Between a rock and a corporation

Navigating queer politics makes me feel like a crew member on Odysseus fated ship as it wound its way through the waters between Scylla and Charybdis. Today Nike endorsed both the civil union and anti-discrimination bills being voted on tomorrow.

Im not shy about my anti-corporate sentiments, though I understand the necessity for jobs and products from some mega-companies. But Nike? Im sure all my sneaks have been glued in the third world, but none of them bear the swoosh, as theyve seemed to be one of the worst, despite supposed recent sweatshop improvements.

I marched against corporations this weekend and booed as Nike went by in the parade, and yet, part of me wants to at least whisper a little thank you to a big deal backer to our little bill, especially after Microsofts retraction after the blow-up surrounding its support of a non-discrimination bill in Washington. As if conservatives would ever buy a Macintosh!

But really, its not worth selling out or kissing Nikes naked shoes for a move that really benefits them as much as us. They arent risking their necks for us. It doesnt take much for them to support a bill like this. No ones going to stop buying their products. The American consumer probably ingests a lot more ads than news, and this is a local issue, while Nikes an international corporation. These bills are small potatoes. Its worth more to Nike to keep its gay professionals happy. And besides, arent Civil Unions practically a cop-out anyway? But if one does want to pat the backs of Portland business many other locals support the bill and, and voiced it a lot sooner. I don’t mind spending my bucks with folks like Powell’s and others.

So Nike, thank you for your support. I do still hope that the bills will pass, without or without you. But for myself, Id still rather layer duct tape to my soles than wear you on my feet.

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