Sound Off

Open Thread: Saggy Pants Guy Kinda Sorry

Dooney Da' Priest, writer of the rap song "Pull Your Pants Up," tells the BPP that he meant no offense to the gay community with lyrics that suggest you look gay and you're less than a real man if you wear your pants low:

"Whether their sexual preference is to be a homosexual or being gay, that's their problem. I'm the street, I'm the street priest, and I have real good Christian values on what I believe in, and I am against homosexuality."

So what if Dooney Da' Priest thinks being gay is wrong? To me, that's his business. But I'm less convinced the message belongs in a city campaign. You?



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Please immediately stop playing Dooney's rap song and his hateful interview with the Bryant Park Project, and please remove both from NPR's website. People who wish to bash gays and humiliate African-Americans have ample opportunity and outlets in this country; there is absolutely no need for NPR or the BPP to provide a platform for this kind of intolerance --- unless NPR's new, youth-oriented news show really, really feels that it's worth getting Arbitron ratings. I like the BPP so far, I like Allison Stewart and Luke Burbank, but to the extent they have been shoving the Dooney Da Priest non-story down their listeners throats, this show has suddenly lost a lot of credibility with me.

Sent by Brent Danzig | 10:02 AM | 10-30-2007

Dooney seems to share the same views as some of the greatest minds in history like Aristotle, Aquinas and Kant. Islam, Christianity, Judaism and most forms of Buddhism also condemn homosexual sex acts. But in 2007 we question Dooney's fitness as an advocate for pulling your pants up based on his political incorrectness... We've come a long way.

Sent by John Brown, S.J. | 10:04 AM | 10-30-2007

I don't care whether or not his song was bashing homosexuality or not. The point of the song is to discourage the youth from wearing sagging pants, and encourage the youth to do what is my question. What are we encouraging the youth to do? How are we fixing the problem, which clearly starts in the home, when the young man left the house with sagging pants. I just wish we could stop attacking the problem, without sound solutions that don't involve treating our youth like juvenille. When you treat someone like they are committing a crime for wearing sagging pants, then you treat them like a criminal. Where are the after school programs in these communities? When the police approach these kids, do they have a belt along with the ticket they pose to give for this crime?

Sent by Super Skirts | 10:06 AM | 10-30-2007

I don't care what people do until I am forced to look at it. The pants just look stupid as hell and when I have to look at them it's a real drag.

Sent by AA | 10:16 AM | 10-30-2007

Saggy pants are just a symptom of a bigger issue - why mirror the prison culture to begin with? Kudos to da priest. Give him a break. It's about standing up and being a man instead of being a thug --- nothing to do with sexual orientation.

Sent by Steve | 10:24 AM | 10-30-2007

I think I agree with the original post. If clownboy wants to live in a world of ignorance in which it's Ok to levy judgements aganst gays and yet go screaming mad every time someone calls him a name he doesn't like, that's his own little double standard-plagued hell to roast in. The real question is, do saggy jeans really symptomize the death knell for African American culture? And should they even offer an opinion on saggy pants? It seems to me that self-hatred and powerlessness are the real demons behind "saggin'" and a host of other, much worse, problems for young African American males. Teach a kid self-respect and he'l pull his pants up on his own. Teach him he's worthless and the pants are the the least of your worries.

Sent by russ wait | 11:04 AM | 10-30-2007

I love how people claim that freedom of speech, expression, etc. are great until it collides with their opinions. Just as flag burning should be a legal expression, so should these comments. Unfortunately I don't believe that either of these two extreems help resolve the issues at hand. When the message is delivered in an over-the-top method, we stop talking about the root problem and talk about the delivery of the message.

As for the homosexuality side reference, the man obviously believes the bible. And that book indeed condemns homosexuality. Unfortunately again, when shared in a negative method, the message is lost and we focus on the negative.

It is unfortunate that in this country we need people who will make bold and brash statements to get heard just to get out their message. That is a product of our current culture. Do I agree with their overall methods? No. But now that it has more press, maybe something will be done about the underlying problem. Let's all take a step back and look at that problem and try to be a little more understanding to everyone.

Sent by mike | 11:20 AM | 10-30-2007

Nice open mind you have there Brent! You don't like what he says so ban him. Don't read the story if you don't like the topic. An overwhelming majority of the country agree with the guy so get over yourself.

Sent by Danny Thomas | 11:42 AM | 10-30-2007

"Platform of intolerance?" It is because of the BPP (and this fine blog) that I was made aware of the lyrics. The show was doing its journalistic duty to suss out the truth by inviting 'daPriest onto the show to offer his side of the story. This was not a "Ann Coulter Attention Ploy" it was a follow-up to a story that many other news outlets (and NPR shows) reported on.
Though it is tempting to agree with Mr Danzig on the notion that the BPP should stop playing the song --- let's face it it's a pretty lame rap.

