In the clearing stands some boxers

Help Belt-Deprived Urban Youths Defeat Prison Culture, Droopy Drawers

"Lookin' like a fool with your pants on the [ocean floor]"Prince George’s County is a community imperiled: It’s not the police officers beating students and lying about it, no, and it is not high-school football players having liaisons with prostitutes during school-sponsored trips.

The real problem, you see, is much worse: Students in the D.C. suburb have taken to wearing… saggy pants.

Yes, readers, it’s really that bad. Sometimes, students wear their pants lower than adults would like. Don’t worry though, they’ve got a solution. Tell ‘em, Washington Times:

Prince George’s County community leaders frustrated by the precariously low waistbands of young men are collecting belts this month to put a stop to sagging pants.

Good job, community leaders! That’s why students have saggy pants! Lack of belts. Related sociological finding: Vegetarians don’t eat meat due to a lack of steak knives.

Jerrod Mustaf, the executive director of the Take Charge Foundation, said the project’s goal is to “modify the culture of young people who believe it’s cool to wear the pants that are sagging.”

Take that, kids who want to be cool! Also, a belt.

“When we look at positive role models in our community, you don’t see any positive men dressing like this,” he said. (It appears no one asked him why he did not just take belts away from the positive role models instead.)

By Mustaf’s logic, however, tons of clothes are about to be banned: When was the last time someone took to the halls of Congress wearing a baseball cap? A CEO wearing a T-shirt with a pun on it? Burn them! Wingtips for everybody!

But Mustaf admits it’s not just belts that are the problem. It’s also parents. And rap.

“It’s so disheartening,” Mustaf said. “You find a lot of parents who are younger, who watch Jay-Z on an awards show or Lil Wayne, and their pants are sagging… Parents still listen to and adore these rappers and these musicians.”

STOP LIKING RAP, PARENTS. And buy your children belts, they are looking like hooligans. And stop using the word hooligans, it is only encouraging the hooligans.

Thank goodness an upstanding gentleman like Mustaf is around with his organization, which the Times describes as “a nonprofit organization based in Prince George’s County that focuses on helping families and their children avoid bad choices and behavior that can lead to jail.”

Of course, back in 2001, the Times had a different story, describing ol’ Jerrod Mustaf, who, by the way, was a football player at that school that had the hooker problem:

Ever since he was linked to the murder of his pregnant girlfriend in Arizona in 1993, former DeMatha High School and Maryland basketball star Jerrod Mustaf has been trying to polish a tarnished reputation…

In 1998, Maricopa County (Ariz.) Superior Court records showed that Mustaf fathered five children by five different women, not counting Hayes, and ordered Mustaf to pay child support to one of them.

That same year, Mustaf filed for bankruptcy in Maryland, even though he was playing [basketball] in Europe and earning more than $141,000 monthly, according to a lawyer’s report. Also in 1998, Mustaf settled, for an unspecified amount, a wrongful death civil suit…

Oh dear. And it looks like the Seattle Times has even more murdery details, about how his NBA career faltered because of people being dead around him?

But if this was in the ’90s, why were they writing about him in 2001?

He was charged with second-degree assault for reportedly attacking Shalamar Mustaf in February. Shalamar Mustaf calls herself Jerrod Mustaf’s “wife” although the home they are sharing in Mitchellville, Md., was listed as her “temporary residence” in court documents. She is the niece of Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam.


After the reported assault, Shalamar Mustaf sought protection from Mustaf. In March, he was ordered by the Maryland district court in Prince George’s County to stay away from their home, the school her son attends and her place of employment.

Shortly thereafter, Mustaf was arrested for violating the protective order.

Well, that doesn’t sound like the same guy–

Apparently this is not the only time Jerrod Mustaf has been involved in a domestic abuse case. Bruce Lowe, a Glendale, Ariz., police detective, said that in 1997 Mustaf assaulted and fired a gun at a woman who gave the name of Psasha Mustaf.

OK stop Washington Times, we get the idea, even if you are being kind of libelous. Also, you heard the man, kids. PULL UP YOUR PANTS. [Washington Times via DCist]

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    1. Negropolis

      To be fair, Prince George's is far from impoverished as I understand it.

      In fact, this strikes me as the all-too-frequent story of a community finally "making it" and then shitting on where they came from by overreacting to cultural ques they once held, themselves.

  1. UnholyMoses

    Unless those belts come with jobs, not much will change.

    (Trust me — used to live in Temple Hills. They need something other than liquor store and grocery store jobs. Something, ya know, with a future would be nice.)

