Lookin’ Like A Fool Wit Yo Pants On The Ground!
General Larry Platt is my newest countercultural hero. By “countercultural” I don’t mean promoting street piracy and ignorance. The counterculture his song “Pants On The Ground ” advocates is dignity not disrespect http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl_HvEHSlxQ&feature=related. Self-respect is in painfully short supply for such an ” enlightened ” age. General Platt is an agile activist and senior citizen providing inspirational creative community policing. He’s singlehandedly launched the most successful frontal assault on this foul fad to date.
Another countercultural crusader, Hip Hop Government, has a Stop Sagging billboard campaign http://thehypemagazine.blogspot.com/2008/01/community-organization-hip-hop.html. This welcome relief combats inner city devolution toward new annual lows. Its crass appeal even has youth of all colors following this fad, a most unwelcome brand of integration. Reclaiming the culture reclaims communities written off as hopeless. Our music, fashion trends and other cultural capital are potential roadmaps out of dead end thug and ho conditioning. Being dignified isn’t being boring. Conscious Rap and Christian Hip Hop prove good beats can accompany equally good content. The airwaves and internet have become weapons of mass destruction against inner city communities. We can reprogram their content and summarily reprogram the inner city. Our conservatives, libertarians and other Right types need to enter pop culture’s free fire zone. Blogging and conferences are half the battle. Popular culture is the last stronghold on the horizon.
I’ve promoted model contests and assisted local recording artists who celebrated some form of higher development. Modern Black life isn’t endless real world episodes of bad videos instigating even worse headlines. An activist friend once suggested we work with rappers to put positive monologues on mix tape Cd’s. Those we want to reach have to be approached in their medium. The chitlin’ circuit of conferences reaches one segment of the community. Walking the streets; working events and collaborating with urban creatives reaches our most imperiled demographic. This is yet another type of community policing. It’s not likely to be born from federally funded studies or white papers. It’s a streets up solution instead of suites down. This audience is where few middle class folks of any color dare tread. The mean streets stay so until we bring the counterculture of dignity there.
General Larry Platt is a surprise standard bearer for this counterculture. Please note he wasn’t produced by think tanks far removed from America’s Hoodscape. Don’t get me wrong conventions and braintrusts play their role in saving the Hood. it’s just he took the cultural high ground and placed dignity center stage. Kids who never thought twice about this fad now have competing food for thought.
This stakeholder said what many sane Black folks privately lament after seeing too many young men ( and women !?! ) ” lookin’ like a fool wit’ yo’ pants on the ground! ”
God bless you brother. I proudly share your countercultural DNA.