When it comes to a lifetime of success by the individual, we’ve been trying to ascertain the ingredients of that success ever since homo sapiens roamed the earth. Almost everyone has a definition of that success and, to be sure, the roads to success are many and varied. It’s almost like that definition of pornography, we may have difficulty spelling it out but we certainly know it when we see it. In his 2014 message to the graduates of Atlanta’s Morehouse College, school president Dr. John Silvanus Wilson referenced “dysfunctional families where educational achievement is neither valued nor encouraged” as one of the contributory factors to the worsening condition of this nation’s African-American males. Malcolm Gladwell is a distinguished journalist, bestselling author and speaker, and staff writer for the New Yorker magazine since 1996. In his seminal publication ”Outliers-The Story of Success,” he talks about an environment that could lead to success “which can include the time or era, the family into which a person is born, and who that person meets along the way.” Again, there are many elements to success, but almost every definition includes a reference to family. Make no mistake about it. It’s the head of the family (the parents), not the children, that has unleashed on our society the scourge of modern times: the sagging pants generation.
It’s a known fact that children don’t raise themselves, that’s the role of their parents. And as you traverse our city on a daily basis and notice so many of our young people who are participating in this disgusting fashion trend, you begin to realize how so many families have become derelict in their responsibilities. Some communities have found this trend so loathsome, they’ve tried to outlaw the practice by public fiat. Unfortunately, on appeal, all of these measures have been ruled unconstitutional. It seems that only a proper upbringing can remove this onerous practice. If one of the primary roles of parents is to prepare the children for future success, then an increasing number of those children will be deprived of one of the fundamental elements of that success: a job. In his book, Malcolm Gladwell notes that “The sense of possibility so necessary for success comes not just from inside us or from our parents. It comes from our time: from the particular opportunities that our particular place in history presents us with.”
What opportunities (jobs) do you see accruing to the sagging pants generation? Even as I frequent establishments which employ people in entry level jobs (e.g. grocery baggers, fast food attendants, etc.), I rarely see the saggers represented. So what jobs do they get? The obvious answer is none. So how do they support themselves? The obvious answer is, they don’t. The sad truth is only now dawning on their parents. The saggers are destined never to leave home, forever being supported by a generation of parents who neglected their primary responsibility. Deservedly so.