    1. FakaktaSouth

      God I wish I could. 20! Clinton! REDO! And the first thing I'd do is make sure W stayed publicly drunker for longer.

      1. HistoriCat

        You keep W publicly drunk. I'll avoid my disastrous marriage and distract a certain White House intern from flashing her panties in the wrong office.

  2. eggsacklywright

    "in 1997 Mustaf assaulted and fired a gun at a woman who gave the name of Psasha Mustaf"

    Thank goodness he missed LaTrina.

  3. prommie

    I saw this movie once, called "Risky Business;" it was about high school students having liaisons with prostitutes, then this one high school student blackmails a college admissions officer into letting him into the college! My panties didn't get in a bunch at all, it seemed like a hoot!

  4. bureaucrap

    I suspect Mr. Mustaf's "Take Charge Foundation" doesn't want donations of actual belts; they just want cash so they can (at some unspecified later date) buy very expensive belts (say $10,000/piece) for certain executive directors. That's why it's called the "[We] Take [All forms of] Charge [Cards] Foundation."

  5. zumpie

    And then Mustaf completed his magical transformation to grouchy old white guy by yelling at both clouds AND kids to stay off his lawn. Right before he wrote his many child support checks

    1. superdave

      And then Mustaf complained that they weren't wearing onions in their belts, because that was the style at the time.

      1. freakishlywrong

        Yes. Back when it only cost a nickle to get the Ferry to Shelbyville..and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you'd say.

        Shit will NEVER get old.

  6. UnholyMoses

    I would think that cops love those droopy pants—it'd make it harder for the kids they want to beat to run away.

  7. DCBloom

    Years ago, my daughter took to wearing oversized pants. My family was horrified…. How can you let her do that? All I did was laugh, point and take pics. She grew out of it.

    Now we pull out pics of me & hubby on Dead tour, and her pics of her gangsta phase and laugh.

    Good times…

  8. Cicada

    On a scale of criminality, I'm pretty sure the guys behind the economic meltdown have caused more damage than all the saggy bottomed teens in P.G. combined.

    We really need to get parents to stop letting their kids wear Brooks Brothers and watch CNBC. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

  9. SoBeach

    What do I know? Maybe judges go easier on domestic abusers if they pull their pants up. It's worth a shot.

  10. Roy Hobbson

    Fuck belts. Get them BOOTSTRAPS. That's the problem here. They have nothing to pull themselves up by, metaphorically.

  11. prommie

    BTW, I found it completely impossible to masturbate to this post at all in any way shape or form. The sole entertainment value in it, to me, is in the still from Sponge Bob, which reminds me of They Might Be Giants because they sang the theme song, and that makes me start hearing "Birdhouse in Your Soul" in my head, and that makes me completely happy for the same reason its in my profile. See, I amuse myself even when presented with lackluster entertainment!

    1. thebeatgoeson

      I didn't know they sang the Sponge Bob theme song! I knew about Courage the Cowardly Dog and the Daily Show Theme…

      Yesterday I was listening to their live version of "When Will You Die" and all I could think of was Mitt ~ "You're insane You are bad You wreck everything you touch And you're a sociopath" …"I'd be counting down the days Until the lovely one On which you're gone"

      *disclaimer – I do not wish Mitt would die. I only want him to go away

  12. FakaktaSouth

    I think this is weird, kids doing what I KNOW their parents were doing back in their (my) day – HEY get your own civilization destroying fad, ya little copy-catting fucks. I didn't go around wearing hot pants from the 70s with my mom when WE were destroying the world with pants, stop being so lazy.

      1. FakaktaSouth

        Now I am trying to construct your image as self described, whilst I await the god damned Pres O was awesome post that SURELY should be coming around soon enough. You are wearing scarves, purses, tuber vegetables and panties. You need a parade.

        1. prommie

          And oh yes, I can just picture Rebecca right now, up early before the west coast dawn, eyes alight with energy and inspiration, furiously typing as she produces the masterpiece of intelligence wit and erudition that we have come to expect from her! Even if some parts seem oddly familiar!

  13. Yellerdawg

    The best and easiest way to combat sagging is for everyone over fifty to start doing it. It would be uncomfortable and inconvenient for about a week, but after that, the kids would be pulling their pants up to their chins, or high enough to cover their eyes maybe.

      1. FakaktaSouth

        Dirty Dancing, also from my high school years, and a thing for which I will forever be grateful to that dead guy, whatever his name was.

    1. LibertyLover

      Hey. There's enough other stuff sagging on us olds. We don't need no stinkin' saggy pants, also too.

