social justice

quotes, Uncategorized

he said a naughty word!


No Comments

I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.

– Tony Campolo

 

quotes, Uncategorized

a day acceptable to the Lord


2 Comments

 

 

I’m certain to fail certain “christianity” tests for not choosing a Jesus/cross or judgement text but this is my favourite chapter in the Bible, it has been for a number of years, thought I’d share it with you… emphasis added to the parts that ‘pop’ for me.

 

“Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.
 For day after day they seek me out;
    they seem eager to know my ways,
    as if they were a nation that does what is right
    and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
    and seem eager for God to come near them.
 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
    ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
    and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
    and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
    and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
    and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?

 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
    to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
    to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter —
   when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
    and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
      then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

–  Isaiah 58

adventures, Uncategorized

Nike & Mike, say it ain’t over


12 Comments

 

 

I started playing basketball when I was 11, I’d just started a new school, the 1st one I’d attended that had a basketball court. Even better it was outdoors, so I could play all the time.

Two weeks is the record. I once wore through the sole of a cheap pair of bball shoes in two weeks (I must have been pivoting more than Hakeem), I can remember the skin on my foot pinching between the ever-widening hole in my shoe & the court as I ran around. They were the shoes that broke mum & dad, shortly there after I received my first pair of Nikes.

During that winter, with the weather not so endearing to outside hoops I found myself watching the ’92 Olympics, in particular the Dream Team. Magic Johnson may have been the first player I’d ever heard of, but Michael was the first I fell in love with. I remember the exact moment it happened, first game against Angola… long outlet pass, over-the-head lob…

smitten 🙂

 

11 years later I was making my second trip to the U.S, my first to see Jordan play…

 

So yeah, I’m a Jordan fan… I have the college jersey, the Olympic jersey, the rookie jersey, the shoes, clothes, posters, books, cards, dvds, games… when I was 12 I forked over $100 of my hard-earned paper round money for this game, Michael Jordan in Flight, then another $100 to upgrade the RAM on our computer from 1mb to 2mb so I could play it (yes you read that right $100 for 1 megabyte). Check it out in all its glory 🙂

So for me my relationship with Basketball, Nike & Jordan began at the same time. It’s been a 20yr love affair.

 

 

Sweatshop. I have some vague recollection of that word being associated with Nike, but never really thought about it.

So what brought Nike to the forefront of my mind?

Introducing the Jordan 11’s.

First released in ’96, the retro release was in 2000. They were the first Jordans I purchased,  1 weeks paycheck.

They were released again 23, Dec, 2011. If you didn’t hear there were some pretty crazy stories… pepper spray, fights, shots fired, a mother arrested for leaving her young kids locked in the car… some of it has to be seen to be believed.

Unsettling. Getting a pair of shoes is more important than helping someone off the ground. What do we value?

How much of this lays with Nike? “The marketing campaign for these shoes is essentially akin to yelling “fire” in a crowded movie theater” – Jemele Hill, ESPN.

 

Then there is this incredible story. If you take nothing else way from this post, watch this.

 

 

I’d also discovered Oxfam had been working for the rights of Nike factory workers for some time, which brought me to this dilemma… I donate money to Oxfam, I buy Nike products. Isn’t that a bit like starving my dog & donating to SPCA or beating my wife & giving to Womens Refuge? Do I care enough about the nameless, faceless in another country to change?

Or are my donations just “Conscience Tax”, like that yearly charitable Christmas donation to appease your conscience while you enjoy the season of gluttony & greed, when really the thing that offends you the most about the poor is not the poverty…  but that you can see them.

 

What happens when something you love comes in conflict with your values  beliefs?

Why, you try and justify it. So I went searching, I really wanted to like Nike, I found lots of reason to do so… Nike raised the minimum age of factory workers to 16 & more recently by signing an agreement to allow workers to form unions… and the Environment!  This nice Nike commercial sums it up.

 

Nikes gone green, green is trendy. And while its awesome Nike have made some changes I find I can’t get past this.

Agreeing to pay your workers the minimum wage is great, but if that minimum wage is not something you can live on & maintain your humanity, how do you justify that? Especially if your in a position of power & influence and your company turned 20 Billion in revenue with a 2 Billion profit.

 

What do I do, do I stop purchasing Nike & Adidas products? (I haven’t talked about Adidas, but for all intents & purposes they’re the same as Nike when it comes to human rights.) 95% of all my basketball gear is Nike or Adidas, I want to get a new Bulls Jordan jersey & saw some real sweet Nike kicks yesterday, not to mention that I’ve played basketball in Adidas or Nike for the last 6 years… and doesn’t everyone do it? Reebok was brought out by Adidas, Converse by Nike… of which Nike says two-thirds of its factories don’t meet Nike standards… so they’re worse?!

 

Often problems seem bigger than us… it’s because they are.

 

So you do what you can do. For me, I’ve decide to end that 20yr love affair, I’ve decided not to purchase any Nike or Adidas products. As for my current stock, well I have some creative ideas, stay tuned 🙂

I’m stoked Nike has shown it can change…

I look forward to the day I can once again slip on some new Jordans…

I look forward to the day treating people as human becomes trendy.

 

Uncategorized

Boxing Day Sale! What I really need to buy is…


1 Comment

.. some sense & normality.

I need this, you see, I’m not normal.  (yeah i’ve been a little slow to realize this)

I’m not sure when this happened or how, if it was a gradual process or it happened at birth, but there is  much which doesn’t make sense to me.

So many things which seem normal to everyone else.

Like Boxing Day Sales.

Because the one thing I need to do after the day I just got a whole lot of new stuff is to go shopping for even more new stuff, stuff that I need.

3 News did a short 2 min story on the Boxing Day Sales here (there’s a short ad first).

Can you believe that there were traffic problems! That some(1:04) had to wait for a park… for FIVE MINS! Outrageous! (1:16) No air-conditioning in our malls! In this day and age?! Disgusting!

It’s an absolute travesty that people have to wait longer than 5 minutes, or even in the heat for things they need…..