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SAGGING JEANS? CRIMINAL INTENT. Go directly to Jail!!!

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THE NEWS: Teens (and in some cases adult men) are the target of a new crack down!! The “Pull your pants up law O.K. It’s not really CALLED that read on and you’ll get my drift. There is even a cartoon I’m assuming for those offenders who are too young to read (or just can’t) to prevent the CRIMINAL OFFENSE!!!

THE ISSUE: Sagging pants are a fashion trend in the hip-hop world and have been around for quite some time.

Extreme sagging! or lowriding

Extreme sagging! or lowriding

THE PROBLEM: Some powers that be see this trend as indecency and a threat to the world as they know it.

THE HISTORY: Historically, it is thought that sagging pants began as a reflection of prison culture. Belts were confiscated upon entry into the home-away-from-home and men were left with sagging dungarees. Gang members began to emulate this style in protest or possibly in homage to their incarcerated brothers (who knows) or maybe they were just too lazy to pull them up. Whatever the case may be, this fashion statement caught on and has been around since the early 90’s according to Wikipedia.

THE CONTROVERSY: The trend, started by African-Americans, is said to be yet another case of “racial profiling.” The American Civil Liberties Union has spoken out against the practice of targeting these individuals b/c it will most likely target young Black males.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
Absolutely nothing if you don’t care, don’t have children interested in music. Young people of all races, especially those that embrace the hip-hop culture OR rap, also seem to embrace this hip-hop fashion statement. In fact, the fashion trend is as rampant and growing as the hip-hop community. Yes, the trend may have started out as a “Black Thing” but let’s just say it’s no longer isolated to one group or another. This means that your children may be committing a criminal act before they leave the house!

THE IRONY: Law makers may have to arrest their own teens or young adults.

MY THOUGHTS ON THE MATTER: My first thought when I read the article in Newsweek Magazine was that this was a joke. Then I read further… It’s not that I AGREE with this fashion faux pas, but I don’t disagree either. Not only is this a slippery slope but, who cares? Aren’t there bigger fish to fry? If you don’t like it don’t look!! If it offends you as a storeowner post a sign similar to the “NO SHOES, NO SHIRT, NO SERVICE” and call it a day. Making this a CRIMINAL offense is not only targeting a group of children it is also teaches them that we are hypocritical. Have you seen the red carpet lately? The front of a multitude of magazines? SKIN is in!!! Why are these more acceptable images:

If kids see this as a threat to their sense of “personal style” be careful and beware!! Our kids are much smarter and more resourceful than ever. This is a technology age and they might just get the idea to ban together! What will you do if they all decide to wear their clothes that way? Will you arrest them all? Close down schools?

Don’t get mad at me I’m just tellin’ it like it T-I-Tiz!!!

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Baby DADDY Drama!!! Is Erykah Badu Exempt from Criticism?

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Erykah\'s 3rd baby daddy?

Erykah's 3rd baby daddy?

Erykah Badu’s fans have been hitting her hard with criticism b/c she has not been wed and has a third “Baby Daddy” and he’s THE THIRD rapper that she has chosen to have children with. Erykah responded to the matter by holding her own and quite definitively on ‘Okayplayer’ ending her tyrade with “kiss my placenta.” Although her reply is a testament to her skills as an entertainer, I don’t think Ms. Badu is exempt from all reproach. Essentially, Erica is a Baby Mama for the third time!!!

BEWARE THIS IS A LONG ONE!

FIRST, My Soap Box: I CAN NOT STAND A CELEBRITY THAT WHINES ABOUT BEING A CELEBRITY!!!!

One of the things I’ve been saying for so long about celebrities in general is what E. HUNTER said “I have no sympathy for those who seek the spotlight, but quickly get upset when that spotlight starts to burn.” Celebrities know average folk want to know about their larger than life lifestyles!!! IT’S HOW THEY MAKE THEIR MONEY!! If we aren’t interested in them they don’t get paid. This means any and ALL mistakes are subject to scrutiny. Does that make it right? Not really. But don’t whine about the good and the bad that comes with the job description.

