When I first saw it, nearly ten years ago now, I just figured some kids pants were falling off his ass. Being a man with a very flat ass, for years I have had to constantly pull my own pants up and have made countless trips to the shoe repair to add extra holes to my belts. But then it soon became clear that this was an intentional act. “It’ll pass,” I thought, but such is not the case.
Last year this senseless “fashion” craze was elevated by way of former American Idol contestant General Larry Platt. Platt saw some guy on the street wearing his pants down low, and was inspired to write his hit song “Pants on the Ground.” He wasn’t condoning it, but his protest only gave the reality more attention. In an interview on the “The View,” Mr. Platt revealed how he came up with the song that made him a mini-celebrity ever since he performed it on the hit show “American Idol.” After singing “Pants on the Ground,” Mr. Platt, age 63, told “The View” that he came up with the song while he was out and about. “I was walking one day,” he said, and “I see a guy with a baby bottle in his mouth, pacifier, with his pants on the ground. That’s what gave me an inspiration.”
How ridiculous is it that a grown man was spotted with a pacifier and baby bottle in mouth in this day and age? A resident of New York City, not long ago I saw an individual running for a subway train yelling “Hold up.” To my disgust it was some idiot wearing his pants below his waist w/ the belt tightened under his ass. “What a moron,” I thought, “If your pants were on properly you would have no problem catching the train.” That said, as a result and to my amusement, he missed that train — as several young men who persist in wearing their pants this way will miss the per verbal boat. UPDATE 07/ 15/ 15: LOLOL the preceding paragraph has me hysterical — I re-visited this piece to insert the photo on the left (thx Meri). Nearly five years later and yet it persists, this lame impression of fashion, wearing your pants off your ass is just not… LOLOL what a rant this is, yet informative, do read on…
In 2008, email@example.com from answer.com writes: “When incarcerated, prisoner’s belts are taken away, thus creating the droopy pants look. This was glorified in so many gangsta rap products (I just cant call it “music” or “songs”) that all the little wannabes just had to emulate the look. It later became a status symbol for young boys who want to appear really bad by looking like they had been incarcerated, when in fact they had not. Its really no different than when those with similar low self-esteem had to pretend they were actually talking to someone while driving with their fake cell phone. The fact that everyone with a higher IQ than 5 finds it disgusting just adds to the rebellious appeal for those who have already achieved their full potential in life.”
It’s actually illegal to wear droopy pants in Dublin, Georgia. Leave it to the state where “Jim Crow” laws were active the longest to take a stand. That in itself is cause for embarrassment among our youth, but they have no connection to the struggles of admonishing “Jim Crow” laws, hence they lack a sense of pride of what thousands fought to overcome. According to New America Media, Dublin, Ga. lawmakers passed an amendment on September 2nd of last year to the city’s ordinance code making it unlawful to wear sagging pants in public. The new law passed after Mayor Phil Best said that he received numerous complaints from citizens about the fashion faux pas, according to CNN. “It’s time we all have a mutual respect for each other … what a person does in the privacy of their home is fine,” Best said in an interview. “But if I had an 8-year-old daughter, I don’t think she needs to be subjected to looking at someone’s rear end.” Crystal Hart, a former school administrator who now lives in Baltimore, said that she agrees with measures to curb the trend that is popular among all races, not just African-Americans. “I think it’s a good idea,” she said. “It is indecent and it’s disrespectful to the young men themselves. Everybody does it now. When I worked with young men in the schools, we enforced a dress code and worked hard to develop a good image. But now they walk around with their underwear showing. It goes against everything we’ve worked so hard for.” According to Dublin’s indecent exposure ordinance, “the city finds that the exposure of a person’s buttocks, genital area or undergarment is offensive and indecent,” and have received “reports of sagging baggy pants being used to facilitate theft crimes. And there is evidence that indicates that wearing sagging pants is injurious to the health of the wearer as it causes an improper gait.” Not using a belt to secure clothing in Dublin is now akin to public displays of masturbation, nudity, and defecation. Violators will be issued a citation and penalties could include “$25 on the first offense and not more than $200 for each subsequent offense,” as well as possible court-ordered community service according to the new law. “I don’t know a law or ordinance that doesn’t stand scrutiny by the people and the court system. So time will tell,” Best said about the possible effectiveness of the new law…
OPEN YOUR EYES YOUNG MEN, YOU’RE BEING SET UP TO FAIL YET AGAIN!!! Wearing your pants off your ass is not a symbol of protest or power, if not only for the simple fact that it inhibits your movement — You’re not able to progress if you can’t move. This is simply logic. If you’re thinking wearing your pants makes you as dope as a multi-platinum selling recording artist that does the same, YOU’RE WRONG!!! You’re ruining the physical dynamics of your body. Go here for more about what “gait” means… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gait_%28human%29 Now I know all young men wearing their pants like this are not imbeciles, just ignorant. Somebody please pass this on as an enlightened perspective that a thinking child can appreciate.
