Monday, March 8, 2010

#269. Taking the Sticker Off of Hats

Authenticity. This five-syllable word is of vital importance to Black people, as "Keepin' it real" is an integral part of what it means to be Black in America. Acting White is a sin in the Black community and potentially the highest offense that can be made against genuine Blackness and violates the mandate of authenticity that holds together the volatile world of Black Run America.

More so than any other community in America, Black people find clothing to be the mark of a gentleman's distinction, standing and worth in the community. It has been said that you "should dress for the job you want" and this piece of advice is taken quite literally in the Black community, for the era of hip-hop dominance has permeated throughout the whole of Black fashion and created an army of gangstas.

The lack of belts in the Black community would be baffling were it not for the overwhelming zeal that the Black elite shun the wearing of such an unnecessary accoutrement.

Todd Boyd, a tremendously gifted Black author who wrote Young, Black, Rich and Famous: The Rise of NBA, The Hip Hop Invasion and the Transformation of American Culture, has an interesting take fashion tastes of his fellow Black people:
...Boyd believes that there is a strong link between the Black Power Movement and hip-hop culture; he clarifies this point by saying, "In the same way that civil rights spoke to the conditions back in the day, hip hop artists now speak to a populace often disillusioned by those considered overtly political in a traditional sense."
Boyd, an authority on Black culture, understands the restlessness of youth and the trials and tribulations that Black people face today. He realizes the ying and the yang of Black people, for that trenchant analysis of Hip Hop culture shows the great disconnect that exists between the generational gap in Black Run America (BRA).

The Civil Rights generation worked overtime to dress in white manners and practice white mores to be accepted by white people. The progeny of this generation who have created the Hip Hop culture never felt the sting of Jim Crow nor State-sponsored segregation.

All they know is the spoils of the entitlement culture the Civil Rights generation helped create and spawn.

Aaron McGruder, the creator of The Boondocks comic strip (and television show) lampoons Hip Hop culture constantly, but never excoriates Black people too much lest he be considered the dreaded Uncle Tom.

Thus, current Black fashion includes the curious practice of leaving stickers upon freshly purchased merchandise and most commonly this is found on ball caps.

Hats are a vital amenity of the Black wardrobe, for we already know that their own hair is a source of constant resentment toward the class of people that once oppressed them.

The hat is a source of strength for Black people as they can proudly proclaim the city from whence they were raised and reared by association with professional sports team (New Era baseball caps are hugely popular among Black people).

Black people don't want to take the sticker off of the hat they have just purchased, because it helps lend authenticity to the fact that they purchased the hat. Strangely, Black people don't want to ruin the crispness of the hat either as they leave the bill in pristine condition.

Keeping the authenticity of the hat in the same condition it came in from the manufacturer means that Black people can get back at The Man by refusing to bow to the fashion conditions created by white standards for wearing the ball cap.

First, it was wear the hat backwards. White people co-opted this maneuver, forcing Black people to scramble for an original style in wearing the cap. Kangol Hats are a staple of the Black head cover, but white people never jumped over this trend so it lost a lot of the attraction for Black people (secretly Black people like it when white people emulate them).

The uncreased bill look is exploding in the white community, which explains the steps taken to differentiate the looks by Black people. Leaving the sticker on is a defiant middle-finger to the fashion police, who will undoubtedly change the rules to appease Black people and endorse the sticker-on-the-hat look.

Taking the sticker off of a hat would mean that Black people accept the societal norms and conditions to be accepted and regrettably would be considered Acting White. If Black people accept the fashion conditions set by white people, they capitulate their style and one of the few acceptable forms of protesting the oppressive fashion dictated by white people.

Paradoxically, once white people accept the Black fashion then the Rubicon has been crossed and a new fashion must be concocted to ensure authentically Black fashion governs the threads that are to be generally accepted by Black people.

Stuff Black People Don't Like includes taking the sticker off of hats, for this is one of the last remaining vestiges of authentic Black protest left that can be practiced in BRA. The Civil Rights movement guaranteed equality before the law and equal opportunity for all people. The Hip-Hop movement is but an extension of these gallant crusaders fighting oppression in one of the few remnants of white oppression left - the way a hat is properly worn.

Leaving the sticker on is just like refusing to give up a seat on the bus. In the 21st century, it's the last place Black people can voice their disapproval with the system that exists primarily for their benefit.


Phalluster said...

i also don't take the stickers off my fitteds; interesting that i might garner appreciation from blacks for my mimicry and also catalyze change in their fashion habits.

but blacks still do not like being out-stepped. through public outcries, they have urged sprite to declare a "recount" and awarded a co-championship, with prize money, to a black sorority. rapper ludacris, a judge, maintains that the initial decision was tabulated correctly. but a tally where whites end higher than blacks is unacceptable in black-run america.

in true obama behavior, sprite simply doubled their prize money budget and awarded $100,000 to the black runners-up.

there will come a time when blacks will forcibly try to take what is mine. they may rob me at gunpoint, or they may launch a public campaign of demands to reallocate my meager resources, citing historical racism, classism, and other institutional marginalization as their justification. i will have little control over these things. but i will make sure they don't shoot me at 3am at the chicken hut, and i will not travel to south africa or haiti.

i would not be so insensitive as to attend a compton cookout in blackface, but i probably would attend a party with a sticker on my hat. someday, that might be considered the same intolerable mockery of blacks that leads to mass demonstrations.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid your analysis is too late, too white, and too foolish.

Minnie Pearl was a fashion-conscious White Southern Redneck, who left the price tag on her hats, back in the 1960's. She became more well-known on the late "Hee-Haw" TV show, which was ALL about WHITE southron culture.

