Nothing says hypocrisy like turning a profit. Recently, international icon, Nike, took a stance on legislation pending before the 116th Congress. As an athletic wear company, one may assume this legislation had something to do with the type of material that clothes could be made out of or possibly even athletics. No. This legislation could not be farther from expectation. The bill that, according to the New York Times, Nike has spent “vast” amounts of money on is the “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act,” introduced by Congressman Jim Mcgovern.

The Uighurs are a ethnic minority that live in the north western region of China known as Xinjiang region. For the past several years, the Chinese government has set up nearly 380 internment camps whose sole purpose is to “reeducate” the Uighur population. They currently incarcerate an estimated 1 million people

The Chinese government regards the Uighur people, Chinese citizens, as security risks for no other reason than their ethnicity. 

The conditions inside these camps are, by first hand accounts, deplorable. Detainees are subjected to torture and forced labor. This is where the U.S. House of Representatives comes in.

Obviously the United States government is in opposition to the use of forced labor and arbitrary internment, as are all reasonable nations and thus the United States wants to do everything in their power to stop what is going on in China. Short of war options are limited for Congress, however, where they do hold a large amount of power is over U.S. activities. 

In order to help dissuade the Chinese government from holding their own citizens and using them for forced labor, The House passed H.R. 6210, the aforementioned “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.” The act prevents the importation of products from Xinjiang that US Customs and Border Protection determines are made from forced labor. This is in an effort to curb the profits that the Chinese government is making off exploiting the Uyghur population. 

The Chinese government isn’t the only one making a profit however. Nike also makes a large amount of money because of its business relationship with China.

Nike has been doing business in China for years, and will likely continue to do so. The simple fact of economics is that it is cheaper to do business in China and so they’ll go where they can turn the most profit. Where they cross the line is when they become complicit in the perpetration of Human Rights Abuses. 

Nike has every right to use cheap labor wherever they can find it, so long as that cheap labor is not curated through wrongful imprisonment. Moreover, this imprisonment is on the basis of nothing other than a person’s ethnicity. This bill passed the House with a 406-3 vote margin. That is almost unheard of. 

Nike stands in opposition for no other reason than it will ruin their profit margins.

Over the past several months, Nike has lectured America about equality and sponsored athletes, such as Colin Kaepernick, who have taken a stance for equality in America. When they come out and oppose a bill aimed at stopping Human Rights Abuses in China, they can’t help but be viewed as hypocrites. 

What is becoming glaringly obvious is that Nike is taking every American for granted. They took advantage of some honest to God complaints about American society and monetized it. They came out with campaigns in favor Black Lives Matter, and, as much as people would like to believe otherwise, they fooled you. 

Nike doesn’t care about achieving equality in this country or this world. If they did, they would be leaders on this issue. They would have made a pledge to ensure that their products won’t be made in facilities that use forced labor. Instead they spent “vast” amounts in opposition to a bill aimed at stopping Human Rights Abuses.  

America, you have been tricked.

Anthony (A.J.) Ilardi is an undergraduate Political Science Major at Clemson University. He is originally from Northern New Jersey, where he gained an interest in politics and civic duty. He is a member of the Turning Point USA Chapter at Clemson, and wants to help inspire other conservatives to be politically active.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Anthony Ilardi

Anthony (A.J.) Ilardi is an undergraduate Political Science Major at Clemson University. He is originally from Northern New Jersey, where he gained an interest in politics and civic duty. He is a member of the Turning Point USA Chapter at Clemson, and wants to help inspire other conservatives to be politically active.

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