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Here you have the Premier Entrepreneur of the Hip Hop Generation founder of Def Jam records which was home to Run DMC, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and SLAYER whose apparently no where near being too Bougie to let his pants sag.  As if that had anything to do with who he is as a person, as if it proved the content of his character, or his intellect, or was evidence of his giving spirit  - or not.

Saggin pants means about as much as wearing khaki's with flip-flops means.  But apparently not  for Don Lemon especially after he whined and cried last week that Simmon's dissed him.  "Boo" to the "hoo", Senor Don Fashionista!

Simmons: Yes, it's true that sagging pants came from jail, but some whore had to invent the miniskirt right? Jane Fonda still wears one, even though she's older [Ed. And still looks good! My ridiculously briilliant Irish/British/Manx/Russian Wife of 22 years informs me that British fashion designer Mary Quant invented the Mini-Skirt in her King's Road, Chelsea Clothing Shop in London in 1964 - I'm a blessed man!]  Whatever the Fuck. [Don Lemon] was probably a guy who wore a suit as a child. And God Bless him but he didn't invent the internet [Right, We all know Al Gore did that by helping to make a DARPA defense project a public work] - he didn't do shit..  He's a talking head - I'm not knocking him. He's a straight guy [not really "Straight', but square and scoldy, YES!], who thinks everyone should be like him. But kids are individuals, they need self expression and individual expression.
Seriously, if there's someone the kids should be emulating, is it Russell Simmons whose built an enormous financial empire while being an incredible activist or is it Don Lemon, Scoldy Talking Head?

Here's the full interview Simmon's talks about President Obama, the recent change in U.S. Drug Policy announced by Attorney General Eric Holder, his own personal involvement in Occupy (he actually did spend a night a Zuchotti Park), Public Funding of Elections, the Prison Industrial Complex, Activism, Veganism, Meditation, Spiritualism, the virtues of Faith, the benefits of self-less giving, and much more.

Quite seriously, if you can spare a full 26 minutes of your life - listen closely to this interview.  Although it's not really an interview, it's more like a multi-leveled not FUCKING Safe for Work Rant of Enlightenment.  It's eomething.  The Second time I listened to it I walked away glowing and inspired.  People, particularly Black people, need to be hearing this.

I have one main comment of my own about this entire "saggin" thing that Russell hints at, but doesn't complete.  Saggin Pants is a STATEMENT of solidarity on some levels about the systematic criminalization of Black youth.  Lemon decries it as part of "Jail culture", but he doesn't examine why people may wind up with an affinity for Jail culture after they've seen decades of their fathers, and their uncles and their brothers and their sons caught up in the Prison Industrial Complex that Simmons talks about.  Just like the Daishiki, just like the defiant Afro and Beret of the Black Panthers, part of the reason that the "sag" endures is the fact that the systematic bulk criminalization of black youth endures.

Changing the fashion doesn't change that reality, but changing the reality might change the fashion.

A couple highlights...

Simmons: Black kids are 8 times more likely to go jail for using the same drug crime as anyone else.  The families we destroyed, the trillions we spent sending children to jail which basically trains young people to become criminals, with no chance for survival and no chance for a job.

...

And the language issue. My dad became a professor of Black History.  He called me the N-word all the time. "Nigga go to church.  Nigga go to school, you better not come home without a 'A' Nigga." That's what my father said to me. He was  civil rights activist, he was arrested many times.  He inspired me to be an activist, to try and change the world for the better. If you told him he couldn't use the N-Word, he would probably turn over in his grave.  If you don't have a direct relationship to a slave, you probably shouldn't say that word, but if you have come out of that suffering... you have a right to express yourself. Saying the N-word has nothing to do with dropping a wrapper on the floor.  Nothing to do with it, it [Lemon's critique] is disdain for the community. Completely misunderstanding them.

...

My brother used to dress like a Black Panther, with the Afro and beret and my dad would say "You're gonna get hit in the head, Nigga, dressing like that, but I'm proud of you anyway".

...

