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04/21/2006 07:24 AM ID: 53965 Permalink   

New Adidas Shoe is Racist


Retailing at $250 (£143), the Adidas "Yellow Series" Y1 Huf is kicking up controversy. On the tongue of the shoe is a caricature of an Asian face complete with buck teeth, bowl-cut hair, and pig nose.

The image was designed by US graffiti artist Barry McGee, who is half Chinese. An Adidas spokeswoman said the company "appreciates all self-expression" and "had no intention of offending any individual or group".

Vincent Pan, executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action in San Francisco has said, "It's very sad and disturbing that in this day and age, this stereotype is coming from a large and global company like Adidas".

    WebReporter: manilaryce Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  should also be noted  
that the image was originally created by McGee (aka twist) for anti-racist purposes. the adidas shoe is using the image out of its original context.
  by: manilaryce     04/21/2006 07:32 AM     
  first thing that comes to mind..  
The first thing I thought of was the funny looking MAD magazine guy. Is this character on the shoe really that offensive? Why are people so sensitive? Is this actually being purposelly racist or are people just finding it on their own?
  by: luc1dDr3am     04/21/2006 08:04 AM     
I dont understand why people are so easily offended by stupid things. Im white, caucasion, whatever you want to call it. I accept everyone else for who they are, whatever the race. So someone drew a funny picture of an asian kid, SO WHAT?! And this IDIOT from the Chinese assiosiation wants to go and say something like that? I say idiot, because look at what hes saying. HE is the racist one if he looks at it like that. Its a person, nothin else. If the kid was black, white, indian, south american, wtf ever he is, is a PERSON! Thats what should be seen. So look at the picture and laugh. I did, its a funny looking kid.
  by: ih4xjoo   04/21/2006 09:07 AM     
  How would you react if the story said...  
On the tongue of the shoe is a caricature of an Arab face complete with beard, turban, and big nose.


On the tongue of the shoe is a caricature of a black face complete with big lips, nappy hair, and flat nose.
  by: manilaryce     04/21/2006 09:42 AM     
How can it be racist, the guy who designed the image is freaking half Chinese.

For crying ******* out loud people.
Whats next, we far the wrong way and it will offend some Asian or Muslim?

Oh oh I got it, Africans will be offended by anything coloured in black. Poor goths will need to change their whole wardrobe.
  by: whipd+kreem     04/21/2006 10:39 AM     
Makes me wonder why they did it... you know some people are gonna find it offensive...
  by: koultunami     04/21/2006 10:53 AM     
  people need to stop thinking because they are  
they are exempt but because America has diffrent social beliefs to Europe things like this will be done. Regardless of who drew it Adidas should how known it would offend people but yet again proffits before sence and this PR gaff will possibly cost them more in the long run
  by: JOCKSTEELUK   04/21/2006 11:19 AM     

"The first thing I thought of was the funny looking MAD magazine guy."

the MAD magazine guy is not a racial stereotype. unfortunately there is no offensive caucasian character i can think of which would be the equivalent of this asian character.

"Is this character on the shoe really that offensive? Why are people so sensitive?"

you need to understand the historical use of this character in western history to understand exactly how offensive it is. it's use is just as offensive to asians as blackface would be to african americans.

"Is this actually being purposelly racist or are people just finding it on their own?"

the original image was done in detournement to show the ugliness of racism. whether Twist sold out or not is still up for debate, but Adidas obviously didn't understand the original meaning of its creation since they've taken it so far out of its original context. if i were to take an image of the virgin mary and use it to advertise pornography, people would be offended. it would be offensive, despite its original intent and the intent of the artist who created it.
  by: manilaryce     04/21/2006 11:50 AM     
do you know for a fact that the company isn't using the shoe as a statement to protest against racism?
  by: NuttyPrat     04/21/2006 11:54 AM     
once again your anti-americanism drowns your argument. weren't the muslim cartoons done in europe?
  by: manilaryce     04/21/2006 11:55 AM     
if they were meant to protest racism adidas would obviously have stated it. and how exactly would they be combating racism? do the profits go towards certain causes? are they part of a series depicting other racial stereotypes? no, they're advertised as mindlessly as a shirt with elmo on it. combating racism would be great PR, but adidas is not even pretending that this is what they're doing.
  by: manilaryce     04/21/2006 12:00 PM     
"The image was designed by US graffiti artist Barry McGee who has previously used it in an anti-racist commentary."

Maybe the wanted to carry it forth onto the shoe, however with no prior advertising etc...

