The Revolution Will Not Be Commodified

Activism sells, and because of that revolution and resistance have found themselves in quite the conundrum. Over the last few years, we have seen a sharp rise in dialogue, rallies and protests around social issues. However, lately, the fight for inclusion has shifted from a movement to a market. This market is teeming with merchandise—shirts emblazoned with the names of victims of fatal police brutality, buttons that express support for marginalized communities, bags designed explicitly for protests, and even board games meant to teach its players how to construct social movements. Colin Kaepernick, who made headlines this month when GQ announced him as Citizen of the Year, still has one of the best-selling jerseys in the NFL, despite not having a job. All of these tees, pins, jackets and items seem to scream “I am an activist!”

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