If you want to use your bully pulpit, support Eric Holder's work to change - educate people on the Prison Industrial Complex. You want to use your bully pulpit. Change the Systematic Racism that keeps people from getting an opportunity. If you want to use your bully pulpit, Use it to really support those activist who see fault with our system who want to make change.  Don't blame the kids. or parents for letting wear the their pants... It's [their creativity] that creates things like the internet [Actually DARPA & Al Gore!] all these creative companies.  They don't come from wearing a suit from childhood.

Yeah, that's dropping some knowledge.

It's about your character - what you DO - not the clothes you wear or the words you say.

Vyan

While you're pondering that Join Color of Change Campaign to Repeal Stand Your Ground Laws and get your asses Registered to Vote [Share the QR below], check out the Dreamdefenders.org and BlackYouthProject.com because at a certain point we have to start seriously thinking and acting on what happens #AfterTrayvon

Originally posted to Vyan on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 06:57 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Vyan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badscience, cotterperson

    you need to add http:
    into your embed code  

    src="http:/www.youtube.com/v-Y6a5reOO5w?version=3&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true">

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:13:09 AM PDT

  •  I imagine people are serving life sentences for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badscience, TracieLynn, stunvegas

    the exact same things Robert Downey Jr. and Lindsay Lohan did. And yet Robert Downey Jr and Lindsay Lohan remain silent.

    Not to just pick on these two. I am sure for every bad boy / bad girl famous person there are many rotting in prison for the exact same stuff. And yet they remain silent.

  •  Excellent. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vyan, cotterperson, Meteor Blades

    This is one reason I come to Daily Kos. I look to be enlightened by others because their expertise and world/life experience has something important to tell me.

    Thank you for posting this.

  •  so this is... (0+ / 0-)

    okay?

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...

    It's about your character - what you DO - not the clothes you wear or the words you say.
    this is what he did.
    tung sol

    ps lemon is a tool as well

    There is a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.--Oscar Levant

    by tung sol on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:19:10 AM PDT

  •  Wonder what Mr. Scoldy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    ..thinks about the black & gray tattoo phenomenon.

    That - Came straight out of Cholo prison culture.

  •  I think you do a disservice to young people (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tung sol, stunvegas, VClib

    if you make these kinds of statements in some absolutist way:  

    Saggin pants means about as much as wearing khaki's with flip-flops means.
    It's about your character - what you DO - not the clothes you wear or the words you say.
    This is not entirely true.  For the vast majority of us, our appearance -- the way we dress -- is a choice we make to express a specific message.  For young people, it's usually about fitting in with a certain group of peers -- and the clothing choices are specifically designed to convey that.  Even "sagging pants" conveys a message. Young people choose to dress that way to fit in or convey a specific message about who they are.  

    Here's where I think too much of an emphasis on "it's not what you wear" is a disservice to young people. In the adult world, it often is partially about what you wear.  There are certain expectations about how you should dress in certain areas -- from music to medicine to business to law to the arts, etc.  The choices we make in our appearance are often the first message we send to others about who we are and how we want others to see us. So -- just as an example -- if a 21 year old is trying to get hired in a typical "business" environment, wearing  "saggy pants" to an interview sends the wrong message for that setting about who you are and how you want others to see you.  Similarly, wearing khakis and a button down shirt might send the wrong message for someone trying to get a job in music or the arts.

    So, I think it's a disservice to young people to convey some absolutist message about "it doesn't matter what you wear."  In many adult settings, it DOES matter.  There are times when you have more latitude about your appearance, and times -- when you want someone else to hire you, or to engage your services, or to take you seriously in that area -- that your clothing choices absolutely do matter.   Clothing of all kind is a choice that says something about  us and about how we want others to see us.  And I think  we owe it to young people to be honest about that.

    •  Well, it depends on what the message is (4+ / 0-)

      doesn't it? As I mention in this diary, even you can make the argument that it's a "jail thing" there's actually a damn good reason that people might want to show solidarity with that from a rebellious standpoint and they should have the right and freedom to do that.

      So, I think it's a disservice to young people to convey some absolutist message about "it doesn't matter what you wear."  In many adult settings, it DOES matter.  There are times when you have more latitude about your appearance, and times -- when you want someone else to hire you, or to engage your services, or to take you seriously in that area -- that your clothing choices absolutely do matter.   Clothing of all kind is a choice that says something about  us and about how we want others to see us.  And I think  we owe it to young people to be honest about that.
      We aren't talking about people in a business setting, or at work, or trying to get hired.  That's not what Don Lemon was saying, he was saying even in their own private life, on their own time they should dress the way HE SAYS they should dress and frankly THAT'S BULLSHIT.

