Letters To The Editor-June '98

Get Yo' Pimp On

Boy! Did you hit the nail right on the head or what?! I have a five year old daughter and I refuse to buy her shoes that she wants simply because her classmates' parents have fallen into the trap that these shoes will somehow make them better children. I wonder when I see these kids stroll in to class if they have eaten a well balanced meal and whether or not they did their homework. That is what is important. Not how cute you look in your shoes at school. I am going through a divorce and recently had to move from Las Vegas to Michigan. It was scary, being a single parent for the first time and all. And what was so frustrating was to walk into the Social Services dept to apply for welfare and find that I was literally surrounded by dozens of women decked out in there new Nikes, leather coats, etc.....and there kids were dressed the same. Here I am just hoping to get some assistance until I can find a job and these women don't look as if they're starving at all! Well, good for you for speaking out on a subject that I could definitely relate to.


I totally agree with you on this pimping issue. I am, however, the type of mom that WILL stand in line to get my son into a computer class and I take him along with me when I go to vote. It really depends on the parent. I think that if we instill the right values in our children, then they will not grow up to be the adults who are living paycheck to paycheck but driving the "right" kind of car.



Thank you for your words of true wisdom. I attend a church here in Atlanta called New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. This week we are having a Youth conference and it is Deep! We are preaching to the kids the samethings you are saying about the major corporations who target the innercity youth.

If we break the curse now and let our children know that they want to be the CEO's of the company and not only the consumers. We can own those major corporations and show the children that is there to life than the latest fashions. Because while our children are are wearing the latest expensive fashion the have no money for school and have no idea that there are other things great to do with money. We are not teaching out children how to give to the community but how to make someone else rich. Anything that our children are suffering now comes from the home. If the parents condone the espensive taste amoung other things the children with never learn there are other important things in life. It is up to us to break the curse of past generations. I could go on forever but I won't bore you any further.

Thanks for your words.

Davey D,

I totally agree with you on why would anyone pay almost 200.00 for a pair of tennis shoes for a child or for themselves for that matter. Too many families struggle to pay rent, utilities and other bills and then they are put in the position to put a 200.00 pair of shoes on their child's feet so they can worry about someone killing them for the shoes when they wear them. I also have to agree with you on the sad state of affairs when someone will line up outside to buy some over priced shoes, but they will not go to the voting booth to make their voices heard. My motto is if you did not vote, then you cannot complain to me. I think it is a disgrace that so many people died protesting so that we as a people could vote here in the South, yet everytime we have an election and I go to my precinct to vote, I never ever have to wait. It is always me and some little old lady that needed a ride to vote, who understands the struggle she had to endure to have that right to cast that ballot. Maybe if it was taken away, they would appreciate it. Makes you wonder if they would give up their Air Jordan's to have their right to vote given back to them.

Keep up the good work and let me get down off my soapbox.


I enjoyed your article "Getting Your Pimp On" Very Much! I agree with everything you said, and wish I could afford to mail a copy of your article to every home in inner city neighborhoods throughout America!

I fear, however, that if I did, the same parents who buy, and allow their children to buy, overpriced designer duds in the name of fashion, would simply scoff, toss it aside and claim that "He just mad 'cuz he cain't afford nothin'!"

God help us.

I read your write-up on Pimps and Playa's with the illustration of Nike shoes. You hit it on the mark. We as blacks have economical clot but we tend to use it in the wrong way. I have been one of those odd parents who did not spend over a certain amount on any type of shoe and did not train my children about designer labels on clothing. My children knew early on what they would or would not get as it regards to the outer clothing. I believe education for our kids starts in the home and extends to school and church. Therefore, I have always attended and took an active part in PTA meetings and took my kids to church every week. We have to teach our kids values early on or they grow up with expectations that cannot be met in the legal way.

You know, we sometimes want our kids to have things better than we had when we were coming up but I think some parents have gotten carried away and have forgotten the values our parents tried to teach, despite the fact they may not have had the to money to always buy us the best. Our parents wanted better for us when we were growing up. Some where over the years we have lost our value systems.

Thank you for sharing.

I would like to commend you and echo your sentiments exactly. I often ponder and pose the same questions to my friends and colleagues. I must admit that at times I have and still do get caught-up in the material excess displayed by my friends, peers and community. In proper perspective, there is nothing wrong with wearing and purchasing nice designer things, but-unfortunately-as a community, we give it way too much importance and diminish the more important things such as education, spirituality, economic stability. Not to mention that many of the designers and sellers of these very expensive items don't respect or care for us as a community. And in a sense, we finance our own oppression and discrimination. I wish that for a period of time-say a month-that African Americans stop consuming such luxury items and then Versace, Gucci, Nike, Saks, Bloomingdales and many of the other major retail stores and designers will understand in a very real way ( in the form of much lower revenue) just how important we are as consumers.


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