Don't Blame The Whole Brand

Don't Blame The Whole Brand

Not everyone who has ever set foot in Nike HQ or works for Nike writes the ads, so let's focus our feelings on who actually does, yeah?

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Okay, people. I get it, we all have an opinion on Nike using Colin Kaepernick as the face for their new ad campaign. I don't mind him personally, nor do I care whether Nike uses his likeness.

THAT isn't the point of my article. My point is that everyone is blaming the whole Nike company as if we know that every single person producing or selling the brand had a vote on the campaign, and wholeheartedly stood behind the idea. They might have, but we don't know that, and it's a little concerning that we're damning a whole company with thousands of workers globally for the decision of a few advertisement department bosses. There are so many people whose paycheck to feed their families and pay bills comes solely from working at Nike, and if you stop buying clothes because your feelings got hurt about one advertisement, they can't clothe themselves or their families in ANYTHING, much less Nike. Yes, they can probably get a job somewhere else-but again, so not the point, because would you like to be laid off because people hate the brand you work for because a guy who didn't stand is? Stock prices fell after the unveiling, and if there's a good way to tell how well the company you work for (and subsequently, your employment status) is doing, it's stock prices. Employment isn't something that should suffer because of the head executives or advertisement department's decision that resulted in negative reception unless it's the employment of the decision makers.

If you have an issue with the advertisement, I've heard just about every argument, and I understand some and don't understand others. However, I have news for you-though Nike agreed to the campaign and signed Kaepernick, of course, they didn't even create it entirely on their own. A public relations firm called Wieden and Kennedy is the agency that rolled out this ad, and they aren't receiving much of the backlash. For me, personally, the person isn't even the issue, but the slogan itself is, and it's likely that Nike didn't come up with that they probably just approved it because it would get people talking.

I honestly also think it's a little absurd that people are burning and otherwise destroying their perfectly decent Nike clothes, shoes, and other athletic products because of one ad. First of all, Nike already has your money, since you own the products you just ruined, so the higher-ups aren't really hurting if you burn your shoes. Second of all, if you care so much about patriotism and the veterans who did sacrifice a lot, why not donate these products to homeless veterans and other homeless or clothing insecure Americans who wouldn't mind the warmth of socks and hoodies as it begins to get cold even though they have the swoosh?

To sum it all up, whether or not you agree with the ad, not every single Nike employee is to blame for the decisions of a few (who may not even be 100% Nike affiliated), and burning your stuff doesn't matter.

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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Sorry People, But #BelieveWomen Is #UnAmerican

Presumption of innocence is a core American value

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There's a saying: "Lack of faith and blind faith - both are equally dangerous". Believing sexual assault accusers who are women just because they are women besides being the very definition of sexist - prejudice based on sex - is setting a harmful precedent on the way justice is served in this country. See, what this movement has done is changed justice from "prove guilt" to "prove innocence", an important and incredibly dangerous difference. Where is the due process that our Founding Fathers envisioned, fought, and died for?

Due process is an integral part of the reason why we have the United States of America. It was so important to our Founding Fathers that they included it in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eight (the Bill of Rights), and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution. It galls me to see how privileged modern day feminists are - so privileged they seemingly forget the freedoms this country affords them, so they may live their life, expect liberty, and be unhindered in their pursuit of happiness.

#BelieveWomen is a vigilante movement - and with vigilante justice the innocent always hang with the guilty, one of the very reasons for due process. I've heard the argument it's better to let innocent men rot in jail than have rapist men walk free, an argument, despite being incredibly moronic and unAmerican, that would not be made if the accused was a man close to the woman's heart. Because with the change to "prove innocence", the assumption will be guilt, and a confirmation bias will be created. Whereas if the assumption is innocence, the jury must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has occurred. I understand that a high percentage of rape accusations are truthful (I believe the number is in the high 90s), but the small percentage that are not means we cannot, in good conscience, assume guilt. To assume would damn some men to a fate they do not deserve, a fate they would have to endure simply because of their sex. Any real feminist should be appalled at how sexism is implicitly encouraged in this movement.

If you choose to #BelieveWomen in spite of everything I outlined, that is your prerogative, but you must #BelieveAllWomen. If your father, husband, boyfriend, or son gets accused, you must #BelieveWomen and stand with their accuser. Any less and your feminist privilege will show. Vocal #MeToo activist Lena Dunham has already shown her privilege - accusing actress Aurora Perrineau of lying about being assaulted by her friend Murray Miller. When the going gets hard, feminists rarely stick to their principles. And sadly, feminism - and the double standards it always brings - rears its ugly head once again.

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