You know how the old saying goes: the shoes make the man and the New Balances make the white supremacist.
At least that’s what a neo-Nazi blogger and a good part of the internet feels in this crazy post-Trump world we now exist in. The racist blogger called for New Balance shoes to be the “official shoes of white people” after New Balance celebrated Donald Trump’s victory in last week’s presidential election. The Washington Post has the important quotes.
In a post written over the weekend, neo-Nazi blogger Andrew Anglin declared New Balance the “Official Shoes of White People.”
“I’m a Nike guy. Or rather, I was,” Anglin wrote on his popular website the Daily Stormer, which promotes an anti-Semitic, white supremacist agenda. “It’s time to get on-board with New Balance now. Their brave act has just made them the official brand of the Trump Revolution.”
He tells his readers New Balance is now their “uniform” and claims they should view the company’s statement on Trump — taken out of context — as “a gesture to support White people and to support US manufacturing.” He also wrote that he believed it was all a marketing scheme to gain customers who voted for Trump.
“This will be fantastic,” Anglin wrote. “We will be able to recognize one another by our sportswear.”
The whole controversy started with Trump’s promise to spike the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement between the United States and many Asian nations where shoe companies often have factories. New Balance came out against TPP because they want to make more of their shoes in the United States, which put them in Trump’s corner this election season.
In recent days that’s forced New Balance to say that—while in favor of Trump’s stance on trade—they do not agree with his more extreme opinions such as the banning of more than 1 billion Muslims from entry into America, the building of an enormous wall along the US/Mexican border and the deportation of an estimated 3 million undocumented immigrants.
Considering that Trump counts the KKK and other white nationalists among a wide swath of supporters he refuses to disavow in any way at all, New Balance has also become associated with bigotry and hatred by the transitive property. On Monday they released another statement, saying the shoemaker is firmly against racism and the like on Twitter.
While that’s certainly more than president-elect Trump has done, it hasn’t stopped many folks online from burning New Balances or flushing them down the toilet.
Many people have flooded their social media pages with vows to never buy New Balance shoes again. Other comments, however, have been more inconsistent. Check out the tepid take from this Facebook user.
“I am not a Trump supporter, I didn’t vote for him, and I don’t like him,” one man wrote on the brand’s Facebook page, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Knowing that NB opposes the TPP is a reason to support them and I will buy my athletic shoes from them from now on.”
The world we live in is nothing but an endless ocean of cognitive dissonance and the occasional sale at the mall.