      I mean look, I come at this not just as being a Black Guy - but from being a ROCK-N-ROLL black guy.  When I feel like it I dress like Axl Rose and as far as I'm concerned even if it were someone in an "Adult Setting" (although I can and usuall wear a SUIT for an interview) is gonna give me shit over it, then I think they just confirmed that Their an Asshole.  to me, those are the people who deserve to be offended.

      No need to wonder anymore, shallow ignorance confirmed.

      If I show up for work as myself (excluding something where there is a uniform involved) and they can't handle it, then I Don't Want to Work in that Fucked-Up Environment Anyway. Nobody needs that judgmental, conformist lemming shit in their lives. This is a battle/argument that goes all the way back to the 60's and as far as I'm concerned, it ain't over. It's a first amendment issue. It's a freedom issue, I'm standing with that. Always have.  Always will.

      •  I have no problem with an individual (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        making this decision:

        If I show up for work as myself (excluding something where there is a uniform involved) and they can't handle it, then I Don't Want to Work in that Fucked-Up Environment Anyway.
        As long as you recognize that, as a practical matter, there often is a very real connection between how you choose to dress and your ability to get a job in certain areas. As long as you recognize that dressing in a certain way will limit your options. As long as you recognize that employers and clients will -- and have every right to -- judge you in part based on the message you choose to convey about yourself through your choices in your clothing.  

        It's because the saggy pants are often associated with "the jail thing" (as you put it) that young people need to know that, while they have much more latitude in their private lives, wearing saggy pants associated with "the jail thing" is absolutely going to limit their options for job and/or a career (unless their chosen job/career is in one of the area, like music, where the appearance expectations are different).  I can tell you that, for example, if you walk into an office wearing clothing that is associated with "the jail thing," the people who own that business have every right to tell you that they don't want your chosen message to be part of their business -- that while you are free to use clothing to send whatever message you want on your on time, you will convey the business' message while they are paying you, or you won't have a job.

        You may choose to forgo employers who have certain expectations for the appearance of their employees, and perhaps your services are in demand enough so that you will do fine. And that may well work if your job/career and not dependent on someone else deciding to hire you or to engage your services.  But young people making those choices need to know that, if they want someone else to hire them or engage their services, the message they send through their chosen appearance will matter.  Giving young people the impression that it "shouldn't matter what you wear" is fine in your personal life, but it is NOT fine in many jobs or commercial or business or professional settings.

        I'll give you an example.  I'm a partner in a law firm that employees both lawyers and non-legal staff (secretaries, paralegals, accounting, IT, mailroom, etc.)  We as a firm choose to convey a certain message with our firm, and we want that message -- business-like and professional -- to be conveyed by all our employees.  If someone applied for one of our non-legal positions in "saggy pants" associated with "the jail thing," they would not get the job, because of the message they are choosing to convey to us. (And our African-American partners agree with that.)  It's the same thing as if a woman showed up for an interview in an inappropriately-revealing outfit. (And I'm a woman.)  I've seen both kinds of things happen.

        In your personal life (unless you are in an area where your personal life and your occupation overlaps) you can convey whatever message you want through your appearance. But when you want someone else to hire you or engage your services, you have to be aware of the message you are sending with your choices in your appearance and recognize that certain choices are absolutely going to limit your options.

        And I think we owe it to young people to make that clear.

        •  I think you're getting off track... (3+ / 0-)

          this issue isn't about office attire.  You're point is fine, a business has a right to project it's imagine when their employees are at work - BUT NOT IN EVERY MOMENT OF THEIR LIVES.

          Again, Don Lemon didn't say "pull up your pants" to get a job.  He Didn't Talk About How to Get A Job and still hasn't three weeks later.  He just said he didn't like it, so don't do it.  That's where the core of this debate is, what you can and can't do in your own free time not how to dress for an interview or how to dress when you're at work.

  •  If anybody has lived on hand me downs (0+ / 0-)

    And couldn't find your belt you were literally assed out

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