mercredi, septembre 26, 2007

Natives and Nationalization

Just finished listening to a Democracy Now! interview with Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president (who I sorely missed on the Daily Show last night) and Amy Goodman raised the question of abolishing private property. Morales said these claims were just a scare tactic employed by his detractors but even if not, it makes sense to me given the bloody provenance of much Western (read: white) wealth. But those disempowered (and given the numbers murdered, they might contemplate their lucky star) by conquest, colonization and neoimperalism are just supposed to grin and bear their poverty and increasing debt?!?! Methinks not. Me a Chavista? Maybe.

Anyway, then I heard of this plan by Nike (who need to stop effing around with the form and fit of my beloved Air Rifts) to relieve the cramped and corned toes of the wide and long footed indigenous peoples one res'-traveled sole at a time. It seems a little sketch. Does this whole Nike campaign seem a little disingenuous? Does it matter?
Nike Designs Shoe for American Indians

By SARAH SKIDMORE – 15 hours ago

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) — Nike on Tuesday unveiled what it said is the first shoe designed specifically for American Indians, an effort aiming at promoting physical fitness in a population with high obesity rates.

The Beaverton-based company says the Air Native N7 is designed with a larger fit for the distinct foot shape of American Indians, and has a culturally specific look. It will be distributed solely to American Indians; tribal wellness programs and tribal schools nationwide will be able to purchase the shoe at wholesale price and then pass it along to individuals, often at no cost.

"Nike is aware of the growing health issues facing Native Americans," said Sam McCracken, manager of Nike's Native American Business program. "We are stepping up our commitment ... to elevate the issue of Native American health and wellness."

Nike said it is the first time it has designed a shoe for a specific race or ethnicity. It said all profits from the sale of the shoe will be reinvested in health programs for tribal lands, where problems with obesity, diabetes and related conditions are near epidemic levels in some tribes.

The full article at the AP, found via Boing Boing