The Manhood Line by Mike Ramey

MEMO: THE RAMEY RULEBY MIKE RAMEYI wanted to give a solid ‘shout out’ to those warriors who have volunteered to contend with young men on a regular basis about their sagging pants. Of course, I am still amazed of the longevity of this rather ‘brief’ matter--but I digress!I’ve seen some rather interesting battles and discussions between adults and teens about the need for keep pants pulled up to regulation level. I’ve heard of adults shouting at teens, and teens shouting back at adults over ‘my rights.’ I’ve read a variety of columns about school dress codes and why students--even at the college level--need to ‘adult up’ with proper dressing habits. As I sat down to pen my column this month, I found the issue raging in my neck of the woods. Several adults and teens have wound up in trouble with the law over adults laying down the rules and teens rebelling against them--sometimes to the point of exchanging words and punches.This ought not to be.IT STARTS AT HOME:The old adage is true: If the home will not teach, society can not compensate.Teens--by nature--are slippery and rebellious. Many of us who are adults now were teens not that long ago. Ican remember my own times of rebellion--and how my parents responded to them. Sometimes with a talking to; sometimes with punishment, and sometimes with a firm administration of the board of education to the seat of knowledge. I--and others--learned a healthy, godly fear of dad and mom.And all the parents said: AMEN!Sure, the times ‘may’ be different. Let’s be honest! How many of us have come across ‘trifling’ parents? They DO exist and get lots of airplay and ink. You’ve seen them on TV shows from Judge Judy to Jerry Springer! Parents who seem to have been ‘frozen’ in their very own rebellious streaks from their adolescent years--with frozen brains to match.The results are STILL the same if a minority of the parents do NOT teach or when a minority of teens will NOT listen! The twin brothers of chaos and rebellion rule, firmly replacing opportunities for the direct education and advancement of our children.Sad. Just truly S-A-D.I recall one time during my stint as a probation officer. A female parent came to the juvenile court dressed like a stripper heading for work. Needless to say, the bailiffs would not let her into court on her child’s case…because of the court’s dress code.And…we wonder where the children get it from?STEREOTYPES--AND TRUTH:Make no mistake about it. The pants sagging issue--and its attempt at justification--are firmly rooted in rebellion. Saggers are proud that they ‘sag’--but don’t want to face the consequences of doing it ‘their way’. Unfortunately, we live in an era where consequences are expected to be ‘brushed’ off to the side without comment from the society at large. Commit a crime, and have a hundred letters and videos to ‘explain’ your right to harm someone else. Commit adultery and go off to make your next movie. Carry a few guns into a sporting venue and get shocked by being suspended from your pro team.From a biblical perspective, let me ‘clue’ the brotherhood to a reality: The consequences of rebellion ‘may’ be delayed, but are seldom denied. God’s judgments may be slow in coming, but pack a punch when they arrive! In truth, if one does NOT learn the lessons of being a responsible child at home--whether it’s headed by two-parents, one parent, or a loving guardian--you’ll be reduced to being judged as a stereotype by the society at large.Society--like teenage friends--can be CRUEL in their label placement!Brothers, if you sag, you fit the stereotype. Fair is fair; but REAL is REAL! In most of our world today, stereotypes represent reality. It’s not ONLY how ‘you are seen’, but how you are ‘perceived’ WHILE you are being seen! As a father myself from the old school, rest assured that a sagger may not make it to my tree lawn--let alone my porch--if he dares to date my daughter!THE SOLUTION? THE RAMEY RULE!For all you saggers out there who are getting upset at me blasting away with this column, I issue the following invitation. Call it a ‘public challenge’ to test my writing. Go to any local company or job fair with your ‘sag wear’ and ask for a job application and/or an interview. If the people around you don’t move away from you in rapid fashion, you will ‘get the hint’ that your wardrobe is not appropriate from the employers! They will GLADLY find any excuse to have you file your application--by mail!Here is my solution to the sagging problem. I call it the ‘Ramey Rule’. It operates on the simple principle that the best way to get to the ‘heart’ of a sagger is to get him to turn his brain on! Yelling does not work. Drive-by ‘orders’ from adults to ‘pull up’ one’s pants does not work. Dress codes and sanctions have limited impact (as sagging has become not only a ‘fashion statement’ but the flag of youth). How to get their attention? Change your tactics! Couple wisdom of economic reality with the truths of stereotyping in the application of the ‘Ramey Rule’ which is spoken as follows: “The LOWER the pants, the LOWER the IQ is perceived to BE!”Think about it! Saggers do NOT work for law firms, Black Enterprise Magazine, IBM, Microsoft, your local school corporation or Beatrice Foods. Saggers DO work for strip mall mobile phone stores and hip-hop head shops. Saggers may ‘start out’ with good grades, but slovenly and sloppy will eventually ‘overtake’ their academic progress. Saggers won’t be able to ask if I want ‘fries with that’, as many fast food chains have a nasty way of dealing with sloppy employees.Just keep reminding saggers of these future facts, and you will see a gradual rise--at least during daylight hours--of pants back to where they should be. IF they don’t appreciate your comments, saggers will soon experience the consequences of rebellion.It’s called ‘Long Term Unemployment’!RAMEY is the Pastor of The Forward Church, Indianapolis, Indiana. THE MANHOOD LINE appears on fine websites and gracious blogs around the world. To correspond, email © 2010 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.
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Rev. M. G. “Mike” Ramey (Retired) served as the Certified Modern Street Gangs Specialist & Media Consultant of “The Gang Line”. He had been interviewed in the U. S. and abroad on radio, television, and Internet about the dangers of Modern Street Gangs since 2007. His writings on Modern Street Gangs abound in print and online. Previously, he served as an award-winning broadcast journalist, producer, and TV/Radio talk show host. He has also served as a staff writer, section editor, and syndicated columnist. Ramey has won—or helped to win—some two dozen journalism awards and citations. He also holds a Police Citation for Citizen Bravery from the Indianapolis Police Department (1986). Ramey is also married, an Ordained Minister (Retired) and a KJV Bible Teacher.

