By Dave Gibson, August 5, 2020
In March 2020, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) published a report on the use by American companies of China’s persecuted ethnic minority, known as Uyghurs, as slave labor in many factories, in particular, one that makes very pricey athletic shoes for Nike.
As US Inc. has previously reported, these factories are not operated directly by say, Nike or Apple, but always by a contractor, presumably in order to give the popular brands plausible deniability when it is learned that they are using slaves to make mega profits. But, seriously, do you think anything gets by Apple CEO Tim Cook, or the head of Nike, John Donahoe?
You don’t build global brands worth countless billions by not knowing every aspect of that business, particularly your labor costs.
The ASPI report states: “A factory in eastern China that manufacturers shoes for U.S. company Nike is equipped with watchtowers, barbed-wire fences, and police guard boxes … ”
The factory in question, a Nike supplier for more than 30 years, is located in Laixi in Shandong province, and is operated by a South Korean firm known as Qingdao Taekwang Shoes Co., and utilizes approximately 700 Uyghur laborers, who are held against their will, according to The Gatestone Institute.
This one factory reportedly produces more than eight million pairs of athletic shoes annually.
This brings us to the self-styled ‘social justice warriors’ and perennial anthem kneelers, NBA standout LeBron James and former NFL player Colin Kaepernick.
For the last few years, James has been bad-mouthing the police, President Donald Trump, and the United States for being a land of “oppression.” All this, while enjoying a jaw-dropping $1 billion lifetime endorsement deal with Nike.
Of course, Kaepernick is the original kneeler who hasn’t played professional football since 2016 (even if a team did want him, he’s too busy with his cop-hating!), currently makes $12.4 million annually from his ongoing Nike deal.
While both of the aforementioned ‘warriors’ often talk about the slavery that occurred in this country (and that was ended 155 years ago, by the U.S. government in a war that claimed 600,000 American lives), and lament how that injustice, somehow, still affects black Americans today. Yet, neither King James or Kap ever mention the slavery taking place, not 150 plus years ago, but right now, today.
And, while both have voiced their support for Muslims, who they somehow believe are being mistreated by the Trump administration, neither ever voice that same concern for the Uyghur population in China, who are also Muslim.
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