Beware tawdry tush-titans, an ex-cop-turned-lawmaker is on your tail.
A salute to state Sen. Eric Adams (D-WF) for trying to get to the bottom of a prison-friendly fashion fad which is lowering the bar for good taste on the streets — buffoonish, skivvy-baring, ultra-low-slung pants.
The lawmaker has such a beef with the predominantly black boxers-or-briefs crowd that he has spent $2,000 of his campaign funds on a YouTube video and several giant billboards in Brooklyn, particularly Crown Heights, imploring foolish fashionistas to pull’em up for Pete’s sake.
The advertisements, depicting two braggadocios with their boxered-backsides on display, advises: “Stop the Sag! We are better than this! If we raise our pants, we raise our image.”
As a former NYPD captain and co-founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, Adams is better versed than most in the decay of inner-city black youngsters who started the tacky trend which now is being copied by others.
While refreshing to hear of an African-American leader raising consciousness in his community’s comatose youth, it will take more than a few bulletins to raise the public stature of young black men who routinely degrade themselves and their community in public. Who among us has not witnessed young blacks marauding subway trains, calling each other “nigger” and dissing the society which offers them advantages that their parents have not, or cannot?
Adams should have also called for a good citizenship campaign among young African Americans, impressing the merits of a lawful life so that racial profiling and its associated curses can cease to dominate the public consciousness. According to the US Justice Department, homicide is the leading cause of death among black males, ages 15-34, and in the period spanning 1976 to 2005, 94 percent of black victims were killed by blacks.
Of course, as far as fashion vogues go, low-slung pants — borne from the 1990s hip hop “gangsta” music surge — are a stale breeze compared to the typhoons bred by some of history’s other fashion-forward crazes.
In 10th century China, after a royal whore danced in shoes shaped like a Lotus blossom, wealthy families started to bind and break the feet of their young daughters to create dainty “Lotus feet.”
In a trend that lasted that lasted 1,000 years, beginning in 500 AD, prosperous European females distinguished themselves from the lower classes by removing hair from their face, hairline and head — a labor-intensive chore which gave them an alien-like appearance.
And, in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, Italian women began to wear what became known as the precursors to high heels: 20-inch-tall chopines, also known as clogs, which protected shoes and clothing from getting soiled outdoors. The trend later became a symbolic reference to the rank and stature of the wearer because high chopines allowed women to literally loom over others in superiority. In Hamlet, Shakespeare even refers to a lady as being “nearer to heaven … by the altitude of her chopine.”
Never before has a fashion, though, become as synonymous with crime as low-slung pants — and that’s a problem for everybody.
Pants that have to be constantly babied at the crotch by waddling walkers dumb down an entire community, point to who African Americans are as a people and beg the question: Do people with a brain really have to be told to pull their pants up?
©2010 Community News Group
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