OK BACK TO OUR SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING ….ERYKAH!–

I went to school with Erica and acted in a play or two with her and tended to shy away from her friendship b/c of her CHOICES!!! If I had known she was going to blow up maybe…. Lol! Don’t get me wrong…I love Erykah’s music! I love Erykah’s style! I love Erykah’s feminism! But, I would take pause before I emulate her lifestyle choices.

Role modeling: Unfortunately, in the black community celebrities are all that many young people have to look up to. Only 12% of this country’s 250 million people, the lack of role models and failing role models have more of an impact on the African American community than any other. 70% of fathers ARE NOT IN BLACK HOMES! What % of these fathers are NOT PARTICIPATING IN THE LIVES OF THEIR CHILDREN period?? How many of these children had parents with the same M.O.? Think of the implications. No reference point for creating relationships, maintaining relationships OR the non-fairytale reality of relationships. Relationships are HARD WORK and take 2 committed people. It’s like taking a highly skilled job and not having any training. He/she is fine, they are a dime piece, he can hoop, she can do the splits etc., he’s got a job, she’s a 36-24-36…are not qualifications for long-lasting relationships. Yet we jump into them without thinking everyday.

My vantage point: I was born out of wed-lock to a 20 year-old mother 1 of 9 (with confused father issues) and an unknown father who was in the Air Force. To this day, I HAVEN’T HEARD FROM HIM!!! I was fortunate or unfortunate (long story) enough to have a stepfather! I MYSELF AM NO SAINT! I had my son at 17…out of wed lock! My promise to him?… I would make sure he never felt like he was in a single-parent home!!

Never make a promise you can’t keep.

My son’s father died at 7 and the pressure was on to keep this promise. When there are father and son events–I can’t substitute for his father’s absence. In fact, I feel for him when father’s day rolls around every year to remind him of his loss. The fact that he can’t wake up in the morning and eat breakfast with his father or talk to him before he goes to sleep at night pains me. What about those fatherly conversations that he overhears or those that will never comes his way. I’ve always wondered how he felt. Yet, He has never complained or shown hurt. He’s more resilient than I ever knew. When John Q came out I knew there would be no other to champion my own child outside of myself. When it’s time to talk condoms and ladies, I try. But…again. He’s 19 years old now, I can’t seem to motivate him the way I know his father or another male could. I worry about his ability to create healthy relationships b/c of the choices I made. It really wasn’t fair to him.

So as you can see. I really don’t care about Erykah, I am concerned with the impact on the children. If the fathers are totally involved, Kudos to them. Hopefully, they have established a balance that works. Erykah HAPPENS to be one of the lucky ones where money isn’t an issue. Although important, MONEY is not the ONLY concern. When you have NO money issues you tend to be able to focus on other things such as your children’s well-being. Maybe they are showing how 2 parents can communicate effectively w/o being in live-in relationships. Ultimately, whether you and I like it or not…they are again living the life that 70% of us live and we are trying to rid our communities of…w/o seeing positive 2-parent home relationships.

Soap Box Time AGAIN: Just like OJ! I didn’t feel a particular connection with him b/c he’s black b/c I don’t KNOW him. I didn’t win a thing when he won his case. I was pleased to know that he didn’t get convicted just b/c he was black! In the same way, I don’t have any connection with Erykah. She doesn’t represent me unless I want her to.

PEOPLE: If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything!! It’s ok to have an opinion. It’s even o.k. to voice that opinion.

Currently, I’m a single woman who still hasn’t come across her prince charming (I’m not looking either). I can certainly understand or relate to Erykah’s place in life. I can respect her as a woman, mother, artist, and feminist. However, I would NOT have another child without having a two parent home.

That’s just ME TELLIN’ IT LIKE IT T-I-TIZ!!!.