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In a short video message, Kenneth Cole responded to his latest questionable tweet, in which the shoe mogul talked about shoes and the Syrian conflict in what, one would guess, he thought was a humorous manner: 

The negative reaction, as you'd expect, was strong. So strong, apparently, that Cole decided to respond with an Instagram message: 

"I've always used my platform to provoke dialogue about important issues," he says in the non-apology, "including HIV AIDS, war and homelessness. I'm well aware of the risks that come with this approach, and if this encourages further awareness and discussion of critical issues, then all the better." 

Earlier today, the Atlantic Wire documented just how irresistible shoe-based wordplay seems to be for the businessman. His history includes questionable tweets about stop and frisk, the Newtown shootings, and unrest in Egypt. Cole, however, has shown that he's capable of tweeting about serious issues, especially those with which he has a long history of involvement, without resorting to what reads to many as a commodified trivialization of the issues: 

If Cole is genuine about the mission behind his otherwise regrettable tweets, it doesn't look like he's anywhere close to succeeding: the only subject his more controversial tweets have provoked people to discuss is Kenneth Cole himself.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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