Looking Like A Fool With Ya Pants On The Ground…
Sagging and Pop Culture’s Effect On Our Community
First off you need to support Black Media in Milwaukee! We need to continue showing allegiance to our local talkers, local writers, local griots, and all those helping spread the word!! We need to support the advertisers and the shows 110%. If you don’t have radio access there is an app for that, a podcast, or RSS feed, anything. Show that you are listening and pass it along! Sometimes we may not agree with the person, but it is better to have a voice than dead air and space. We could have no information being passed to the masses at all!
That being said, Earl Ingram is one of my favorite talk show hosts. No we do not see eye to eye on several things, but this brother represents our community, he backs up his words with action and $$$, and he is a man of conviction, showing uncharacteristic leadership in the Milwaukee Black Media by exposing us to a buffet of varying Black voices that until his show, were once demonized by the typical Dem loving Black media that for so long ruled the airwaves.
End of Rant!
Yesterday on 1290 AM WMCS’s Earl Ingram “Evening Rush (3pm-6pm weekdays), Mr. Ingram presented an interesting topic along with Frederick Alexander Meade, a national commentator, syndicated writer, scholar, and socially conscious brother. The topic was about “Sagging” and Meade was going off! Sadly, WW had to work and could not hear it all, but I got to hear most of it and the topic was too good to let it die, so I offer this up as an extension to the subject: Sagging Pants!
For those unfamiliar:
“Sagging is a manner of wearing trousers (slacks, shorts, pants or jeans) below the waist, hanging below the waist area and therefore revealing much of the underwear. Sagging is predominantly a male fashion. Women wearing low-rise jeans to reveal their G-string underwear (the “whale tail”) is not generally considered sagging. (WW says: “the G-string should be included, but that is for another day”).”
He was right on many of the points he brought up, it looks ridiculous and it is something we as a community need to address. This should not have to come down to laws, penalties, and fines. However we are not addressing it and it we are 30 years into the fashion “trend.” A little Google search and one can find videos, websites and everything in between all dedicated to sagging pants. “Pants On The Ground”-An American Idol legend!! Even Brett Favre has his own version of this song! YIKES!!
Should there be laws to address what the community seemingly allows? Our silence is compliance! Meade suggested fines and possible jail time. Some callers commented that we have enough Black men in jail already without adding more of them into this never ending cycle that does not rehabilitate anyone. As for fines, who will pay them and how much should we fine offenders of fashion? Where would they get the money to pay fines and then do we want them having records that follow them the rest of their lives? How do we get people to see this is a sign of ignorance? Not to mention no one wants to see your underwear, especially not anywhere near my food!
Some say “sagging” is a fashion started by the jail population who cannot wear belts because they could be used as weapons or to commit suicide. However our rap stars continue this fashion faux pas to make them look cool and connected to the streets and our young people emulate the look, and so it seems the look will never end. Meade cited other reasons as well that should be considered for banning sagging. One of which is we need soldiers not idiots and that sagging pants can be harmful for your health, if I understood him correctly.
In several published reports sagging pants have been the cause of quite a few freak accidents and deaths. Not to mention news stories that detail people trying to get away from the scene of a crime but get caught because their sagging pants prevented them from getting away. Of course that is a good thing, but still why would you be so stupid? Why are sagging pants associated with negativity and with Blacks, especially Black men?
Some states and school districts already have laws/rules against “sagging.” The ACLU says that “sagging” laws would be challenged by their organization because they are profiling and racist. Are they? If we start down this slippery slope, where do we stop? Do we create laws about tats? What about those silly jackets with huge brand logos on them? Mohawks? God knows I didn’t like them in the 80’s and now I am looking at grown men with them? Have you seen Matt Barnes with that silly Mohawk? You are a Laker now, get rid of it!! Ron Artest got rid of his! (Sorry it’s playoff season had to sneak it in.)
It is bad enough parents are allowing this, but as a society where do we step in? MPS and other school districts already assume the roles formerly held by parents. They are parent, guardian, law enforcement, and now the fashion police? Don’t they have enough to deal with and is it really racist to ask our kings and queens to start dressing the part? Should we start enforcing uniform policies and/or have all out uniforms?
Just prior to the 2008 US Presidential Election, then-candidate Barack Obama appeared on MTV and stated that laws banning the practice of wearing low-slung pants that expose one’s underwear were “a waste of time”. However, he did follow that up with the statement: “Having said that, brothers should pull up their pants. You are walking by your mother, your grandmother, your underwear is showing. What’s wrong with that? Come on. Some people might not want to see your underwear. I’m one of them.”
So family, what do you think? Should we enact laws to curtail this fashion mistake? Should we continue to wait for parents to do their job and stop letting their kids out of the house with sagging pants? What about adults who wear sagging pants and the people who love them? After all this would not be a popular fashion if those of us in relationships with “saggers” stopped seeing this as a turn on and if we as a community started actively protesting this. How we do that without getting the “lovely feedback” that would follow? I have no clue. I have enough problems trying to get my oldest to keep his damn pants up. Publically, I give the look and then a comment, but unless we get it into their minds that no good can come from “sagging” they won’t stop. Even skinny jeans didn’t do the trick (Kanye wore “sagging” skinny jeans) and then we could start a whole other topic on skinny jeans, tight shirts, cleavage, G-strings, holes in your jeans, hair coloring, weaves, short-shorts, and right on down the line.
I think our young people are waiting for us to show up and lead them or guide them. They are tired of going it alone, or knowing that we are afraid of them and therefore allow them to do whatever they want. Time for the collective belt whooping! They need mentors and they need to see positive people doing positive things, dressed like professionals, acting like professionals. They also need us to stop bickering so much and see a community united. They need to see jobs with good managers and real families and all the things that lead to fashion trends and not fashion staples.
Yes that’s a lot to deal with but we must start somewhere. Pulling up your damn pants is a good place to start becoming “a beloved community” (St. Paul/MLK once called us to be) and begin taking back what is ours. Our youth would be phase one! Let’s not destroy another generation!!
Our goal is to create a beloved community and
this will require a qualitative change in our souls
as well as a quantitative change in our lives.
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Earl Ingram Jr. & The Evening Rush”
Droopy Pants Can Kill