  14. fawkedifiknow

    One of this guy's problems had more to do with keeping his zipper zipped than whether or not he wore his pants too low. Stop the belt libel. Put locks on zippers!!

  15. EatsBabyDingos

    Yes, Moonie Times, PG's biggest issue is saggy baggy pants, and has nothing to do with the police department, who need 7% of their annual budget to defend and pay police brutality lawsuits.

  16. PsycWench

    Reminds me of the furor over suspenders worn with one strap hanging down in the 1980's. It meant something terrible awful, but I can't remember exactly what.

  17. Ducksworthy

    Um, I was treated to a discussion last week with a 20 something (late 20 something, white) who's pants were hanging low enough to disclose the skid marks on his filthy underwear and most of his ass crack. This was not aesthetically pleasing. I had about the same visceral reaction as I have to Mitten's voice.

  18. HempDogbane

    Its true about the steak knives. Call President Obama and ask him what he's going to do about the tough steak !

  19. PsycWench

    Related sociological finding: Vegetarians don’t eat meat due to a lack of steak knives.
    That's some Grade-A snark right there.

  20. JustPixelz

    The yutes always find a style that their parents hate. It's a coming-of-age imperative to establish their own identity and ease the inevitable parting. (Followed by the inevitable moving back in 'cause things didn't work out.) But that's no reason to take a belt to them.

    1. BoroPrimorac

      You just described why blue state parents are better than red state parents.

      Talk to your fucking kids if you want to understand them damn it.

  21. SorosBot

    Old people are obsessing about young folks wearing their pants too low; wait how did I not notice stepping in this time warp to the late 90s?

  22. el_donaldo

    I don't mind the saggy pants. It's the kids with the saggy pants so low they're belted at the knees and it impedes their forward motion and who are texting while walking on the sidewalk so that they're slower than molasses running down a hillside and you can't get around them and you're stuck just kind waiting for them to reach an intersection so you can scoot around them and, man, am I old.

  23. mrblifil

    Sigh. Prisons remove all belts and waste elastic from prison garb as a suicide prevention tactic. Many young black men in prison adapt by not caring that their pants were low slung, in defiance of a systematic attempt to make them feel ashamed. Then they get released and continue the habit (saves money on belts) and surprise surprise the young boys in the hardest hit communities adopt this mode as their own. Next you have Abercrombie and Fitch selling pants with a fake waist to provide the illusion that the pants are falling down.

    So if people have a problem with saggy pants, that train has left the station. Howzabout you shut the fuck up about style choices and create a new system that doesn't rely on forcing compliance by rounding up all the young bucks for incarceration. It's been going on for centuries now, and the results so far have been sub par. Might want to get on that, instead of bitching like a bunch of bottom of the totem pole bitches.

  24. BadKitty904

    I see that Mr. Mustaf, the "Professor Harold Hill" of Prince George's County, has come up with a well-thought-out, effective plan to keep today's kids from rebuckling their knickerbockers below the knee.

    The next Threat to Society to be resolved: Dime Novels Hidden in the Corn Crib

  25. LibertyLover

    Clearly, wearing the pants in the Mustaf family — wherever one wears them, leads to threatening others with guns because of the Rap music. Duh.

  26. Grief_Lessons

    Hey, who better to tell kids how to avoid jail than an apparent murderer and serial abuser of women who seems never to have spent a day in the hoosgow?

  27. UnholyMoses

    Anyone else remember when the issue was pants there were too tight (Jordache, Sasoon, et alia)?


    1. johnnymeatworth

      I bet he's way richer than Jerrod Mustaf too, not to mention his wife almost certainly being way hotter….

  28. HouseOfTheBlueLights

    THE most sure-fire way to get the kids to stop wearing sagging pants is to have their parents wear them. Ditto what music they listen to.

  29. sullivanst

    Couldn't find any "positive role models in our community" wearing their pants low because they defined all people doing so as not positive role models. Not exactly subtle.

    ETA: Also too: Mustaf? That sounds almost… Mohammatan. Burn him!

  30. LibertyLover

    When was the last time someone took to the halls of Congress wearing a baseball cap?

    I believe that would be Paul Ryan when he's working out to the P90X. So isn't all this low hanging pants "bro"-ha-ha Paul Ryan's fault for setting such a bad example?

  31. glasspusher

    I don't like rap, my teenage kid doesn't wear droopy pants, and I still have to pretty much hold a gun to his head to get him to do his homework. So much for a correlation…

  32. Mittaplasia

    This article coincides nicely with the grand opening of my "Shit That Don't Fit" clothing store…sweet.

  33. weejee

    The haze from the debate drinkie games hasn't cleared and the Wonkette Eds are back with talk about belts. Is this a hairy dog thing?