It would appear that blacks are just aping their former 'massas' in yet another attempt at originality.

Now, baggy pants worn as low-riders, which originated in mostly black prisons, to show off the azz of available 'down-low' boys... THAT's a 'black fashion innovation' for which I am not sure they should be ashamed or, or embarassed by. But what I am surprised by is that more Gay men in San Francisco, haven't taken it to heart - er, buttocks.

- Fr. John

Skippio Africanus said...

Mooney has a few more movies in the pipleline:

Blacks and the Bomb: The real story of the nukoolar age

Afro-tech: How silicon valley was built on the backs of black genius

and this future blockbuster:

Coons on the Moon: The Forgotten Egyptian Space Travelers

Anonymous said...

As mentioned by Fr. John leaving the price tag on your hat is a Minnie Pearl trademark. However, most people don't realize her price tag of $1.98 is a special Southern white code.


Anonymous said...


This behavior does indeed distinguish blacks from whites. You managed to write an article about 'keeping it real'. This post is a horrible FAIL however.

This behavior has little to do with 'keeping it real' and much to do with 'materialism'. You see, blacks think that money and property are inherently 'white' things. They strive to own anything and everything that proves the same 'status' that whites themselves have 'dominion' over.

That struggle is inherently, not 'white' at all. That struggle is the......

Well, eff em' they aren't White either!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Dave has uncovered the need for a real Black Studies department at a university. The underlying explanations for black behavior may be more complex and entertaining than originally thought.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering what that was all about. I saw a negro kid with the tag still on and I started making jestures like you would when you see someone with their fly open.
I know the other story about the pants on the ground. It started in prison as a way for brothers on the down low to tell other inmates they wanted it up the butt! Both of these afro fashion statements, just make them look like fools. Almost as bad as grills (every try talking to a negro with a mouth full of hardware. Its bad enough trying to understand them!

Anonymous said...

It's hilarious when you see a white guy wearing his hat this way.

-Black guy

Anonymous said...

"It's hilarious when you see a white guy wearing his hat this way."

It is. The poor white fool is probably in a majority-black area and trying to fit in. It is hilarious because the white guy foolishly thinks that his black male "friends" actually are friends. Like you, black "gotta have the last word" guy, they actually hate him and all his white male brethren, and surely make fun of and mock him whenever they can. That is when their not banging white dude's sister. I know. I lived for thirty eight years in inner city Baltimore.
I think black people would be upset if white people disappeared, for there would be no one left quite so fun to hate/ mock/ blame/ vent anger towards, etc....

DC Handgun Info said...

This hat stuff is puzzling behavior. But even more puzzling is the "sapeur" phenomenon in Congo, a country gripped by "grinding poverty" where guys dress up in fine couture outfit items to score fashion points...

Quotes from the Post article:

It was a lackluster afternoon until a shiny maroon Mercedes pulled up, delivering a group of young men in clouds of cologne and ensembles of Gaultier, Cavalli and Issey Miyake.

"Labels! Labels!" yelled one of the pool players. "Show us the labels!"

"Versace!" answered Ukonda Pangi, 22, pointing to a rhinestone buckle as he strutted about like Mick Jagger. "Look! Look at this belt! That's Versace!"


"Life is difficult," Kindingo said. "Life is bad. Eating is a problem. But when you dress, people admire you. It gives you honor."

Where does the Post come up with junk like this? The U.S. government is spending us into oblivion; we teeter at the brink of bankruptcy, and they run articles about fashion among African youth??

I'm white; I don't get it. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Man, that low-rent local access production interview with Paul Mooney just says it all, dunnit? A pontificating, arcane, black-centric, paranoid, bitter, grown-ass old man dressing like a 13 year old hoodrat in a bubblegoose and do-rag while indoors.

The sophmore psuedo-philosophical victimization baby babble that comes out of ever-dependent halitostic mouths like this pitiful fool is just plain laughable to us regular taxpayers living in a civil society.

Honestly, when are they going to stop being all about them all of the time?

The world thinks you're a joke.

Anonymous said...

"It is. The poor white fool is probably in a majority-black area and trying to fit in. It is hilarious because the white guy foolishly thinks that his black male "friends" actually are friends. Like you, black "gotta have the last word" guy, they actually hate him and all his white male brethren, and surely make fun of and mock him whenever they can. That is when their not banging white dude's sister. I know. I lived for thirty eight years in inner city Baltimore.
I think black people would be upset if white people disappeared, for there would be no one left quite so fun to hate/ mock/ blame/ vent anger towards, etc...."

The truth is he probably lives in a white suburb. His only "real" contact with blacks come from rap videos.

I find it very hard to believe you lived in the "inner city" of Baltimore. Especially for 30 years. You would be more believable if you would have said the moon. Neither one of us can calm to be Mr. diversity.

You grew up in a predominately white neighborhood, and I grew up in a predominately black one. Lets be honest.

-Black guy

Phalluster said...

for any poor soul who clicked on the paul mooney video and stared in fascination, here is the reason why white men personify the stereotype of the serial killer

hint: it's getting less likely every day

Anonymous said...

The black phenomena of keeping the tags on their baseball caps has nothing to do with Minnie Pearl and everything to do with conspicuous consumption.

Urban blacks want to be perceived as having money, hence the $200 Air Jordan shoes, flashing wads of cash (mostly one dollar bills surrounded by a larger bill) and new clothing.

Leaving the tag on their hats implies that they have just purchased the hat with their enormous, infinite wad of dough.

It is so important for blacks that their wardrobe looks brand new they will actually clean their baseball caps with solvent (careful not to touch the sticker) to keep them looking new for as long as possible.