Ramey is a Certified Modern Street Gangs Specialist with Certifications in Law Enforcement (2006), Non-Law Enforcement (2010), and Gangs & Cults Ministry (2017). He also has endorsements in K-12 Gang Issues and Transnational Gangs. He also carries Specialist Ratings in Cult/Occult Crime, and Transnational Human Trafficking. Ramey has also served with several International anti-gang ministries, including of Washington state (2004-2009), Thug Exposed Ministries of California (2010 to 2015) and Bishop Outreach Ministries of Florida (2010 to 2015).

In 2011 “The Gang Line” offered training and certification coursework for those interested in becoming certified Modern Street Gang Specialists: Training approaches the anti-gang ministry field through the combined use of spiritual (biblical principles/discipleship) and criminal (gang members and gang crime). From 2015-2017, Ramey served as an Advisory Board Member for the School of Criminal Justice at Harrison College, Indianapolis, Indiana, with a specialty of Organized Crime & Gangs. From 2017-2019, Ramey served as a Bible Teacher to at-risk detained juvenile offenders at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center with his own Bible-based Curriculum centering upon Biblical Life Skills taught from the Book of Proverbs.

Rev. Ramey’s skill set includes having been a veteran substitute teacher (Secondary Education), a college instructor for two Bible colleges in the Indianapolis, Indiana area, a Probation Officer (Intensive/High Risk & School-Based) with the Marion County Juvenile Court, and a peer grant reviewer of anti-gang grant programs with the U.S. Department of Justice (2010). He also created, designed, and taught the course “Modern Street Gangs: Developing Urban Ministry Strategies—UM-190” at Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis, Indiana (2009 & 2010). In 2013, Ramey served as a post-production Consultant for Chick Publications’ national anti-gang comic: “Black Angel”. It was translated into Spanish in 2014.

Ramey has written extensively on the topic of Modern Street Gangs with two Internet columns: “The Gang Line” and “The Gang Line Blogger” which abound in cyberspace. In a post-pandemic society, the motto of The Gang Line still rings true: “Spiritual Solutions for Spiritual Problems!”

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