Nike has been accused by Congress of profiting off the forced slave labor of the Uyghur Muslims in Communist-run China.
Despite the company’s horrific business practices, the Hillsdale College Bookstore still sells Nike quarter-zips and hats — but it should stop.
Nike is a major influence on American culture. Recently, the company’s influence has expanded into politics.
Last summer, Nike’s stances it took on political and cultural issues revealed itself to be a company many Americans weren’t willing to support. After announcing that the company feels aligned with China’s values, Nike said it would be working more closely with Chinese sports — but it gets worse.
Hundreds of Uyghur Muslims are forced to work in Nike’s Chinese factories and in December, Congress accused Nike, among other companies, of relying on slave labor.
Although Nike denied the claims, human rights violations were so evident that the House of Representatives passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in June, which curtails imports from Xinjiang, the territory where the Uyghurs are reportedly enslaved.
Since the late 20th century, China has forcibly detained millions of Uyghurs. Survivors tell horror stories of daily gang rape, sexual torture, human trafficking, and mandatory sterilizations from inside Xinjiang camps.
Nike’s allegations of forced labor, its alignment with the Chinese Government, and its controversial political statements don’t align with the mission of Hillsdale College.
Hillsdale possesses a reputation of virtue, excellence, and the pursuit of the good. How does its sale of Nike goods made in support of slave labor further this pursuit?
Whether a consumer chooses to buy Nike gear is ultimately up to that individual, but Hillsdale should stop supporting a company that is in such opposition to the college’s values.
Hillsdale’s pursuit of moral excellence is a rare thing and should be preserved by every means possible — even in the bookstore.
Just don’t do it.