There are so many secondary issues that have raised their ugly head in the wake of the George Zimmerman trial and one of them is how conservatives feel empowered to use this time to start berating Blacks about crime (I have retired the phrase “Black-on-Black crime” from my lexicon) with Bill O’Reilly leading the charge.
Last week CNN’s Don Lemon decided he wanted to get in on the fun and not only endorsed O’Reilly taking the Black community to task, Lemon said he wasn’t going far enough. Lemon went on a seven-minute tirade ripping into sagging pants, out of wedlock pregnancies,
The babies being born outside of marriage is an issue. The drop-out rate of Black kids who don’t finish school is an issue. The mass incarceration of Black folks in prisons for this phony War on Drugs is an issue. The negative aspects of rap music and hip-hop culture is an issue. The trash that litters Lemon’s neighborhood is his problem, not a national crisis.
Oh, that’s right, Dandy Don didn’t mention that. My bad Guess that’s NOT an issue for him. Or Calvin Candie a.k.a. Bill O’ Reilly.
Thank goodness we have a Jay Smooth to cut through the crap.
The LAST thing Black people want or need to address their issues is the unwanted and unneeded from White conservatives who have a history of making racist remarks like O’Reilly (you could look it up. I did). The NEXT-to-last thing Black people want or need to address their issues are “Me Too, Boss” Negroes like Don Lemon blessing them out.
“Pull up your pants?” I don’t like brothers sagging’ either, but that’s a matter of aesthetics and a dumb fashion statement. It’s not as serious as the Republicans gutting every and any program for social uplift. “Pick up your trash?” I live in a mixed race, but predominantly White neighborhood too, and I can attest to the fact that White people throw their trash on the ground too. But I pick it up and throw it away. I don’t go on television to bitch about it like some anchormen using the airwaves for their petty grievances.
Charing Ball, at Madame Noire debunked Lemon’s “sagging pants came from prison” riff as an urban myth.
While it is (possibly, but not confirmed) true that the belt-less pants sagging had its roots in prison culture, the prison “style” has less to do with a prison homosexual mating call and more to do with unavailability of belts and shoe strings due to fears of rampant suicides. Likewise, the mass introduction of the prison jumpsuit might have eliminated the sagging problem. However, those in prison, who do sag now, do so for the same reason that the average kid on the street does so: out of comfort and because of a pop culture trend, which was ironically influenced by the plight of the belt-less prison inmate.
This saggy pants-prison homo meme has even been debunked by urban legend investigation site, Snopes.com, which attributes the spread of it, as well as other variations, on how easily it plays on folks’ already existing personal bias towards the fashion trend as well as folks’ own fear of homosexuals, or being perceived as homosexuals. And as most observers of popular culture would note, the loose and droopy fit of male trousers has always had a place in black male fashion. Before there was belt-less saggy pants, there were baggy-crotch harem pants, popularized by rapper and free-movement dancer MC Hammer. And way before that, there was the Zoot suit, which has its roots in the young black jazz culture of the 1940s. While sagging, loose, and droopy pants were always seen as counter-culture, men today profess comfort and trend as likely motivators for the style rather than some sort of moniker of their sexuality (unless you count the peacocking in your trendy best).
Charing was right to call out Lemon on his dog-piling on Black folks. If he wants to co-sign O’Reilly that’s his problem. Another problem for him is he just gave another reason to not watch CNN, the Conservative News Network.
I’m waiting for the O’Reilly Talking Points lecturing White people to stop being serial killers, stop walking into schools and slaughtering little kids and teachers, stop bombing marathons, stop dropping atomic bombs on people of color, stop producing, consuming and getting addicted to drugs, stop producing and enjoying the sickest and vilest forms of pornography including kiddie porn and stop running around the planet trying to convert everyone to their chosen religion and God and killing them if they don’t.
I expect I’ll be waiting for some time, but if it does happen, I expect Don Lemon won’t have a thing to say about it because criticizing White people for their dysfunctional behavior never happens.
What Lemon and O’Reilly should know is nobody asked for their advice and those they are railing against are not going to take their advice. O’Reilly doesn’t care about these teenagers and they know he’s a tin-plated phony Lemon might be sincere, but his “me too” approach only comes off as lecturing and judgmental., not helpful. Lemon should know by now talking about the problems of the Black community and smugly proclaiming a bit of personal responsibility will cure everything doesn’t work, never reaches the target audience and changes nothing.
This time won’t be any different.
- Ladies and Gentlemen…Don Lemon (thoughtsontherocks.wordpress.com)
- CNN anchor Don Lemon: Bill O’Reilly ‘doesn’t go far enough’ in criticizing African-Americans (rawstory.com)
- MSNBC’s Goldie Taylor Calls CNN’s Don Lemon a ‘Turn Coat Mofo’ for Agreeing with Bill O’Reilly (1800politics.com)
- Don Lemon, Co.’s ‘Saggy Logic’ Defies Reality (praisecharlotte.com)