Pull Up Your Pants

First of all,

my brother
my young brother
pull your pants up.
i want to make this clear.
no, I’m not your father, your pastor, probably not your teacher
no, I am not Don Lemon.
I am your brother
forget slacking
in ’92 we were mack daddying and daddy mackin’
with all our clothes ass backwards
I’ve seen the great fathers, husbands and businessmen my boyz have become
your clothes are not an indicator
of your intelligence or aptitude.

but pull your pants up
no, I won’t lie and say
the lint in your pocket
will be magically replaced by dollar bills
if you fasten the clasp
two notches higher
on your designer belt
in 1963,
you could barely fit a black power fist
into the space between his belt and his belly button
when Bayard Rustin lit the fire for the March for JOBS and justice
when the black unemployment rate was 2 times that of whites
seeing the elastic in your boxers 50 years later
is not the reason the the black unemployment rate
is still 2 times that of whites

but pull your pants up
I’m not one of those fools who thinks
that black people have to pull up their trousers
before they can complain about white supremacy,
bemoan the consistent police harassment
or oppose the prison industrial complex
I know that self empowerment
and fighting the system
are not mutually exclusive concepts

so pull your pants up
no, I’m not one of those respectable negroes
ranting about blacks in the ghetto
“taking responsibility for their actions”
on cable news,
when no one who slouches their pants
watches cable news
making the whole soliloquy
a poorly veiled plea to have his head patted
“I see you Don Lemon.  Good boy”

but pull your pants up
no, the cops don’t harass you because of your sagging pants,

Dr. King stayed suited and booted,
And no one in history was sharper than Marcus Garvey
But Hoover harassed them like he was a million Joan Rivers
And they were on the red carpet on Oscar night
I know white supremacy
Has made you feel like an outcast from “traditional” society
Why conform?
You wear your pants at your knees as a fuck you.
Since you have no flag to represent a generation of disillusioned youth

But pull your pants up
i’m not one of those homophobic liars
trotting out the “sagging pants means you’re gay in prison” myth
i’ve asked people where they get this “fact” from.
this BS story is a bad game of school yard telephone
Fleece “Booty Warrior” Johnson (of MSNBC Lockup and Boondocks fame)
Never ever said sagging pants originated in prison as a sign of being gay
He said he was old school,
and that these new cats wearing there pants low seemed gay
that just means Fleece Johnson and Don Lemon think alike

no but for real, what is wrong with Don Lemon?  He is gay. Not in the politically incorrect “dumb-stupid-wack” type of way but in the “he has sex with men” type of way. 
when he cam out I would assumed it was so the world and especially the hyper-homophobic black community would understand and respect his humanity.  
why would you tell black boys to pull up their pants because it looks gay? as if gay is something bad? How can he be so in love with respectability politics that he can’t recognize when he’s sabotaging himself?

i digress…

and I realize this poem will most likely be performed
in a coffee house full of people
sipping four dollar drinks
wearing leather belts
may be even a pair of suspenders,
firmly harnessing britches in place.
So this is basically a poem
about how much I
but if any pant saggers have shuffled their way into the crowd,
let me give you 3 reasons to pull up your pants

hiding contraband


if your pants are just a denim bola around your ankles
how can you run from the cops?
or after a nigga who owes you money?
I know FACE said in “Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta” that
“…real gangsta-ass niggas don’t run for shit
cuz real gangsta-assniggas can’t run fast”
but dammit its 2014.
We run for everything, even for president
I need you alive, and sometimes to live you gotta run

if your knickers are hanging,
it’s easier for your hidden stash to fall out.
i need you to stay your self snitching ass out of jail.
your momma don’t need you there,
neither do your kids

and how the hell are you gonna square up
if you gotta keep puling your pants up?

but for real.  there are more reasons.


i know we laughed when Easy E told bitches
he wore his pants like that for “Easy access”
but those women were never bitches,
they were our sisters, our mothers, our cousins and daughters.
They don’t need to imagine your manhood
Is in an unstrapped holster
ready to unsheathe and accidentally fire
that easy access
Easy talked about
easily killed
a man who is easily
one of the most important figures in rap

and you should pull your pants up
because we need you to be superman
and run into the street to save the little girl
from the speeding runaway bus,
or to crouch down to wipe a snotty nose
or to run away from the next waves
overtaking our streets like Katrina through 9th ward
or to hi step it through the streets yelling “AMANDLA”
like brothers in South Africa stomping out apartheid

truth is
i need you ready when it goes down
i love you
you’re my brother
you’re my nigga
pull your pants up

p.s. fuck don lemon

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