At Least Their Boxers are Clean
Twenty years ago I used to hang with this crazy white chick named Lisa. She called herself Lisa-Lisa (like Cult Jam) to give herself some flavor although she was just a waspy white girl from the burbs. She even cut her hair like Lisa-Lisa, too, and when people talked to us on the phone before they met us they always assumed she was the black girl and I was the white one. She loved the racial confusion and would always would always point out with a swanging overtone, how much more blacker she was than myself. It wasn’t a surprise the brothers loved her.
And she loved them back.
When she first began dating brothers they were innocuous little lightweights but the more she dated she grew to need something a bit harder. They could be pretty or they could be ugly but mostly they had to have a Gerri curl, a third leg, and be smooth, definitely smooth.
It was in dating the smooth brothers she began to notice a certain way some of the guys she dated wore their pants. We were walking down the street when she decided to let her pull her Bermuda shorts down to the middle of her ass, letting her panties show a bit. The elastic waistband held them in place.
“Ain’t this how they do it?” she asked, shaking her ass as she turned to corner. “Hell yea, whaddup tho?” She threw her hands up at a passing car as we laughed at her.
It was the late eighties and only a few black guys were wearing saggy pants. And they weren’t really low, just enough to let the tops show. We weren’t really sure why it was done; we had heard black guys out on the west coast wore their pants baggy and saggy to hide weapons. Years later I would hear the explanation it was because in prison men didn’t wear belts so they were used to wearing their prison issue oversized pants in a way that they had to keep pulling them up. But when you are young you don’t care. You do what everyone else does because everyone else is doing it. If you don’t you might get clowned no matter how stupid you might look.
Hat 2 da back I gotta kick my pants down real low
That’s the kinda girl I am
That’s the kinda girl I am
Everyone else began pulling them down, way down. A few girls, but mostly guys. As the years wore on the latest teens have tried to take the pants lower. They have belts but they are used to keep the pants where they want them. A few years ago I saw a kid with his jeans right above his knee, all the material was bunched up from his knees to his shins. I was in my early 30s so of course I thought he looked stupid; I’m sure he thought he was the epitome of cool.
And now, twenty years after seeing the first low trou sported as fashion lawmakers across the country are trying to stop it. In Jacksonville, FL the city commissioners toughened the indecent-exposure ordinance. So have cities in Louisiana, Georgia and New Jersey. Chicago is the latest place to enact a law against sagging pants.
Some disagree with the bans. Former executive director of the N.A.A.C.P. Benjamin Chavis told New York Times, “I think to criminalize how a person wears their clothing is more offensive than what the remedy is trying to do.”
The American Civil Liberties Union is also in opposition to the dress codes. 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.”
Whether its a form of expression or an affront to decency will probably be continued to be debated in the courts of law. But one thing I know for sure, once this look below starts to catch on everyone will be up in arms.