Sent by Petro | 11:53 AM | 10-30-2007

Perhaps before Dooney Da' Priest writes another rap song he should work on his grasp of the English language:
"Whether their sexual preference is to be a homosexual or being gay.."
That's the same thing Da.
"I have real good Christian values on what I believe in"
That doesn't even make any sense.

For the life of me I don't understand why people like this, who cloak their bigotry in Christianity, who can barely string words together to make a sentence, are given legitimacy by anyone at all.
Their rants should not make the airwaves OR print.
As for Dallas running this in a PSA to address sagging pants, is this the biggest issue they have?
Couldn't they spend time and money on more appropriate PSAs?
It seems there must be more pressing issues out there.
Perhaps they could get someone to do a rap about drugs, AIDS, birth control, etc.
And while they are at it maybe they could check and make sure there is no homophobic lyrics before they broadcast it

Sent by Chris S | 12:35 PM | 10-30-2007

While my enjoyment of the song changed dramatically after the intent behind the lyrics became clear, a lot of the people here seem to be taking this story a bit too seriously.

Can't we all just agree that homophobia is "totally gay" and leave it at that? ;-)

Sent by Will G | 1:50 PM | 10-30-2007

interesting, because having worked in the prison/jail systems in this country-- law enforcement people and the guys on the inside will tell you, bustin' slack is a signal to fellow inmates that you are gay and you will put out.

Sent by bjsc | 4:42 PM | 10-30-2007

If this guy wants to be a ``good Christian,`` I wish he would pay attention to what Jesus taught (not a word on record against homosexuality} instead of what he hears from bigoted men at the pulpit or in the `hood.
He doesn`t sem to understand the difference between admonishing the ``n word`` because of its negative connotation toward blacks and actually encouraging negative connotations to another group in society.
Racists of the `5O`s used ``Christian`` values and the Bible as excuses to belittle blacks. Maybe a lot of white ``Christians`` in the `5O`s would have appreciated a silly song telling white kids to change their fashion for racist reasons (I can imagine a slogan like ``Look smart, Look forward, Don`t look black`` but most today would cringe that beblkitling blacks was ever considered by anyone to be a ``Christian`` value.
I can only hooe that someday, people like Dooney will realize that exhibiting that kind of negativity toward gay people is no better and no different in its spirit.

Sent by GregV | 5:52 PM | 10-30-2007

The main thing I got this story is that The "street priest" is just your everyday sanctimonious bigot. I'm content to ridicule as necessary and move on. Will G is right, we are making mountains out of molehills.

Sent by Benjamin Frisch | 7:32 PM | 10-30-2007

It's amazing to me how the opinion of someone who is not pro gay/homosexual/bisexual/transgender/gender non specific...because of religious reasons or any other reason suddenly makes them a basher/biggot/hateful etc. is beyond me. THAT IS THEIR OPINION. In this country opinions are a RIGHT. If it is your opinion to be a proponent of something then it is only natural that there will be a opponent. That is NOT BASHING...its personal choice, just like the choice to be gay/straight/other. If a person is comfortable in the skin they are in a comment or point of view that is not in agreement does not have to demean the lifestyle. Do you value the opinion of strangers that highly? A person's right to express their religious values are a freedom we all enjoy. When will people learn to live with the fact that everyone does not have to like, agree with or approve of their personal lifestyle choices...homo or hetero. Let's get over ourselves! I am tired of the real issues losing attention to symantics. That's just MY OPINION. You don't have to like it. Please respect it. Notice I did not disclose my race, gender or personal belief on either.

Sent by Just A. Thought | 12:26 AM | 10-31-2007

A supposedly pro-gay rights song with racist lyrics would never be (I hope) tolerated as being Christian, "real", or uplifting. Must stink to be a gay, black teen getting yet another reminder of how many people hate you. And from the start of this story I wondered how much is this song or "rap artist" taken seriously by kids anyhow? So often adults hone in on someone they think is significant to teens, when they couldn't be more wrong. Remember your deluded "cool" teacher making out-of-date pop culture references? Or the educational video/film that was really corny but tried to be hip? I could be wrong, but I suspect we're seeing the same thing here.

Sent by Tracy M. | 1:17 AM | 10-31-2007

In regards to the following posting "...most forms of Buddhism also condemn homosexual sex acts."
Sent by John Brown, S.J. | 10:04 AM ET | 10-30-2007
Please get your facts straight, there are no references in Buddhist Scriptures in regards to homosexuality. The only reference is in regards to seeking the middle path and not doing things in extremes. Don't get Buddhism entangled in your testamental hatred.

Sent by Shan Abeywickrama | 7:13 AM | 10-31-2007

While it is indeed your "right" to have an "opinion" in this country - as stated by a previous poster, it is also my "right" to deem your "opinion" bigoted.
If someone has an "opinion" that is "not pro" African American/Latin/White/Asian/etc, and in fact goes as far as saying whatever race they "don't agree" with has a "problem" and that they are "against" that race then they, in fact, are a bigot. It's the exact same thing. It's just that homosexuals are the minority group that every other minority group can dump on. It's the one thing that seems to unite our increasingly divided country, unfortunately, it unites us in hate and brings forth the worst in us.

