I haven’t owned a pair of Jordans since the 90s. As I said the other day, I wasn’t even that big of a fan. And I learned pretty early that I could cop 2 pairs of sneakers for the price of one pair of J’s. These shoes were gonna have to last the year and I had to game the system. Now, I’m about to get a pair. Maybe 3. Not because I’ve suddenly become a Jordan fan (it’s still fuck him for the most part) but because fuck respectability economics. The Air Jordan sneaker has become a symbol of black economic waste; never mind systemic racism, black people can’t get ahead but got them J’s tho. This anti black pathology has trickled down amongst our own, particularly the blavity blacks, who love praising the Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerbergs for being rich but not indulging in material things (those “generic” tees and hoodies retail for $900 hemmed with the hair of mermaids, so shut up) meanwhile hood blacks can’t get it together because they are too busy trying to look wealthy than be it. It gives false credence to the idea that only ignorant black people allow themselves to be suckered into capitalism like Susan and Spencer ain’t about to be camping outside Best Buy next month for a Vizio. Maybe we just want a pair of Jordans, because we work hard and want something for ourselves. You’re not the talented tenth because you wear Sketchers. (never trust a black man in Sketchers). Then last week, Amanda Seales of woke phi woke inc, the MTV VJ (and self proclaimed sneakerhead) turned 5th billed actress on Insecure added fuel to the flames recently by getting on Twitter and ranting about how having Jordans and Nike suits but not having a passport means you’re losing in life.
Now, I have a passport. Perhaps the wrong one because mine didn’t come with plane tickets, hotel deals, at least bout 7 personal days, food or drinks. Nope, my passport is just a regular ID booklet with an awkward picture because after the first 2 didn’t come out right I’m self conscious so I just took what was given. Yes, it is access. Yes, it’s something good to have. No, it doesn’t make you more worldly more cultured or somehow superior to your Jordan donning peers. Blavity Blacks and the likes love to move the goalposts in that way, just far enough that they can reach it and then establish it as the standard. But the goalposts can be moved on them just as easily, “you’re flying to another country, making some hotel owner richer, barely leave the resort and now think you’ve seen the world”,”you visited, but did you study abroad tho”, “you flew 12 hours and not first class…you’re losing”. It’s tacky and ridiculous and wish it would stop. Everyone doesn’t aspire to travel just as everyone can’t be an entrepreneur selling witty t shirts and body butters (see, now I’m doing it… Hurt people hurt people). Let people live.
We can all probably prioritize better. I’m not standing in line for Jordans (I do really hate the optics of that) but I’ve certainly opened my Mint app on a Monday morning and got a “oh no baby what is you doing?”. I’ve taken out $200 at the ATM only to look in my wallet the next day as and see a 20, 8 ones and bout 6 dollars in change. In that regard, a pair of Jordans actually is a better expense than one night of overpriced overwatered drinks. That money could’ve been better utilized like Bruce Wayne could use his money and influence to fix Gotham instead of running around beating up the mentally disabled, yet here we are.
It’s…. cute to think the very real income gap can be solved by buying cheaper sneakers but it isn’t. The problem is capitalism has to have winners and losers to work, the problem is after the great depression white families were given homes and black families were put in housing, the problem is I make 30% less than a white counterpart while having the same expenses. But that doesn’t matter, cuz I got some J’s tho (I didn’t actually get them, Jordans are ugly. Fight me.)