I just cant see why they used it... I'm not saying Adidas is racist... just retarded...
  by: koultunami     04/21/2006 12:33 PM     
It looks like a stereotypical asian face. Is that completely accurate? no. But is it racist? NO.

Stereotype is defined as "A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image. " (

None of that implies racism. You could throw one of those big wide-brimmed hats on him and it still wouldnt be racist.

Racism is "the belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others," and nothing about this shoe says that.
  by: reverend j roach     04/21/2006 01:26 PM     
Anti American, no Anti Bush yes, The word Anti American was created by the Bush government to surpress anyone who questioned or was against them but just to prove i am not "Anti American" ill give america a compliment, America has the Best worst world leader in the world just beating beating good old Tony Blair into second place.
  by: JOCKSTEELUK   04/21/2006 02:41 PM     
  Oh, herro!  
You guys sucky sucky. Me thinky freedom of expwession not forbidden. I go downtown now and pop some caps in my homies. By George, that would be splendid! By Allah, have you got any grey-poupon?

(waiting for administration to come crashing down on his head...)

So, if Japanese or Chinese cartoonists draw images which look like this it is ok and I, because I am caucasian artist, am forbidden to visually portray a person of certain ethnicity?

What, me worried?

So, go ahead and make shoes with pictures on them. If someone is offended by it then they should steal the sneakers and burn them.
P.S. William Gaines, the publisher (RIP) of M.A.D. Magazine, FOUGHT the US Government--- went up against the Senate in order to defend creators and publishers from censorship. Before M.A.D. he published comics about crime, horror, and romance.

What resulted was the CCA, a fascist organization which created a symbol (the stamp of authority) burned onto the cover of every open-market bookshelf comic book which proclaimed it 'safe'. It still exists today, even though the direct-market, like comic shops, pretty much made it a moot point.
  by: theironboard     04/21/2006 06:13 PM     
  Holy sh*t  
I'm not even going to read through the comments posted here about this news.

F*cking racist!

I have nothing more to sad when a company like Adidas gets away with even putting this on the market before it eventually gets banned.
  by: morph   04/21/2006 07:28 PM     
  @reverend j roach  
stereotypes are used to promote racist ideals. this character has been a symbol of racism throughout history. it's been used to promote the idea that asians are inferior both culturally and physically. i'll post some links to a couple pictures so you'll be able to understand it within its historical context.
  by: manilaryce     04/21/2006 08:06 PM     
Stop being so easily offended!

[String of expletives deleted for the sake of those easily offended]
  by: ChaoticVengeance     04/21/2006 09:36 PM     
"stereotypes are used to promote racist ideals."

That's not always true... some stereotypes can he positive... asian people being smart, black men having huge junk, mexican people being hard working, white people... ok I can't think of a positive stereotype for white people... but you get the point.
  by: tellgar     04/21/2006 09:40 PM     
  Oh I forgot a few...  
Jews being good with money... and they proved they were good at manual labor back in Egypt. Oh and the Jew gold they all have...

Austrailia being full of redheaded hot women...

Lesbians being hot...

Gay guys having great fashion sense...

Germans, Austrians and Swiss people always being on time...

Christian school girls are sexy (and for those who call people pedophilies for agreeing with that, I mean the 18+ school girls).

Did I miss any positive stereotypes?
  by: tellgar     04/21/2006 09:58 PM     
People like this should be slapped. the only people that have any problem with race are hicks (counrty white people). This guy makes me sick sad or what ever he said lol. p
  by: moxomillius   04/21/2006 10:21 PM     
"the only people that have any problem with race are hicks (counrty white people)."

Wait, so hicks are racist... from your comment, doesn't that also make you a racist against white hicks? (I know, they aren't technically a race, but yeah)
  by: tellgar     04/21/2006 10:45 PM     
  wtf omg stupid!  
if anyone has a problem with this then dont buy the f'n shoes really its just like tv dont watch it if you dont like it!
  by: pancho567   04/22/2006 12:41 AM     
The only racist thing I find is that the shoe is called yellow series.
  by: Passage   04/22/2006 03:41 AM     
  I don't know...  
I can see where it would offend somebody. If it wasn't the yellow series and didn't have the exaggerated slanting eyes I don't think it would be so much of a problem. But I still wouldn't wear it because it's a dumb logo anyway.
  by: EyraGarou   04/22/2006 05:40 AM     
  I'm more offended by...  
the price.