In 2007, the New York Times ran this: Starting in Louisiana, an intensifying push by lawmakers has determined pants worn low enough to expose underwear poses a threat to the public, and they have enacted indecency ordinances to stop it. Since June 11, sagging pants have been against the law in Delcambre, La., a town of 2,231 that is 80 miles southwest of Baton Rouge. The style carries a fine of as much as $500 or up to a six-month sentence. “We used to wear long hair, but I don’t think our trends were ever as bad as sagging,” said Mayor Carol Broussard. An ordinance in Mansfield, a town of 5,496 near Shreveport, subjects offenders to a fine (as much as $150 plus court costs) or jail time (up to 15 days). Police Chief Don English said the law, which takes effect Sept. 15, will set a good civic image. Behind the indecency laws may be the real issue — the hip-hop style itself, which critics say is worn as a badge of delinquency, with its distinctive walk conveying thuggish swagger and a disrespect for authority. Also at work is the larger issue of freedom of expression and the questions raised when fashion moves from being merely objectionable to illegal. Sagging began in prison, where oversized uniforms were issued without belts to prevent suicide and their use as weapons. The style spread through rappers and music videos, from the ghetto to the suburbs and around the world. Efforts to outlaw sagging in Virginia and statewide in Louisiana in 2004, failed, usually when opponents invoked a right to self-expression. But the latest legislative efforts have taken a different tack, drawing on indecency laws, and their success is inspiring lawmakers in other states. In the West Ward of Trenton, Councilwoman Annette Lartigue is drafting an ordinance to fine or enforce community service in response to what she sees as the problem of exposing private parts in public. “It’s a fad like hot pants; however, I think it crosses the line when a person shows their backside,” Ms. Lartigue said. “You can’t legislate how people dress, but you can legislate when people begin to become indecent by exposing their body parts.” The American Civil Liberties Union has been steadfast in its opposition to dress restrictions. Debbie Seagraves, the executive director of the A.C.L.U. of Georgia said, “I don’t see any way that something constitutional could be crafted when the intention is to single out and label one style of dress that originated with the black youth culture, as an unacceptable form of expression.”
Last Spring, New York State Senator Eric Adams of Brooklyn launched a campaign to get young men who sag their pants and flaunt their underwear to stop. Six “Stop the Sag” billboards went up throughout the borough, and Adams was working with other state senators to erect more in Queens. He got no support from Hip-Hop Icon Russell Simmons who stated: “I like Sen. Adams, but this is wrong-headed and a waste of time,” said Russell Simmons, the founder of Phat Farm and Argyle Culture. “This is the latest example of adults trying to repress the creativity and individuality of kids. Why would kids want to dress like Sen. Adams? There is no connection to saggy pants and the ability to succeed. Just look at what buttoned-up America has done to the rest of the world and each other. Why can’t kids be different?”
Two weeks ago on February 3rd, city leaders urged young people in Long Beach, CA to do two things this February: pick ‘em up and keep ‘em up. Bishop William Ervin along with Carson City Councilman Mike Gipson are calling on black children and teens to “pull up their pants on their waist” as a sign of respect during Black History Month. KNX 1070′s Ron Kilgore reports their message to young men who wear their pants down around their knees is simple: “You can have the swag without the sag.”
Lawmakers and bigots now have a new means of lynching our young men that are unable to see, or are simply turning a blind eye. Speaking of blind eyes — Where are the parents of these mis-guided and un-informed children? Whenever I would put on something inappropriate growing up, my mom would say, “You are not going out of the house looking like that.” OK, That’s it – that’s my rant for the day, I got more important and pressing things to focus on, but I had to get that out. Holla if you hear me – can a brother get an A-Men? Since I first wrote this article, I have added the photo of the sign reading “Pull Up Your Pants”; and saw a woman wearing a t-shirt saying “Pull Up Your Pants Young-un” — I’m glad I’m not alone.
in FUNKIN’ HOPE of an Awakening