (lives in NY) from visiting family. The family hasn't kept in touch..at the end of the letter he didn't ask for money..he asked for their pictures to decorate his cell. Sorry if some people have modern day ties to oppression. Sorry to all you who don't get to wear these sneakers (not that you would 'cus they're hideous). This isn't about old slavery, it's about new slavery. Those damn manacles have been on colored ankles since forever! Now this? Who would wear these? Guess who would wear these! Why would we want these people to be desensitized to manacles? I can take it anymore. I'm a 22 year old Haitian woman and the slave mentality is killing my people.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Social Preacher

      I want to flag your post and remove it because I find it incredibly offensive to white people.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • NatashaB

        Just do it.

        June 20, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Social Preacher

        Oh, I see now. You just don't like these because you're a spokesperson for Nike.

        June 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • NatashaB

        No, I've never sold sneakers. I have worked some time in retail..6 years to be exact. You advance quickly when you just "get over it" and do what you are paid to do. That doesn't mean I haven't seen my fair share..I just typically keep my mouth shut. When I think about what became of some of the kids i grew up around..I feel horrible and shallow. I don't sell shoes anymore. I'm a case manager and I'm so glad to be helping people pull themselves up rather than exploiting their insecurities for profit.

        June 20, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wiseone

      Do you even remotely think that maybe you are blaming the wrong person for your son's situation? He broke the laws. He appeared to be a flight risk. If you continue to blame others for your sons mistakes well lets just look at his future. Whoops we already did that. Maybe you should have warned him when he was a little boy that if you do wrong you get punished. Or did you tell him that it is all the white man's fault?

      June 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • NatashaB

        Btw, I said my cousin not my son and I didn't blame anyone for anything. I'm giving you an alternative perspective of this from a young black girl, since the racism whistle was blown long before I posted. I'm not issuing blame on anyone. You are putting words in my mouth instead of offering your alternative perspective. Do I think the show is irresponsible..in a certain context it can be. If you are talking about gangster/jail culture then yeah. Do I think it was crafted by a racist redneck..absolutely not. Shoe the shoe be made and sold..sure why not. Art is supposed to invoke feeling, ideas, and reactions!! One person saw one thing and someone else saw another..that is art and that is life. This isn't a blame game.

        June 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Helen

      Haitain Woman. Why did you leave your homeland to come to America? You know white people live for the opportunity to do something bad to black people. I have been to your island and they are not too easy on criminals there but maybe you should have stayed. I was there trying to help your people get through the recent disaster but I am white so something must be wrong with me! Noticed that someone did not note your age so guess it was not your son but someone should have told him how it is here – we punish most all criminals. If he was denied parole then something must have happened for them to deny it. His fault maybe? Just asking.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Techsupport

      He knowingly broke the law, that's what happens sometimes when people break the law. Happens to white people, too. Every people has been a slave at some point, and every race gets hauled off to jail when they mess up and get caught.

      June 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • NatashaB

        You are right..he broke the law and knew the consequence. But the reason behind him remaining in jail is not a behavior thing. I don't know what it is, but if he was behaving badly then he wouldn't be so upset. He would know why it was happening. He's handling this with such grace; if it were me I would break down. If I served my time then why are you keeping me here is what I would want to know. The shackles remain and their is one more man kept away from his son..one more boy growing up without a dad. This is my cousin and I know him better than a stranger knows him so please don't paint him with your eyes closed.

        June 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  82. danielR

    Also if you dont like it then dont buy it?

    June 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  83. just_because

    it's hard to tell who's just posting comments to be funny and who is posting seriously. But for those who are posting seriously and saying 'blacks should get over it' or similar comments, i won't tell you to stop saying that, but you should at least try to understand or talk to some black people to get a perspective on things. oh and talk to more than 1. my opinion on this as a black person when i saw the shoe was 1. that's a stupid design, if someone black wore it they would look like a slave or a prisoner and why would any black person want to look like a slave or prisoner? well i know why because in every race we have ignorant people who make everyone look bad. so then i think 2. yeah someone with some sense should say, hey don't sell those shoes cause they will make people look like slaves or prisoners, and hey slavery is a big deal to black americans. and that to me should never change because it's our history – good bad or indifferent, it won't be just forgotten and symbolism of it will remind people of it. and last but not least, black people as a whole aren't blaming current white people for slavery, yeah we know it wasn't you, its some other things that happened after slavery like voting rights, etc... same thing for womens rights, women are still fighting for equal rights, and so are black people.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anderson

      Or perhaps some people are able to see beyond the "obvious" implications. The artist who designed the shoe poster their inspiration; context matters. If we removed everything from this world that "evoked memories of the past. . ." we'd be left with a very boring existence.