Sent by Chris S | 8:28 AM | 10-31-2007

Well, we're all getting off-topic, but we're doing so in an interesting way. Most of the writers attacking my original post are actually making, I think, very valid points, and deserve an honest reply.

I absolutely agree that both Dooney and NPR/the BPP are all well within their constitutional rights to free expression, whether I like it or not. But before anyone else thinks I'm being hypocritical, let me come clean about something: I don't like the 1st Amendment. I don't support a completely unregulated right to free speech. I definitely do not have an open mind, and I admit that. Several posters have made the point that there are people who support free speech until it comes into conflict with their own views, and while that's a very true and prescient observation, that doesn't apply to me. I just flat-out oppose free-speech protections for expressions of racism and homophobia. And while I recognize that this is very much a minority viewpoint in this country, keep in mind that most if not all other Western democracies have legislative and/or constitutional limits on speech and expression (e.g., Germany and France's bans on denial of the Holocaust; Canada's ban on "hate speech", etc.).

I stand by my original post: while NPR is certainly under absolutely no legal obligation to do so, I think the absolutely only ethical thing to do is to permanently remove the Dooney Da' Preist story, song and interview from their website. And I'll continue to suspect (without proof) that their motivation for pushing this story several days in a row in the first place was a craven push for ratings for NPR's newest, struggling news program.

Sent by Brent Danzig | 10:55 AM | 10-31-2007

I love his song and it's a valid contribution to the culture to point out the absolute stupidity of low pants. I thank the artist for making it available.
Nobody seems to point out the value in underlining the conclusion that these fellas just aren't going to be "gettin' a real job!"
That's way more important that if we concentrate on whether other men or women do or don't look at the person who is saggin'
When they are seen in school it simply screams NON STUDENT!

Sent by homebuilding | 1:35 PM | 10-31-2007

As a female I appreciate the song, I'm tired of seeing these young men showing their underwear. It's time for a real man to step up and address the issue. He's not bashing gays he's just trying to educate these young men about the meaning of saggin pants. Dooney keep up the good work and please continue making positive music for our youth!

Sent by A sigh of relief | 1:51 PM | 10-31-2007

Apparently butchering the English language like Mr. Da Priest does, is just fine.

I'd also like to see a campaign to stop fat people from wearing close fitting clothes since that offends my delicate sensibilities.

Oh, and a campaign to stop bra-straps from showing as well - that's just way too suggestive.

While we're at it, can we also stop people from wearing anything that's cut higher than knee height?

The 1800's called. They want their Victorian Era sensibilities back.

Sent by beergoggles | 4:22 PM | 10-31-2007

First off, the Bible does not ever, in any passage, directly condemn homosexuality. However, there are many, many other things that it does directly condemn that the majority of us do on a daily basis. We don't talk about those, though. They are not as much fun to talk about.
Secondly, I wonder how this fellow would feel if I told him that I have very strong Christian values and I believe that being black is wrong? Each of those traits is equally unavoidable, so each of those statements is equally inane.
I wonder if anyone thinks it's okay to launch a campaign that discourages wearing a certain fashion based on the suggestion that it will cause them to look black? I've got a friend whose mean old grandma tells him he looks like the "N" word if his pants sag down. Yet I always find it offensive when she says that...
Seriously, the person who thought this up is a real moron. And that goes for the rapper too.

Sent by Teresa | 7:29 PM | 10-31-2007

Do you want someone next to your cubical with there undies hanging out, or maybe at a nice restraunt, serving you that way, how about the next time you go see a doctor...CONGRATS all of you missed the message!!! Keep writing great songs!!!

Sent by j | 8:31 PM | 10-31-2007

Dooney 'Da Priest uses the bible to justify homophobia just as supporters of slavery once said that slavery is in the bible so it must be ok. Remember, Jesus said "Do unto others as you have them do unto you" when quoting the bible.

Sent by Gregory Morris | 11:58 PM | 10-31-2007

I'm gay and I'm not offended by this song at all compared to the dozens of hip hop songs that promote killing and abuse of women. I don't care what this guy beliefs are if he can encourange those pants to get pulled up. As far as it being unconstitutional what about it being obscene and unsanitary?

Sent by D. Moldovan | 9:07 AM | 11-3-2007

give "homophobia" a rest, ok?

Sent by NW Louisiana Nitpicker | 11:31 PM | 11-18-2007

i'm glad that NPR took the time to point out the evil ways of dooney da priest. if there's anything that they should be doing more stories on, it should be scrutinizing the lyrics of unknown rappers and demanding apologies.

i, for one, am glad that NPR has the courage and integrity to stand up to these evil independent rappers and their songs about urban fashion.

Sent by lonnie | 10:46 AM | 11-19-2007