Spike Lee’s Anti-Trump Nikes: Is This a Protest or a Shopping Spree?
by G. Brown
Director Spike Lee’s new Nike line is walking the walk and talking the talk. Lee has collaborated with the athletic wear giant to create a new anti-Trump sneaker. The high top black shoe has “RESIST” emblazoned on one side and on the other side, the words “REPEL AGENT ORANGE”. You may remember that phrase from the recent Grammy Awards where rapper Busta Rhyme repeatedly referred to the current president as “President Agent Orange” and said “I just want to thank President Agent Orange for perpetuating all of the evil that you’ve perpetuating throughout the United States. I want to thank President Agent Orange for your unsuccessful attempt at the Muslim ban.”
Lee admits Rhymes comments inspired him and he commissioned Danielle Mastrion to design the artwork. The overhauled Jordan 1’s were unveiled by Lee just in time for Black History Month which he debuted Instagram.
The custom kicks are selling for around $150 and definitely caught the approval of some…
But you can’t expect to take a political stand without stepping on a few toes…a lot of toes…
Lee can take the heat since he’s often labeled as a provocateur of prejudice because of his films. His movies like “Do the Right Thing” and “Malcolm X” take an “in your face” approach that often feels confrontation about real relations instead of entertaining. Instead of broaching a subject with the teaching tact of “12 Years a Slave” or “Selma”, Lee’s storytelling tends to more raw, more ravaging and more ruminative. Lee’s films always seems to have one goal in mind–to take an issue that is cowering or buried in the shadows and bring it into the spotlight where it can no longer be denied. That works with film making, but does it work with selling a shoe? Is Lee taking his political views too far and asking people to foot the bill for it to boot?