      At the end of the day it's not about "Getting over. . ." anything – although the argument can be made that there is no one alive who was directly involved in or personally experienced slavery – it's about being a bit more advanced that we don't see fire every time there is smoke.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • dave

        I disagree Anderson – every democrat today is experiencing and living the life of slavery on the democrat plantation.

        June 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • jeremy2020

        Why is everyone of your posts about democrats?

        June 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Walter

      Maybe you could just once see it from a white man's point of view. We are sick to death of your blaming all your problems on the wrong person. Something that happened hundred of years ago is not my fault. No way even though I have white or pink skin. I owe the black race nothing. You do owe yourself the absolute ability to just get over it. Please.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dave

        Have you ever tried to look at one of these issues from someone else's point of view...
        If so, did you change your original opinion...

        If not, why are you asking others to do that which you can't even do yourself...

        June 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Helen

      I would just like to know what in the heck you could possibly want that you don't already have. You already have equal rights. Accept it and use it for your education, buying a house or all those other things you may get because of the color of your skin. You know marking the minority block can bring you MORE than Equal rights. You do know that right?

      June 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  84. D-Train

    This is a bit much. Obviously the artists intention was not to promote or market slavery, that's just corporate suicide. These were clearly inspired by the "My Pet Monster" Toys from the 80's and nothing more. And having had one of those toys i would've bought a pair of these for my kid, who would've gotten a kick out of them. But not anymore!!

    June 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christiana

      In that case, these are pretty cool. I still wouldn't wear them though.

      June 21, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  85. svann

    First thing that came to my mind wasnt slavery. I thought it glorified the criminal culture. Here you can be like your favorite athlete doing time.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  86. edwindt


    Sam I am ....dumbfounded by such an asinine statement. Freedom of speech and expression comes with responsibility. I am not offended by the shoes as much as I am your statement. Obviously, you sit by a computer with no interaction with other humans. That or you are an alien (from another planet not another country).

    June 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Ben

    My ancestors came from what was Thrace....the same place as Spartacus. Should I be offended?

    June 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Alex

    lol well said, friend.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  89. eroteme

    Extreme silliness. But many will be made happy with such important news reporting.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  90. mike223

    I love living a happy life while other people are so sensitive 🙂

    June 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well said.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  91. Adam

    Blacks are right, whites are wrong. Even if blacks have been slaves for a fraction of the time as white people.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Amy

    Really ? We are calling these racist shoes ? Good god people, lighten up. I guess all the stores in the mall are racist too for selling the stupid chains that hang from some people's pants and remind some poeple of shackles.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Tyler Durden

    Good thing Jessie nipped this one in the bud. If he hadn't prevented the sale of this shoe, I'm sure it would have been impossible to get all the young black men who liked and bought the shoe to return them in protest. I'm willing to bet that in the next year you will see these ankle cuffs incorporated and accepted into urban fashion. The cat's out of the bag Jessie.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Mr Publius

    Artistically, I think the shoes look stupid and are impractical for athletics, but it seems a stretch to me to suggest that they are racist or condone slavery.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • jabronie

      BAN COTTON! It's insensitive to use cotton.
      Same with ovens, potatoes, and so called "soul food".

      June 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Joe

    What I continue to notice is that those who are not offended, always say get over it or stop being so sensitive. Should I tell a rape victim/a Jewish person to get over it? Or should I offer empathy since I don't know what they have gone through?

    June 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • ROBERT

      im not offended and im not saying get over it.. I cant imagine im the only one.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Even if these somehow in some odd stretch of imagination were related to slavery, Joe, unlike a rape victim knowing exactly what being raped is like, you have NO IDEA about what being a slave is like!

      June 20, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • historygeek5

        The thread that ties all these crimes together is treating another human being like they are a piece of trash. In other words, less than human. As such, is there really a sliding scale of various acts of inhumanity. Is it at all possible then, that people of color are simply trying to say that they are tired of being treated like they are less than human??? Finally, is it solid reasoning to say: "If you guys would just get YOUR act together, THEN maybe we would be justified in treating you more like humans"???

        June 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      None of the people claiming to be offended have every been a slave. However Jews are still alive that were in concentration camps. Rape vic (that you’d be talking to experienced it firsthand/ You analogy is as moronic as those offended by these shoes.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
      • Dave

        So once all the Jewish survivors die you can begin telling them to get over it...
        To my knowledge, the survivors aren't the only ones upset when there is a perception of anti-semitism...

        June 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
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