Apple Black Unity Watch Divides Us

On February first, in honor of Black History Month, Apple will release the Apple Black Unity Watch. It’s inspired by the Pan-African flag, constructed in shades of black, green and red. Apple’s Chinese suppliers laser engraved the words “Truth, Power and Solidarity” onto the interior of the stainless steel fastening pin (a.k.a., caseback). Apple will donate an unspecified percentage of the proceeds from Apple Black Unity Watch sales to . . .

Black Lives Matter Support Fund (via the Tides Foundation,) European Network Against RacismInternational Institute on Race, Equality and Human RightsLeadership Conference Education FundNAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. and Souls Grown Deep.

The Black Lives Matter Support Fund is troublesome. Regardless of your take on the BLM movement, some see BLM as a danger to American ideals. By funneling money to the organization Apple runs the risk of alienating millions of potential buyers. More than that, it identifies Apple as a political entity, a company that chooses sides.

Apple Black Unity watch side viewDon’t get me wrong. I’m all for truth, power and solidarity. Solidarity across racial, national, ethnic, cultural, sexual and any other “self identity” category you can name. I completely embrace embracing your whateverness in whatever way you want – as long as you tolerate, accept, support and yes celebrate people who don’t share your affiliation.

On the face of it (so to speak), the Apple Black Unity Watch is part of that celebration. But it opens the door to questions about Apple’s commitment to equality (not equity).

An Apple Watch targeted at and for a particular ethnic group begs the question, what about other self-identified communities? Jews, Muslims, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, straights, furries, etc. Where do you draw the line?

ABU caseback

What about a Jewish Unity Watch? A Hispanic Unity Watch? A LGBTQ+ Unity Watch? Why not? On one hand, an affiliation-targeted Apple Watch celebrates diversity. On the other hand, it encourages division. Not only does its existence separate buyers into subcategories, it does so publicly.

How will a black person view a white person wearing a Apple Black Unity Watch? How would a Hispanic-identified person view a non-Hispanic person wearing a [theoretical] Hispanic Unity Watch? As a supporter of their “cause” or as someone practicing cultural appropriation? Why get into this in the first place?

ABU message

Rightly or wrongly, before Apple deleted Parler from their App store, consumers considered the world’s most valuable company apolitical. And something more: a corporation that unifies all people inside its walled garden. Even a brief visit to an Apple Store confirms it: their products appeal across all demographic groups.

The technology giant’s decision to throw its entire weight behind Black History Month – App Store, Music, Maps, TV, News, Books, Podcasts, Fitness+ and Watch – hives off one particular group. By doing so Apple marginalizes non-Black consumers (where’s the white hand?), however inadvertently, no matter how laudable their intentions. The Apple Black Unity Watch is the physical embodiment of that marginalization.

Apple Black Unity Watch head-on

Watches created and sold to benefit a particular group (e.g., the Timex + Tom Snyder Gay Pride watch) or charity (e.g., the Oris Carl Brashear) run the risk of being seen as virtue signaling, combined with cynical commercial exploitation. A watch that supports BLM, explicitly entering a highly charged political arena, crosses a new line. To my mind the Apple Black Unity Watch is anything but unifying. It’s divisive. Am I wrong?

20 comments

  1. I predict these will be scooped up in droves by upper class white people, shown off proudly to the approval of their Instagram and TikTok “followers/audience/whatever,” and then quickly replaced with whatever the next material good they think will make them happy for the next 0.783 seconds of their lives.

  2. I’m not super big on any of these cause watches, but embracing the significant parts of BLM that overlap is the biggest opportunity Libertarians and Constitutional Conservatives have in a generation to pull in black voters.

    Libertarians, CATO, and Reason were for making the police accountable, defunding the police, ending Civil Asset Forfeiture, and drug legalization/decriminalization well before BLM.

    Nobody knows Reagan’s mantra that “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.” to be true better than a black person that has to deal with the police and other government “workers.”

    The commie sideline stuff does not have a chance (the closest we are getting is an idea that started with a “Republican” that there should be $2,000 welfare checks for certain income groups), and isn’t even consistent with the main reform goals. Commies love a well funded police state. Apple sure does not support the commie part.

      1. This idea that private entities should be forced to publish certain materials is communist/fascist, and is certainly not what freedom of speech means.

        Parler is free to pursue contractual disputes.

    1. There is no constituency for what CATO has to offer. To paraphrase Curtis Yarvin: “Nobody understands Marx. But anyone can learn how to parrot Marx. And if that individual or group can parrot Marx effectively enough, that individual or group gets to control the levers of power in society. But what does a libertarian get from successfully implementing his political beleifs? Philosophical satisfaction?”

      1. That reminds me of an old quote I once heard:

        “How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin.
        How do you tell an anti-communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin”

  3. How do you feel about Apple’s (PRODUCT)RED line? Supports a single cause, and it’s been a thing for quite a while.

    1. If I want to support a “cause” or charity, why do I need a middleman? A middleman that uses the social credit as marketing? If there is a cause I feel is worthy of my support, I can donate directly. Why would I enable corporate virtue signaling and passing on social credit?

      1. Well … Apple pretty prominently supports two causes via “badged” products. This post only complains about one of them and the other isn’t even mentioned.

        1. Complains? How so?

          When did criticism become “complaining?” Rhetorical question. Nothing further, your honor.

