The Sad Truth about Saggin Pants – Article Example

The paper "The Sad Truth about Saggin Pants" is a worthy example of an article on social science. Greg Mathis has addressed a very important issue in his piece ‘The sad truth about saggin’ pants.’ He looks at the implications of the youth adopting and emulating cultural symbols that they have no real knowledge of; how by adopting detrimental symbols they are perpetuating the sorry conditions that they live in. He talks about the roots of the popular trend where young men wear their pants way below their waist as a sign of being ‘cool.’ The trend in fact started in prisons where the inmates did not have belts to keep their pants in their right place. They would come back to their ghetto homes and just continue to wear their garb in the same fashion; others picked it up and replicated this fashion. He speaks of how emulating such trends perpetuate a prison mentality and is extremely detrimental and destructive for the black youth. Judge Mathis makes an interesting point through his article. I have to say that I agree with what he is saying somewhat. He makes a very strong argument for his case by giving us not just the problem but also the root of the problem. He hits the nail on the head when he says, “The reality is that there is no glory in living in poverty, going to prison, being killed young or contracting a sexually transmitted disease, all frequent consequences of the thug culture,” (Mathis, 2008). I disagree on one point, however, to begin with, he says that replicating these actions without understanding them is detrimental for the youth. However, unless they are aware of the roots, how can they harm them? The problem is that they associate strength and courage with imprisonment and that is what destroys them, and that is also what needs to be changed. Wearing their pants low or girls wearing thongs is not the problem, the problem is the mentality of knowing the roots of these trends and still indulging in them. He is right when he says that the youngster treat time at prison as another form of education for life when they should really be focusing on their real education – the one they receive at schools. Prisons do nothing to elevate the status of their lives or give them anything that they can use to make themselves productive or even happy. If anything it makes then antisocial and infuses in them a “street mentality” which only harms them (Mathis, 2008). Prison is, in fact, more like legalized slavery according to Mathis. Inmates work for less than minimum wages and big corporations benefit off of them. So the glamour and luxury that most such people attach to prisons are actually wrong because in the end they don’t come out as kids but only someone’s servants. Making only a $1 per day is not exactly living a big life. Mathis also goes onto say that the “current generation of young blacks is one of the most talented we’ve ever seen,” (Mathis, 2008) and he is undoubtedly correct in this assumption. The number of great black leaders, artists, teachers etcetera is only mounting. The only thing stopping more talent from coming forward is the fact that they don’t believe in themselves enough. They are more interested in proving their strength and rightly so, but there are better ways of doing that. Mathis made a mistake because he spoke at length about problems and their root causes but did not talk as much about their solutions. He then talks about a town in Georgia where saggin’ pants were outlawed. While that was one way of dealing with it, a more understanding approach would benefit. Forcing the youth to give up something like this won’t make any sense to them, on top of their notion that they are being oppressed, actions like these can only add fuel to the fire. Mathis proposes a solution when he says, A better approach might be to embrace, educate and challenge our youth on why they should avoid fads and fashions that would be disrespectful to themselves and their community. We should inform them that saggin, when spelled backward, describes the type of person they don't want to be.” (Mathis, 2008). And I agree with his approach, there is no better way of making them realize where they are going wrong. Mathis also addresses the girls, as he does the boys because it isn’t only the men that are indulging in ludicrous trends, women with their thongs are emulating prostitutes, but there no evidence of women going into prostitution because they take pole dancing exercise classes or wear thongs. Hence, Mathis doesn’t make much of a point here. The article is a great piece of advice for the young ones and can mobilize many to make a positive change in their lives. However, the audience that Mathis is trying to address most certainly does not spend time ‘reading,’ a mode such as the television or the radio would have been better suited for him to achieve his goal. This article does, however, make a mark in one's mind and although the impact may be small right now, there is a high likelihood it will snowball into something bigger later on.