250 for those nasty looking shoes???

  by: hotrock11     04/22/2006 05:50 AM     
  I don't know...  
I can see where it would offend somebody. If it wasn't the yellow series and didn't have the exaggerated slanting eyes I don't think it would be so much of a problem. But I still wouldn't wear it because it's a dumb logo anyway.
  by: EyraGarou   04/22/2006 05:55 AM     
  @everyone who doesn't think it's offensive  
sorry i couldn't post these earlier. long day.

here are a few images i found which show the origins of the character with which the one on the shoe is derived. in america this character was originally directed towards the chinese. during world war 2 a similar character is made to portray the japanese. after this period, a buck tooth, bowl-cut hair, pig nose character becomes a more generalized icon to represent asians as a whole. unfortunately i wasn't able to find my favorite images such as the japanese soldier from the popeye cartoon "you're a sap mr. jap". if someone can find that image it'd be good to post as well. anti-japanese war posters are always a good example as well. hopefully these images can educate a few of you on why people find this adidas image offensive given the history it originates from.
  by: manilaryce     04/22/2006 08:56 AM     
a positive stereotype for white people might be that they have money. at least that's what my mom's extended family automatically thought when they found out she was marrying a white guy. boy were they surprised.

which brings me to my point. stereotypes are never really a good thing. even positive ones can cause damage since they set up racial expectations. imagine how hard it is to be an asian in special ed, a jew in debt, or worst of all a black guy with a small pecker.
  by: manilaryce     04/22/2006 09:35 AM     

1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

It all depends on how you are defining it. It also depends on what the individual finds offensive (remember offensive used in this context is an adjective therefore an opinion). You cannot be offended if you don't let others offend you (hint hint).

Whomever calls a white person white, a black person black, a yellow person yellow, a red person red, etc. is being racist. The last sentence is therefore racist by's definition. To completely rid of racism, we must rid of these white, black, yellow, red, asian, european, african, middle eastern, etcetera labels. We're all just humans.

Also, this definition can go as far as to say that just calling all humans humans and cats cats is also racist. Are cats also not a different race than us? This distinction of difference is also racism in the above definition.

The moral of the story is, if you can discriminate between races human or non-human; by definition, you are practicing racism (including me).
  by: banshee9898     04/22/2006 11:36 AM     
  uno mas thing  
don't know if i'd go as far to call categorization of species racist, but banshee9898 did bring up a good point. racism is subjective. though it's much easier to say, "just don't get offended" when the offense is directed at another group. when it's personal it's not as easy to ignore. i'm sure everyone here has been offended at one time by something they personally consider racist.

for example, i wouldn’t necessarily find the name "red skins" for a baseball team too racist because i'm not a native american, but i'm not going to tell a native american it isn't racist. if it's racist to them who am i to tell them it's not. we all have different opinions on what is racist, and those differences are usually based on what race we are. to say this is or isn't racist is your opinion. but to say someone else is stupid for thinking it is or isn't racist is ignorant. it really comes down to being tolerant of other peoples beliefs, and understanding why they think the way they do. that's why i posted some history on the character to help everyone understand where people are coming from.
  by: manilaryce     04/22/2006 07:11 PM     
the team was named in honor of the coaches mother, who was native american. This is not racist at all, and anyone who thinks it is is ignorant.
  by: mentally ill   04/24/2006 07:35 AM     
  native americans  
seem to want to just disappear, as whenever they are shown in a picture they complain. the atlanta braves take heat from fans doing a tomahawk chop, while the cleveland indians take heat from their name and logo, which god forbid, someone uses the word indian.
  by: mentally ill   04/24/2006 07:39 AM     
Calling a Caucasian white, an African black, a Chinese yellow, etc isn't necessarily racist (according to the definition of racism you provided us). It's just a matter of convenience. Being called white, black, yellow, etc doesn't mean that one of them is better than the other. There is no supremacy in colours until you start taking it out of its literal meaning (white is pure, black is evil, etc)...or when you start mixing it with other words (whitewashed).
  by: Mifuyne   04/24/2006 08:27 AM     
  I thought  
Native Americans were consulted about such names, Washington Red Skins especially and they were proud of the name.

The only people offended by these Indian names are white, guilt-ridden, middle class wusses
  by: koultunami     04/28/2006 02:35 PM     
In the second part of the definition it is. To discriminate is to see a difference and make a distinction.
  by: banshee9898     04/28/2006 04:59 PM     
  @definition of racism  
"This distinction of difference is also racism in the above definition."

If that's the case, then everyone in the world is racist because there ARE differences. To not see that is simply ignorance.
  by: erasedgod   04/30/2006 05:27 PM     
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