  4. I completely agree with you. Those colours are those also sported on the Palestinian flag, which is waved enthusiastically when pro Palestininan demonstrators harass Jews and chant “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, meaning the elimination of the state of Israel. The manifesto of Black Lives Matter is full of horrendous and highly tendentious statements about the supposed evils of capitalism, the ubiquity of white supremacy and the demand to defund the police. What strikes me as dire is Apple virtuously embracing black identity politics whilst having the watches manufactured by very low paid Chinese workers in Communist China. Of course, it gave the project to black designers and they’ve made an excellent job of it. It’s a most attractive product. But then I was one of millions of young people in the early 70s who sported Mao blue jackets— they were seen as a really cool thing to wear then. Ditto keffiyehs, also in romantic deference to the Palestinian cause, without the need to scrutinise its antisemitism and use of street murders to advance the cause. Really, however beautiful the watch is, and however much it appears to put Apple in a politically virtuous position (which incidentally it shares with that other enlightened advancer of radical politics tied to brilliant luxury product marketing, Vogue), it’s just so much nail varnish. Black, green and red nail varnish…..

    1. Thanks for the comment. You’re a good writer with something to say. How about writing for us? There are perks… My email’s o the home page.

  5. “Am I wrong?” Yes. You’re wrong. I liked this blog until you actually posted something positing that thinking that Black people matter is too “political” for you. Ah well. I’ll move along.

    1. Sorry you feel that way. Rest assured, I believe that “black people matter.” At the risk of condemnation, all people matter. How would you feel about a Muslim, Jewish, Mexican or Lithuanian themed Apple Watch? I’d be OK with any of it, but not of Apple only honored (i.e., exploited) one. Which they’ve done here.

  6. Yes, all people matter. But the reason people say black people matter specifically in this context is that the idea of black people mattering been contrary to the lived experience of black people in America since the beginning. lots of problems exist in America, and deed in the world. But what black history month means, because that seems to be what you’re really protesting, is to put special effort into supporting a group of people who have been denigrated arguably more than any other in America during its history. Those other people simply haven’t been crushed underfoot as persistently or aggressively as black people have.

    1. My father was a Holocaust survivor. His family, his entire village was murdered. Not to mention the anti-semitism he experienced in America. That’s a lot of denigration.

  7. I’m a Jew too. Did that happen in America? We’re talking about an American problem (the enslavement of black people). That happened to Jews elsewhere, and there, I sure hope there is a Jewish History Month! In this case, though, a bit of false equivalency.

  8. Even the watch world is getting this shit rammed down our throats? (ok, not really, the Apple Watch is a joke, like a monitoring device for human cattle as far as I’m concerned). What a great way to implement a Social Credit Scoring system: biometric and activity logging devices that upload all your data to evil big tech companies so they can profile you mentally and then hit you with targeted propaganda.

    The “Great Reset” promises to completely change everything, “you will own nothing, and you will be happy!” they say. I believe wealth redistribution and co-ownership together with the propaganda and censorship we’ve been seeing has been tried before: they called it COMMUNISM. AKA The ideology that killed more people in the 20th Century than any other (including Nazism). The Great Reset as promoted by the WEF cannot be completed without implementing GLOBAL communism. You will have your every move tracked, and if you step out of line, they’ll shut off your ability to interact and use payments. And if you think any of what I’ve said is “conspiracy theory”…. it’s all been admitted publicly. National Post (canada) just ran an article warning of the coming “Technocratic Dictatorship” as a result of such trends.

    When that is all understood, wearing a mechanical watch, and only taking a phone when necessary, instead of carrying both a phone AND an ugly overpriced rectangle that you can’t get wet and which monitors your every move….. can be seen as an “F.U.” to the likes of Schwab, Soros, and Gates. Leaving your phone at home AND wearing an auto / non-smart, is not a radical act yet, but just wait ten years.

    Back to the Race Hustlers: The entire reason the powers that be have decided to promote critical race theory, is because one of the oldest tricks in the book, divide and conquer, still works.

    Instead of promoting unity, CRT creates division, and that’s why it’s their fave new thing. Instead of blacks and whites working together to identify and remove the true oppressors (the globalist billionaires like Gates, Soros, Schwab et c), we fight each other and they sit and rub their hands together and laugh at us.

    A CRT-head doctor is promoting the idea that my ancestry, the colour of my (White) skin, is a parasitic condition with no cure. It’s an ideology that loves to hyperventilate about “NAZIS!!!”, but whose tenets are aligned in many ways with Nazi concepts: certain people being inherently evil or crooked (that’s Jews for Nazis, Whites for you nuts), or there being a plot by one ethnicity against another ethnicity (“Jews conspiring against the Aryans” / “Whites conspiring against Blacks”)

    I have read Ibram Kendi’s book, since the left always tells me to “do your research and not be ignorant” and the man is a deranged racist.

    Critical Race Theory infantilises blacks, it tells them to not be surprised if they never make it anywhere in life since whitey doesn’t want them to be successful or have nice things. What kind of message is that for a black kid, or any kid? It’s the 21st eentury version of the incredibly racist idea of the “White Man’s Burden”. In the past, that meant that whites were supposedly responsible for “civilising” the savages. Today, it’s called CRT, and it teaches that only when White people “do their research”, “put in the work” and become “White traitors” and “White abolitionists” will Blacks be safe.

    And if you thought it couldn’t get any more Nazi, CRT is now intertwined with the “Land Back” movement, which is the same old blood and soil ethno-nationalism that demanded the deportation and eventual killing of the Jews, except today it’s declaring Whites to be an invasive species in the lands we have inhabited for hundreds of years, ignoring that all of human history consists of one tribe displacing another, and demanding our “removal”.

    TL;DR: Critical Race Theory (which inspired this garbage ‘watch’) is shit, so is crApple Watch and smartwatches (and smartphones) in general. The 1 thing they all have in common is that they’re designed to subjugate and enslave you.

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