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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Ramey is married and resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a Christian, an Ordained Minister and KJV Bible Teacher. Since the 1980s, Ramey has won--or helped to win--multiple journalism awards and citations (including 3 CASPER awards). He holds a Police Citation for Citizen Bravery from the Indianapolis Police Department (1986) presented by the late Mayor William H. Hudnut III, and an award as ‘Best New Internet Writer’ (2003) “Black Men In” from Mr. Gary Johnson, Publisher.

His career also includes serving as an award-winning broadcast reporter, producer and TV/Radio talk show host in the Indianapolis market since 1981. In addition, Ramey has served as staff writer and section editor for The Indianapolis Recorder, and a freelancer for The Indiana Herald. Ramey has also served as a guest Op-Ed writer for The Indianapolis News, a staff writer for The Indianapolis Star, and a freelancer for BOTH The Associated Press and USA Today Newspaper (Gannett).

In business as an Anti-Gang Specialist & Consultant since 2007, Ramey is the Modern Street Gangs Specialist of “The Gang Line”. He has been interviewed in the U.S. and abroad on the dangers of Modern Street Gangs. Ramey is a Certified Modern Street Gang Specialist, with Law Enforcement (2006), Non-Law Enforcement (2010) and Gangs & Cults (2017) certifications, plus endorsements in K-12 Gang Issues (2010) and Transnational Gang Tactics (2010). He has held workshops, trainings and consultations with and for street-level/school-based personnel. He carries Specialist ratings in the area of Cult/Occult Crime, Transnational Human Trafficking and has served as a national/transnational consultant to various faith-based anti-gang ministries.

Ramey has also served as a veteran substitute licensed teacher (1986-2011), a college instructor, a Probation Officer (Intensive/High Risk & School-Based 2001-2007) with the Marion County Juvenile Court and a peer grant reviewer of anti-gang grant programs for the U.S. Department of Justice (2010). He also created, designed and taught the course UM-190 “Modern Street Gangs: Developing Urban Ministry Strategies” in 2009 and 2010 at Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis, Indiana for those who desired to serve Jesus Christ in an Urban Ministry environment. Ramey also served as a post-production consultant for Chick Publications’ anti-gang comic: “Black Angel”. It had a 2013 national release, with an international Spanish-language version released in 2014.

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