Sagging Pants and Pointing Fingers

ImageSince Don Lemon’s statements about sagging pants being the reason black men can’t get jobs, continue their education, stay out of jail, etc., I’ve witnessed a flurry of white fists in the proverbial air, mobs of white commenters on various blogs and forums saying “See? See? What I’ve been saying all along.” Torches and pitchforks. Pointing fingers. Sighs of relief as their own opinions—held however secretly—are given breath by a black man; the token voice they need for “permission” to air out their often ill-concealed dirty laundry.

This topic has been written on extensively. I have little to contribute. Lemon’s equation of fashion choices to the grossly disproportionate numbers of black men who are unemployed, criminalized, and institutionalized is almost laughable. But I do want to ask you this, Mr. Lemon.

Would you say the same about victims of rape?

If a woman is wearing a short skirt or a low-cut top and is the victim of sexual assault, is she to blame? When police officers arbitrarily dismiss her allegations as uncredible; when courts lambast her supposed promiscuity and wardrobe choices; when she is called a whore or that she was “asking for it”—is it her fault?

I am discussing a system of blame in which an oppressed group bears the brunt of its own brutalization; in which petty justifications like sartorial decisions are gestured to as the root of all said group’s misfortune. It reminds me of something… It reminds me of a boy who was wearing a hoodie on a rainy evening while walking home from the store, who was seen as dangerous, threatening, suspicious, out of place. A boy who was murdered as a result of it.

Is your memory so short, Mr. Lemon?

This is a society that would rather criticize hems and pants than its own distorted lens of bias and blame: its systematic inequality and inherited poverty.

A society that would rather point at hoodies as the problem rather than address its prejudice toward the skin of the hoodie-wearer.

A society that has a finger pointing solidly at the black boys with their pants riding low, steadily unaware of the four fingers pointing back at itself.

Black boys are being gunned down in front of their homes, and we’re talking about pants? We’re talking about PANTS?

Enough, Mr. Lemon. And enough, America. You need an intervention.

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One thought on “Sagging Pants and Pointing Fingers

  1. Exactly. Although as a Black American Man, Pants sagging has become more exaggerated and brazen over the years, it basically was a style, and evolved into a fad of who can look the coolest(male perspective speaking) I’m young but when I was in school the goal wasn’t to show your underwear it was to sag but keep your underwear covered by all means unless u don’t have a shirt on because parents actually cared and we cared that they cared(they still do but the leniency has evolved or sort of gave up and said whatever, but when kids see people with money young and old take it to the next level kids take it their as well, in ’04 in Georgia I actually seen a knee sag but he had on a long shirt(but he was like a trail blazer was younger than me at the time probably like 15).

    There are also different levels of sag, there is the normal comfortable level with a belt like 2 or 3 inches below underwear(on its own), then theres the middle of the butt sag gangsta(not literally gangsta)level (used to be the rapper norm its the older rapper norm today), and then there is the below the butt cheek sag underwear showing is optional or depending on how long the shirt is penis still in pants, and finally we arrive at the after ’04’ or ’05(or even later) below the the penis sag with your thighs holding the sides of the pants taught with full reckless abandon and I agree is tacky but people just group all sags together when they are really mad at the below the penis sag which takes some bravery or lack couth to accomplish or attempt without self awareness or awareness to your surroundings in general.

    I may just sound like an ignorant fool but a fashion statement or lack of is what it is I never went past the 1st sag level on purpose, the 2nd level takes a sort of carefreeness/carelessness depending on your family, but after a while they give up the battle and don’t put up the usual fight with sly critiquing comments. I’m not even gonna entertain the Lemon. Some may say quietly when the see a black man with a suit on out of place that hes pretending to be a good guy, I heard the oh hes different hes a good black man type comments, I say to that that the one they may call a good black man may know nothing of himself or his history thus he goes to lengths to be accepted by whites by doing things he would normally never do and those things would cover everything in those Jackass movies and putting down other black people in presence and agreement with the white friends, basically buck dancing on cue. I’m also declaring my official language Ebonics.

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