Air Jordan Riots, From Sea to Shining Sea; or, The Soles of Black Folk

Drudge has full coverage of the sneaker riots:

From Pineville, North Carolina: “Black Eye Friday: Shoppers throw punches over new Air Jordans” (includes video);

From Tukwila, Washington: “Crowd waiting for new Air Jordans clashes with police” (with video)

From Louisville, Kentucky: “WITNESS: Fight breaks out at Jefferson Mall over sneakers” (with video)

From Richmond, California: “Mall Gunfire Over New Jordan Shoes” (with video)

From Taylor, Michigan: “Shoppers Waiting For Shoe Release Riot, Break Into Mall”

Plus the two stories I’ve previously linked (here and here):

From Lithonia, Georgia: “Race for New Air Jordan Sneakers Turns Ugly at a Metro Atlanta Mall” (with video)

From Burlington, New Jersey: “Witness: Guns At Air Jordan Stampede”

Especially piquant is the lead paragraph of the story from Richmond, California, written as only a nice white liberal boy (reporter Mathew Luschek) could have written it:

Everybody wants a nice pair of shoes. So much so, that when the new Nike Air Jordan’s went on sale this morning, people were willing to fire off weapons to get to them.

See? It’s just normal behavior. And lest you suspect Luschek is being sneakily ironic, the whole article is written in the typical bland incurious non-reactive manner of contemporary local journalism covering black mayhem. Which tells us that when Luschek wrote, “Everybody wants a nice pair of shoes,” he didn’t have a single ironic thought in his brain. He meant it.

UPDATE, December 24, 9:50 a.m.

Paul Kersey at Stuff Black People Don’t Like has excerpts from several of the stories:

Seattle, Washington:

Police officers used pepper spray to break up fights within a group waiting snag a pair of the latest Air Jordan sneakers early Friday morning.

A crowd, estimated to be more than 1,000 people strong, was camped outside the Southcenter Shopping Mall ahead of the release of the retro Air Jordan XI Concords when the frenzy began.

A Q13 FOX News photographer on the scene said people were shoving each other and shouting at police before the mall opened. Four stores in the mall were selling the shoes. The crowd had started gathering around 2:00 a.m. and one store—Foot Locker—opened about 3:30 a.m.

Charlotte, North Carolina:

Dozens of police officers had to break up fights and restore order at a local mall while shoppers were waiting for an overnight sale of a popular tennis shoe.

The disturbance started inside Carolina Place Mall just after 5am. Witnesses said as mall officials opened the mall doors, crowds of people pushed their way in.

“They almost took the door off the hinges,” one shopper who didn’t want to be identified said, “there were women with babies in their hands and they on their backs.”

Shoppers were in line waiting for the re-release of the Air Jordan XI Concord tennis shoe at Foot Locker, Finish Line and Downtown Locker Room.


Witnesses say Louisville Metro Police had to break up a fight early today at Jefferson Mall over the release of a new style of sneakers, but sources with the mall tell a very different story.

Metrosafe dispatchers told WDRB News they received a report of 75-100 people in a fight over pairs of the new Air Jordan Eleven Retro Concords.

One witness who was in the store told WDRB that a security guard was trampled by the crowd waiting for several shoe stores to open early. That claim could not be independently verified, as WDRB News was not allowed inside the mall.

Sources with the mall say they’ve talked to all of their security guards and no one was trampled. At least eight police cars were on scene when WDRB arrived. Sources with the mall claim officers were already there to provide security. Dispatchers told WDRB News overnight that some units were dispatched to the mall after they received reports of unrest.

The new Air Jordans retail for $180 dollars and are very popular with so-called “sneaker-heads,” who collect them. One man tells WDRB he bought two pair of the shoes. He sold one pair to another person in line for $260.

Kersey continues:

Our wealth in America is redistributed to people—yes, black people—who engage in this type of behavior on a daily basis, making malls no-go areas that inevitably close. I’d love to know the costs associated with policing these black people across the nation on The Night the Air Jordan’s Get Released. It’s a yearly ritual by this point …

Oh, there was a stampede in Indianapolis over the shoes. Thanks black people, for once again showing us your “content of character” when it comes to Air Jordans, and that it isn’t isolated to Atlanta, Charlotte, Austin, or Indy, but a universally-shared trait among Black people nationwide. Oh, it happened in Detroit too. And there was gunfire, courtesy of Black people.

Why in the world do white people not engage in similar actions—fights, shootings, stabbings, riots with police—when they line up to purchase Apple’s newest products, such as the iPad, iPhone or iPod?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 23, 2011 11:53 PM | Send

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