One of the best snapshots of today’s shopping culture is a line down the block of patrons, some who’ve slept overnight, ready to spend a bundle on the sneaker of the moment on its opening day. Nike has taken full advantage of such shoppers, re-releasing sneakers from the ever-popular Jordan brand and now planning to sell the ‘Lebron X’ sneaker for $315.

The shoe will be the most expensive in Nike history. For the hefty price tag, you’ll get a sneaker that includes its own electronics. But civil rights organization, The National Urban League, is not buying into the hype.

President Marc Morial released a statement condemning Nike for the steep price:

“I ask Nike – and the parents whose children are targeted in this misdirected campaign – to join us in our efforts to empower young people to value their own talents – athletic and otherwise – above material tokens and work together for broader access to the economic mainstream.”

He called the shoe an “empty status symbol” which embodies “twisted priorities and confused values.”

While it is disheartening to see young people splurge on sneakers, some feel that rather than condemn Nike, we should examine the wider capitalist culture that encourages this type of spending. Afterall, if it’s not the Nike ‘Lebron X’s, it will be another sneaker, shoe, purse or jacket that people spend an exorbitant amount of money on as a symbol of status.

Speak on it, Clutchettes and Gents: Should Nike be slammed? Is the National Urban League fighting a losing battle?

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  • i think the market will prevail in this case.
    i don’t see many people buying these shoes.
    black people are not stupid.

    • Patience

      You must be ignorant about sneaker culture to think many people won’t be buying these shoes.

    • sneaker culture? sneakers got culture? who knew!

  • If it’s not the Lebrons, it will be Red Bottoms, or the new X-Box, or the new virgin remy hair that Angela Simmons is pushing. If you cannot afford it, don’t buy it. We cannot expect corporations to have a moral obligation to the communities that purchase their goods. It would be nice, and I’m sure some “give back” but we all know what’s the priority for them is, and that’s the bottom line. They are right to say it’s an empty status symbol, it is, but teaching kids fiscal responsibilty is a parent’s job that hopefully carries over into adulthood. If ppl wanna look fly in the club knowing damn well all they eatin at home is ramen noodles, that’s on them…

  • I personally only have ever bought $85 nikes to actually play a sport (basketball). Other than that, $20 shoes have always been fine with me. I blame our communities, and more specifically parents, for not teaching their children to be financially responsible.

    Its hard to blame Nike when it is a corporation whose aim to make money.

  • miss opinionated

    I think that if a person wants them then it’s their right to get them. What the individual chooses to do with their money is their choice. There are a multitude of people who are simply collectors and view this shoe as another win for their collection. Back in the day it was comic books, marbles and coins. Today it’s sneakers. $300 is nothing to the person that will travel the country and outside of the states for that one hot shoe. What I don’t appreciate is Nike blaming the increase in the cost of the shoe on the increase in the cost of raw materials. Everyone knows Nike does not produce their shoes here in the states and are paying pennies in production. Everyone knows this. I would probably guess the retail markup on this shoe is well over quadruple what it costs to produce and I would challenge Nike to actually be honest about what it costs to produce the shoe so people can really see what they are paying for.

  • Why are we status hungry? Because we need approval of the streets. But the streets are not alive and we are. In many cases we are what is wrong with the streets.

    May be that is the American dream.