Black Males and Sagging Pants

An increasing number of public and private discourses are taking place across the nation about sagging pants.  One wears sagging pants when his or her underwear or other undergarments are showing.  It’s understandable if one does not like to see the undergarments of another person who has sagging pants.  Although I see a person’s choice to sag his pants as being safeguarded by the First Amendment, I do understand those who support school rules and ordinances prohibiting sagging.  Personally, I don’t sag and don’t think it’s an attractive fashion phenomenon.   However, what’s not understandable is making deleterious assumptions about people just because they’ve elected to wear sagging pants.  Unfortunately, Black males who wear sagging pants are disproportionately affected by unmerited assumptions about their sagging pants.

For White supremacists, sagging pants is a tangible reminder that Black males are still niggers.  For those who hide their racial prejudice, all Black males who have sagging pants are viewed as dangerous.  Those sagging pants send them a clear message that they’re ungovernable criminals who are going to harm us if we don’t get away from them and if we don’t keep them away from us.

I need to send many White people a message that just because a group of Black males who have sagging pants are walking down the same sidewalk as you are does not mean that they’re automatically a threat to you.  In reality, Black males have more reason to be fearful of you than you of them.  If you need some evidence of this, use Google to search for Bo Morrison and you will have just one piece of numerous pieces of evidence to support why I made the aforementioned statement.

Yes, some Black males who have sagging pants are involved in criminality and are dangerous.  However, don’t place the blame on those sagging pants—place the blame squarely on the choices those individuals have made to commit themselves to a mindset of criminality.

For those White people who believe that all, most, or many Black males who have sagging pants are criminals and dangerous, do you feel the same way about White males with sagging pants?  I’m just curious.

Black parents, it’s important to offer our children an understanding of the historical provenance of sagging pants.  Wearing sagging pants emerged from prisons.  In prisons, sagging pants is symbolic and a tangible expression to have other men recognize that one is homosexual and ready to be penetrated in the anus.  While I’m in no way trying to get you to preach to your children against homosexuality, what I’m attempting to do is have you educate your children about the origin of sagging pants and the symbolic and practical meaning of those sagging pants for those situated in prison.  I want your children to be fully informed about their choice to sag their pants.

For those who would try to suggest that Black males and others who sag their pants are trying to be like prisoners, you’re engaging in fallacious thought.  What you’re really trying to do is construct some “evidence” to justify your prejudice and racism.  Therefore, just be real and say so.

Black males need to be aware that people will make unwarranted assumptions about them just because they have sagging pants.  In no way am I attempting to call for Black males to stop wearing sagging pants.  I, however, want Black males to be aware that negative assumptions will be made about them because they have decided to wear sagging pants.  Those sagging pants are contributing factors in why many White people have and are murdering Black males.

Instead of placing so much investment in what Black males are wearing and how they wear their clothing, how about devoting the same level of investment in ensuring they receive a high quality education and have a greater chance to experience success.

I argue that many people who don’t like Black males anyway are attempting to take our focus off of critical problems facing Black males.  They want to thwart any chance that Black male academic underachievement will become a national issue we earnestly work together as a country to remedy.  Let’s not allow them to bamboozle us! Let’s stay focused on real issues and problems Black males face—not sagging pants!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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13 responses

  1. I love this post and it is well written.

    Sagging pants isn’t attractive and I agree we need to educate them on thr history of them.

    Again great post!

    1. Thank you! I cannot wait for the fashion trend of sagging pants to end. It has lasted longer than I thought it ever would.

      1. Yes and I want grown men to stop wearing skinny jeans. LOL

  2. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another when the comes to young black men. If is not the sagging pants, which I do not like, it’s our hair, or us wearing Du Rags or other fashions deemed URBAN. I wear a Du Rag to protect my natural hair. If we wear corn rows, we are labeled thugs just as much as sagging pants and that is just a traditional braiding style in the Black community. I have my natural hair braided into something like a Cinna Bun on top. It is skin bald on the sides and back. I just think it is a wall after wall when it comes to young black men or black men as a whole and our appearance through the eyes of other members of society.

    I have seen a few of my white male friends with 4-5 inches of hair get a job. Meanwhile, numerous job postings citing a strict code against any hairstyles that are traditionally associated with the black community or black men as a whole having hair at all. I think that is sad. I have heard many older men of various races tell young men to cut their hair to get a job. I am not saying that only black men go through this, but I have seen more job ads and workplaces specifically denouncing it for them to have hair or any style they could possibly put it in. I love having natural hair and it is not too long yet, but I just refuse to live by those standards. I’m only gonna live once. I’m going to be happy as long as I hold the cards.

    P.S. I really like this blog. I hope you do not mind me being here. I followed you since I saw a comment you made on Mused Mag’s website. I love them too.

    1. Thanks very much! I would love to have you as a frequent reader. You are always welcomed here and feel free to subscribe to the site for free, which will enable you to get notifications about posts the moment they are published. Your response is very much true! Thanks for reading and your response.

  3. It’s just STUPID…walk with your feet 3 feet apart so your pants don’t fall down…STUPID…Hold your pants up with one hand while you walk…STUPID (This is why belts were invented) Do these guys get up every morning and think to themselves “What can I do to look STUPID today?” You don’t have to be educated to see why people have a negative opinion on this. They are just showing people how really STUPID they are. Say you are poor and from a bad part of town…does this mean you don’t know how to dress.
    If you want to get ahead in life you need to first look like you are at least trying to. Otherwise keep looking STUPID I’m sure someone is just dying to hire you.

    1. Everything you said makes good sense. I do respect each thing you said and agree with you. I just respect their right to dress this way if they choose.

    2. I THINK IT’S NEGATIVE ATTENTION
      AND NO SELF RESPECT

      1. I very much agree. Some accountability must be given to the people who are inside and outside of their home. Where’s the mentoring? Where’s the guidance? Where’s the instruction? More people have to become involved in these young people’s lives.

  4. […] women whom she likes due to their masculinized looks or prepubescent boy looks. These are males: Black Males and Sagging Pants | Revolutionary Paideia I see a lot of Black-American women most would term "lesbian" attracted to women that […]

  5. Looks so ignorant. I think they do it as some sort of a statement. “Look at me. I’m bad.” When I see this, it reminds me of when I worked in corrections. (Most of the detainees were this type of black men). If they did that inside, it was because they were “advertising”. Letting all the others know that they were on the “down low”. (Homo, looking for a boyfriend. Lol.) I always associate this look with the low class. Anyone with a brain does. It’s the EBT look.

    1. It’s so important for us to teach our youth today about how destructive of a practice this is. The trouble with this practice goes beyond it being aesthetically displeasing; there are unhealthy lifestyles that are often embraced as products of this practice.

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