I've been unable to escape this campaign against the popular fashion trend called "sagging" by Dallas based rapper "Dooney Da Priest". It's been written about on numerous blogs and even mainstream media outlets have begun to cover this story. While opposition to this widespread urban fashion trend is not new, Dooney Da Priest's approach to halt what he views as "unmanly" has caused quite a reaction from those within the gay community.
In lyrics to Pull Your Pants Up, the theme song being heard around the country on his campaign to shed light on the origins of sagging, the Christian rapper and member of Dallas mega -church The Potter's House under the leadership of T.D. Jakes had this to say;
You walk the streets with your pants way down low
I don't know
Looks to me you're on the down low
Some of ya'll think its gangsta to show your back
On behalf of real men we ain't feelin that
We don't understand man cause it shock's us
Can you make us understand why you show your boxers?
If you stand up straight
Bet your pants fall
Might as well walk around with your pants off
Be a real man stand up
Is that your underwear man?
Pull your pants up
I'm a grown man on my grind trying to shine
How you gonna grind when your mind showing your behind
I think it's gay but some of ya'll think it's cool
Walking around showing your behind to other dudes
You look retarded, degenerate, and real odd
Yeah you hard but not hard to get a real job
If you allow yourself to get caught up in the hard beat of this song when you hear it then it's very possible to miss the homophobic punches by Dooney Da Priest in an attempt to scare the young men "straight" who've adopted sagging as their personal style. In one verse and a chorus he questions their masculinity, accuses them of being gay and on the down low and is personally offended along with all of the other "real men” at the sight of their boxers outside of their pants.
I guess when legislation fails to criminalize sagging and stern lectures from authority figures fall on deaf ears the only option left is to pull the gay card. What's sad is this campaign has good intentions but it relies on stereotypes and fear to achieve the desired result.
I'm not necessarily fond of sagging and that's mainly because growing up my father would have never allowed me to leave the house in such disarray. But according to Dooney Da Priest gay men are not "real men" and what better way to get a young man to do what you want than by emasculating him and attaching a word that is tied to everything a young black man doesn't want to be... gay. And this can even be said for some of us who identify as homosexual but struggle with internalized homophobia.
I wish I could say this song surprises me but it doesn't. This mentality has ingrained itself in the hyper-masculine minds of men of all races and it's reflected in hip-hop culture.
A word of advice to Dooney Da Priest, instead of using "gay panic" to convince young men that sagging is inappropriate try explaining to them the reality of the world we live in and how first impressions are lasting impressions. Explain to them that they'll have to work harder and run ten times faster than the next man in their Brooks Brother's suit and not their True Religion's if they want to claim their piece of the American Dream. Explain to them that their masculinity is not defined by their outer garments or their sexual orientation but by their character.
Simply put, just tell the truth and allow your personal prejudice to take a back seat.