  34. Terry

    Mustaf sounds like a fine man who must be correct that the source of PG's issues is droopy drawers. Not.

    I'm from PG. I spend more time there each week than the entire staff of the Washington Times combined. Droopy pants, which seem to be fading as a fad btw, are like any other odd fashion trend among teenagers…something designed specifically to annoy adults.

    My recommendations for improving PG:

    – Currently, the County is largely a bedroom community for DC and consists largely of houses/apartments, some family farms, and lots and lots of churches who don't pay taxes. Keep supporting the economic development/redevelopment of Bowie, Hyattsville, Oxon Hill/National Harbor, and expand that effort to some of the older in-close towns like Seat Pleasant, Riverdale, New Carrollton, etc. Get more shopping so folks don't have to leave the County to buy nice clothes or other items. More companies so folks don't have to leave the County to work.

    – Give the frickin place a few years with good, non-corrupt governance. Jack Johnson and cronies, I'm looking at YOU.

    Prince George's County isn't what the people in gated enclaves in Virginia think it is. Yes, there are neighborhoods with crime problems. But there are MORE areas that are lovely and safe neighborhoods. There are farms that have been in families for a century or more. There are natural areas like Jug Bay, Suitland Bog, and the little parks along the streams and embayments that are beautiful. There are colonial manor houses that are absolutely gorgeous and the County is full of historical sites from pre-Colombian times to the War of 1812 to the Civil War to the 20th Century. I was a kid and walked into a dining room at Oxon Hill Manor and saw one of the few original Lincoln death masks sitting in a glass box by the credenza like it was something normal to have in a dining room. I've seen part of a mastadon skeleton found when a foundation was being dug. Ammonites turn up when basements are being dug, too. I've picked up fossils ranging from dino teeth to clams.

    PG is actually a great place to live. My father asks, however, that I not tell too many people about how nice it is because folks might move there and drive up the prices.

  35. pdiddycornchips

    These kids need to learn that youthful indiscretions like this can come back to haunt you later in life. Twenty years from now, one of these kids will run for office and all this saggy pants business will surface and cost him an election. The lesson for the day is, if you're south of the Mason Dixon line, don't wear saggy pants, join the KKK instead.

  36. proudgrampa

    "You kids better behave, or I am going to bring out the BELT!!!"

    We stopped immediately. We had never seen the BELT, but we knew all about it. It was 9 feet long. Six feet wide. It had hooks on it to rip the meat off our bodies.

    — Bill Cosby

  37. thefrontpage

    OCTOBER 17, 2012

    Mayberryville, Idaho (October 17, 2012)—The American Family Association (AFA) President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Fitzgerald announced today, October 17, that AFA was finally admitting to the world that all of its members are homosexuals, transexuals, transgenders, bestiality participants, foot fetishers and S&M proponents.

    "We take this action because it's about time that we admit who we really are," said Fitzgerald, accompanied by his longtime gay lover, Gerald Fitzpatrick. "And we, the American Family Association, are indeed primarliy composed of homosexuals. And we are gay people who love gay relationships and actively participate in gay trysts, every day of the week!"

    AFA immediately endorsed all public school activities that supported the very simple and basic idea of kids getting to know other kids better.

    "We support all such public school activities," said Peter Johnson, the AFA's Public Schools Coordinator.
    # # #

  38. Jukesgrrl

    If a "generation" constitutes twenty to thirty years, baggy pants have been around for nearly a generation. Good job keeping up with the times, Prince George's County!

  39. Aridzona

    "Vegetarians don't eat meat due to a lack of steak knives."

    This is precisely the kind of phraseology that compels me to happily waste my time reading Wonkette.

  40. Blunderthing

    Pull your pants up! Sit up straight! Don't track mud over my nice clean floors! Get a job! Smile! Stop smiling! Get over here! Shine my shoes!

  41. Negropolis

    Gd, I know these types. They are self-guilting former criminals who think they've been sent to "save" communities from themselves, and express it by trying to stifle creativity and homogenize culture, addressing symptons and not causes. I think the worst then about them is their self-delusionment and god complex topped off by the fact that many of them still have very real issues of their own they haven't yet addressed.

    Even more often, these fuckers are just con artists.

    BTW, I bet Mr. Mustaf (you forgot the ending a, dude) doesn't mine the teen girls walking around with their thong straps visible above their pants, right?

  42. DahBoner

    If yo pants be a draggin'
    Yo mind be a saggin'…
    — Bill Cosby, Nobel Prize Winner, 80's Sweater Fashion

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