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.Yeah, that's dropping some knowledge.
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.
It's about your character - what you DO - not the clothes you wear or the words you say.
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