Black Males and Sagging Pants

Comments 17 Standard

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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17 thoughts on “Black Males and Sagging Pants

  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!

  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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

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  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.

    • 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.

  6. Question for you: Do you believe most white people think poorly of blacks?

    The reason I ask is the tone of your writing suggests that most whites think poorly of blacks, either covertly or openly (think white supremacist fools).

    We can make the world a better place, and your suggestions about getting the whole sag thing out of the public square are likely to have a positive effect if followed. Let’s focus on what we can do together, and not assume we can read each other’s minds or hearts.

    • I don’t think that most white people think poorly of black people, but I certainly know many white do think poorly of blacks — based on their words and actions toward black people. The vicious legacy of white supremacy is still real and functioning in our postmodern epoch. In no way do I judge people by attempting to discern what’s in their hearts and minds, but I do evaluate people based on what they say and do. I very much agree with you that it’s vital for us all to work together to make this world a better place to live, work and play. We should be in strong opposition to sagging, but our opposition must and should come from a spirit of love.

  7. Sagging Pants – Written to those who do

    I do know this is not the whole of African America. However it is as widespread an American epidemic as any other sickness, including police killing un-armed African American people and no indictment and
    evidently a justice system that fully backs these killings.

    If this seems a whole lot confusing, it is simply because I am confused. I will not weigh in on this topic ever again, it is just too sad and painful.

    All comments I have read concerning this matter are missing what many of us have and are witnessing as an addition to this harsh truth, yet ignored. Yes African American males do this far more than anyone else. I have seen several young African American women and African American men with gray/graying hair participating in this activity. My friends and I were completely !?!?!?!?!?, etc.

    It is accepted that people will try things. I bet you will not see as many males from early teen years to some with gray/graying hair participating in this activity and definitely not any other females,
    other than African American.

    For the most part, this does not put you into the category of being seen as much a criminal, as much as it does one who has made the choice to live in self imposed stupidity and ignorance. Individuals
    who deliberately ignore or disregard important information or facts. Regardless of ethnicity, this combination it to be avoided and disregarded.

    Would you believe that you are viewed as individuals with no brain? Would you believe that you confirm that everyday? Would you believe that there are plenty of individuals who do things to you, that allow
    you to either confirm or disprove the previously stated facts? Would you believe the same is always confirmed far more than not? Of course not, you do not have the mental capacity to do so. Would you believe that to be the overall perceived state of your existence by the vast majority of non – African American people, racist or not?

    Know this. There are people that fully believe about you all that is written here. These individuals happily toss more degrading choices your way to see which one you will take hold of, fully knowing that
    you will take hold of several and you do not disappoint.

    PLEASE STOP THIS!

    An AWB who cares.

    Below: Similar incidents are an everyday thing!?

    I witnessed five African American males, running from the police. Each had their pants hanging down to mid thigh. While they were running, if you call it that, not one of these African American men
    would or could think of pulling their pants up so they could get away!?

    While catching a local train, I saw two African American men getting on the train. Both had their pants so far down that neither of them could lift their legs up to negotiate the steps onto the train. Both
    men decided to pull themselves up on the train as if their legs were paralyzed, instead of pulling their pants up to step up on the train!?

    Just imagine the comments that followed.

    Now with several states passing laws making it known that individuals who dress in the manner can be, will be and are being fined and arrested. Most of these individuals still do not seem to want to pull
    their pants up!? Your NAACP is calling this legislation racist!? Maybe there are racist undertones to this. If there are, still, there is nothing wrong with people saying, at least pull your cloths up and
    appear like a respectable human being. Ain’t that a hoot. In this matter, from the vast majority of the articles I have read and individuals conversed with, it seems that many people care about your
    appearance, on all sides of this issue, far more than just calling it racist, even the racist!? Others demanding of you to be admirable, regardful, moderate but competent, fairly good, high – minded, high –
    principled, highly respectable determined that we will do whatever it takes to get you there is by some called being racist!?

    A comment I head. (Cleaned up to be posted)

    Why don’t they just take a big red bulb, one they can stick up their butt crack, while the bulb part hangs out through a slit in the back of their undies. A bulb that starts blinking at night. Or at least one they can attach to their undies. That’s how they are viewed anyway.

    Better yet, whenever you see photos of those guys, be sure to include a big red bulb hanging from their butt crack, through their undies. They are too stupid to see it as insulting. Most likely, a few months
    later, all of them will have a big red bulb hanging from their ass crack, through their undies and will find women that see this as attractive.

    They have no idea what they are doing is a left over from slavery sign letting their master, the masters buds, their sons know that these males are the one to shoot their juice in, if you feel so inclined.

    There are many others that you will never hear, because you are not in the skin of those who say or hear them on a daily basis.

    With all that is happening to African American people today and out of all the things in African American culture, that are great for everyone. Things that would make anyone proud, respected, greatly
    appreciated, admirable, regardful, moderate but competent, fairly good, high – minded, high – principled, highly respectable. I can easily think of at least 200, or you can just pick something off the web site listed below.

    http://www.enchantedlearning.com/inventors/black.shtml

    Long gone are the days when the vast majority of Black America was a great ally and formidable foe.

    The vast majority of Black America as a great ally and formidable foe. THAT IS DESPERATELY NEEDED!!

    • Some very interesting points and things to think about in what you wrote. Thanks for adding to the discourse here.

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