A White Woman's Response to The New Nike Campaign

Sep 08, 2018 by Renee Linnell
I have to post this; it’s been weighing heavily on my mind since Nike announced it's new campaign last week. And I’m slowly learning to speak my mind, and trusting that it’s okay if certain people don’t like me or no longer want to be friends with me because my opinions are so different than theirs.

I feel like, as white people born and raised in this country, we can never and will never understand what it feels like to be black or brown. We will never understand what it feels like to want so desperately to escape a country where we cannot feed our families or cannot protect our children and spouses from being beaten or raped, that we are willing to do whatever it takes, even if that means crossing a border illegally. We will never understand what it feels like to fear the police, the very people that are here to protect us. We will never understand what it feels like to have politicians say we are not welcome in one of the greatest countries in the world, or undeserving of being protected in it, just because we practice a different religion or have color in our skin. We cannot understand this. We will never truly understand this.

So while we have every right to our own opinions about current politics and Nike’s choice of front-man and all that’s going on, I would love for all of us that are white, educated, US Americans to soften for just a minute and imagine being born in our next incarnation with black or brown skin into a family that cannot afford to educate us, in an over crowded city filled with crime . . . And simply ask ourselves: “With everything the way it is right now, with the current laws and current leaders, would we be afraid?” If the answer to that is “yes”, or even as subtle as not a definite “no” . . . I would hope that we would all open our minds just a little and start thinking about how we can create a world in which everyone feels safe and welcome and protected. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock, Anton Khrupin