Category Archives: sagging

School’s out, but Mack students still angry over Trayvon Martin


McClymonds students (left to right Jacob Miles, Lee Benson and Anthony Beron) take part in National Hoodie Day in support of Trayvon Martin.

by Anthony Beron

School’s out, but McClymonds students are closely following the Trayvon Martin trial, now in jury selection.

Several students, including juniors Jacob Miles and Lee Benson, took part in a National Hoodie Day, in support of the 17-year-old Florida high school who was murdered after buying Skittles and Arizona iced tea inside a gated complex in Sanford, Florida.

“I feel that what the man (George Zimmerman) did was out of pocket and the court should give him (Trayvon Martin) justice at least,” says Jacob Miles, a junior.

Zimmerman argued that he was in imminent danger of being attacked by Martin, who was at the time unarmed and pleading for his life, according to CNN.

“I’m angry.  After all, this is just another example of how Black and Latino youth are targeted because of their skin color,” said Rafael (who would not give his last name), a Hispanic male in his 20’s from East Oakland, who was the apparent organizer of the rally.  Rafael added, “We need a revolution!”

“I think George Zimmerman should serve a long sentence in jail, because he killed an innocent person.  It was racial profiling: he just killed Trayvon since he was an African-American male, wearing a hoodie, just walking around,” argued Kardel Howard, a sophomore.

Zimmerman claimed to have been attacked by Martin before shooting him, and later took photos of himself with a broken nose and several cuts and bruises.  The slug of the fatal round Zimmerman fired at Martin was lodged in the teen’s left chest before  paramedics arrived and attempted CPR on him.  Martin was later pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting.

Zimmerman’s defense team allegedly tried to form a jury with the least number of minorities as possible.  They denied the allegating: “Absolutely not, but if there isn’t a black juror, that doesn’t mean anything either. It just means that we chose the best people based on their answers to their questions,” according to the New York Daily News.

“I feel like it’s not fair to choose people that are not minorities who can’t relate as much to Martin,”  said Howard. “With more minority jurors, they can relate to racism and oppression better; it should be more balanced.”

Mack freshman launches her Twitter novel

With a blue-ink pen in her left hand, she glides it across the page leaving behind strange squiggles as her dozen metal bracelets scrape against the worn, wooden table.

The sound is amplified when students drift out of the room like a stream flowing downhill after the first rainstorm.  She is left alone.  Hunched over the desk, Janaya Andrews, 14, freshmen, composes the first 140 characters of her first twitter novel.

“I’m an observer.  Anything that pops into my head I’ll write a story about it,” says Andrews.

Andrews carries a black handbag on her right shoulder.  From there, she pulls out out an old purple composition notebook with pages hanging loose.  She opens it up to the next blank paper and begins to write.

“While I’m in my room listening to Escape The Faith, I’ll write about celebrities, but mix it with fiction.”

And so the twitter novel begins at McClymonds High School:

“As I walked into Mack, MC Hammer was demonstrating the Hammer Time but Destiny dragged me up the littered stairs, away from the joy & chaos”

Is Sagging Cool?

By Stephen Vance

A 17-year-old male walks down the street, with his pants three inches below his waistline. He sags because he thinks it’s cool, and he gets to express how he feels. Sagging is a general statement, in which an individual expresses who they are.

More often than not, sagging is associated with the sex, drugs, money, and violence of hip hop culture. More likely than not, in underserved communities, hip hop figures are the closest to role models. These figures come from and talk about life experiences in inner-city communities. As a result, youths are able to relate more to them, giving hip hop a huge influence over their lives.

Like, “What They See Is What They’ll Be,” sagging is a way youths emulate their hip hop idols. They believe if their favorite idol Lil Wayne sags, then they too should sag.

Some people sag because it’s fashionable and popular. They wear what’s “in,” so they aren’t excluded from popular social functions. Keeping up with the latest fashion trends has become deeply rooted in school.

In other cases, people will sag their pants to give the impression that they are cool. It gives them a sense of individuality. A guy might wear red skinny jeans and sag a little below the waist, which looks different than sagging with baggy jeans. This guy wants to be different.

Some people even sag to look tough. Since sagging originated in the prison system, those who want to look tough use sagging as a badge of honor. Street credit is given to those who have been locked up in prison, which can explain why sagging reflects this experience.

In order to address sagging, we have to decide whether to object to the practice of sagging or the culture that promotes it. Take it from Anthony D’ Angelo, the author of Chicken Soup for the College Soul, “When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves.”

Sagging is just wearing pants below the waistline; so why is there a problem with sagging? It’s not that people view sagging as public indecency and simply express their discontent at the sight of someone’s underwear. In fact, no one has a problem with the sight of people in their bikinis and shorts at a beach or swimming pool.

The problem with sagging is that it is associated with the violence and sexism of hip hop culture. Whatever the reason for which a person chooses to sag, more often than not, that person is viewed as a thug because of its symbolism.

Imagine Kanye West wearing more suits, promoting the business world, while ridiculing the failures that come with thug culture. This would then allow youths to adopt a more culturally appropriate and less dangerous fashion. And it would be cool, because Kanye is doing it. If we could change how hip hop influences youth, we could solve the “issue” of sagging.