Words by Tony Grands
For what it’s worth, people have been getting murdered for articles of clothing for decades. Probably longer than that. Every new, wet-behind-the-ears generation thinks their’s is the first generation to exhibit such fruitless savagery, but that’s not the case, sadly.
When I was a free roaming kid, in the blurry 1980s, urban legend told of teenagers being robbed & sometimes killed for Air Jordan’s & Starter jackets, both of which I owned & wore when I caught the bus. I even think I was about to get jacked once on the RTD, but I was taught at an early age to obey my instincts. (& at that time, my instincts told me to get the f*ck out of there, & I did.) Nonetheless, urban Americans dying over devaluing material objects is nothing new. In fact, it may be the longest lasting phenomenon in the history of human stupidity.
The latest scenario stems from Atlanta, GA, at a release for LeBron James’ latest sneaker. A crowd of 30-something people who were waiting in line for the shoe were approached by a man with a gun, who attempted to rob the group of what would have been at least $180 (the price of the shoe) per person. Instead of a steadfast theft, though, he got shot & killed by a customer who was waiting in line. This incident, unlike other shoe-involved shootings had nothing to do with the shoes themselves.
Now, let’s take a look at what’s going on here.
A man was brazen enough to pull a gun in broad daylight to rob 30 people, at a place where said people stood in line for over 7 hours to buy $200 shoes made of
denim jeans, & before anyone called the cops on their iPhone (because of course you have an iPhone/Pad if you’re buying those kicks) a man waiting in the aforementioned line pulled his gun & killed the would-be criminal. (If he wasn’t one already, which he probably was, but that’s beside the point.) Did I mention that the people stayed in line, while all this commotion took place? Nobody moved or lost their spot. This whole thing speaks volumes of the social advancement we’re undergoing. It’s like an episode of “Seinfeld” gone terribly wrong. Yet & still, through all that adversity, some of them didn’t even get their grubby little paws on the shoes due to limited stock, & that’s the gem of the story if you ask me.
When the proverbial smoke subsided, the man who fired on the assailant was cleared of any possible charges & even declared a hero by those who he “protected” when he discharged his weapon. Now, just imagine if this took place in a city where “open carry” is active. Take the same situation & add 10+ more guns to that line or crowd. It could’ve gotten interestingly dangerous very quickly.
As for the thief who got murdered trying to take people’s hard hustled coin; did he deserve to die? Probably not. But that’s to be expected when vigilante justice is the governing social sentiment. That thief could’ve been trying to get enough money to keep from getting evicted, or something of that nature. Seriously, to be so bold in the middle of the day is an act of desperation. Who knows what type of solvable, correctable problems he may have had? One things for sure, though: you’d better be careful what you do in public because the cops apparently have help now. Nike hasn’t released a statement, yet, & probably won’t because I don’t think they’re concerned with the urban ramifications of their space shoe releases on urban America’s polarized, cannibal society.
& to think, all Reebok had to worry about was Rick Ross The Rapper raping one of his fans.
photo: The Shoe Game