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Rapper’s effort to raise sagging pants homophobic

Dallas is being lectured on fashion by – drum roll, please – a rapper.

Dooney Da’ Priest has joined efforts with Dallas city councilman Dwaine Caraway in a campaign to dissuade youths from wearing sagging pants.

Caraway hit a snag in October when his proposal for a city ordinance that would ban saggin’ – wearing pants under the waistline to reveal underwear – was labeled unconstitutional.

Da’ Priest took up Caraway’s cause and wrote “Pull Up Your Pants,” a song that links sagging pants to homosexuality.

“You walk the street with your pants way down low. I dunno, looks to me you on the down low,” read the lyrics.

“On the down low” is slang for a secret sexual encounter between two men.

Caraway gave the song the green light after Da’ Priest changed the chorus line from “I think it’s gay” to “I think it’s rude.”

Billboards around town with the message “It’s rude, not cool … walking around showin’ your behind to other dudes” are also part of the campaign.

According to Da’ Priest, young people wear their pants low without knowing that, in prison, it signifies letting other men know one is available for sex.

“In Dallas, in some of the schools, some of the kids are starting to pull their pants up because of the song,” Da’ Priest said in a Dallas Morning News article.

“I was just trying to make it uncool,” he said.

Discouraging saggin’ through homophobia? What an achievement.

Da’ Priest’s claim that he didn’t mean to offend gay people rings hollow considering the intent of the song is to shame people who wear their pants low by relating the fad to homosexuality. Furthermore, Da’ Priest encourages racial stereotyping by tying sagging pants to being black: “Behind bars it’s a code for the ‘N’ word. The word saggin spelled backward is the ‘N’ word.”

It should be noted that Da Priest is also black.

While I agree there is no pressing need to so blatantly display one’s skivvies to the public, Caraway and Da’ Priest have breached the lines of propriety in their attempts to correct this behavior.

Sagging pants are a distasteful fashion trend, yes, but more deserving of opprobrium is Caraway and Da’ Priest’s questionable campaign for decency.

The councilman and the self-proclaimed gospel rapper might think their crusade is doing the community a favor, but what it’s really doing is nourishing bigotry – a more injurious offense than wearing low-riders.

Julieta Chiquillo is a sophomore news-editorial journalism major from San Salvador, El Salvador. Her column appears Tuesdays.

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