Mr. Steal Yo Grandma Thinks Pulling Up Your Pants Will Stop Police Killings
Turns out that, aside from asking your grandmother out on a date, Irvin Randle also wants your son or brother to pull up his pants.
Randle, known on the internet as "Mr. Steal Your Grandma" after his Instagram posts went viral, used his Facebook to bring attention to something that's been terrorizing the black community. No, not rogue police officers — sagging pants.
"I have a message for my young African-Americans if y'all want to succeed in this life and stay out of trouble," Randle wrote. "I know being successful doesn't spare us from getting killed but most of the times, it keeps us out of trouble."
Randle rattles off a list of 10 tips to keep young black folks out of trouble, which includes going to school, not wearing baggy pants, not wearing too little clothing, not "calling yourselves bad bitches," respecting your elders, being better fathers and not joining gangs.
Randle put forth this list despite the fact that there are at least 23 everyday actions that can get a black person killed in the United States. Randle even admits that it won't always stop them from getting killed. So, why post it? Especially when much of the list is mired in myth and stereotype.
For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already debunked the myths that black fathers are absent — they're more involved with their children's lives than fathers from any race.
Randle's beliefs echo a few others who espouse respectability politics — like Bill Cosby. But, Randle's list of musts for young black men doesn't make their life easier. Instead, it highlights how institutions meant to protect and serve black people often fail.
While Randle wants young black kids to go to school and get an education, he says nothing of school "pushout," which sees young black children pushed out of schools and into prisons. He tells young black girls to cover themselves up, but says nothing about how rape culture uniquely affects black women, who continue to be seen as "unrapeable."
He tells young black kids to obey the laws even though legality played no role in the death of Tamir Rice or Trayvon Martin.
Commenters both supported and opposed Randle's message. Some pointed out that black people are killed no matter how they act, while some said Randle's positive message should be considered.
Though Randle has a problem with young black people who don't act a certain way, he should really have a problem with the fact that he's spouting ignorant, unfounded and inaccurate "tips."