Do-Rags and Bling

Ron 'Hollywood' Parro ronparro at EARTHLINK.NET
Thu May 17 09:19:10 UTC 2007

> I wear a 'do-rag' and I learned to love them during a trip to Sturgis
> during bike week. The purpose of the do-rag' is the same as a the
> common practice of wearing of baseball hats. When you are having a bad
> hair day you need to cover it up! It also makes a fashion statement
> and might be ghetto related but I don't think that has anything to do
> with why the bikers wear them.
> I think you're too sensitive about that ghetto thing. Gold teeth are a
> part of the whole 'bling' culture that people who live in the ghetto
> can't really participate in as much as they might want to so it
> actually is symbol of getting out of the ghetto. The case could be
> made that the ghetto use of bling comes from the hip-hop culture and
> do-rags come from functionality and possibly the older habit of women
> to wear a scarf to cover their hair.
> On May 16, 2007, at 10:00 PM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
>> From: Doug Harris <cats22 at FRONTIERNET.NET>
>> Date: May 16, 2007 12:40:34 AM MDT
>> Subject: Re: "Nappy-headed who'es" redux
>> 'Sorry, Wilson. Didn't mean to over generalize. Or appear to.
>> I'd say the meaning of 'male of the species' in this context is both
>> specific (humans: as exemplified in the book of the same term by Alex
>> Mindt,
>> Delphinium Books, Apr. 2007, ISBN 9781883285289, and the 1969 TV
>> movie,
>> written by Alun Owen and directed by Charles Jarrott, using the
>> phrase as
>> its title) and unspecific. And unfortunately so: Though it's true
>> that men
>> of assorted racial and ethnic backgrounds wear do rags, I was
>> referring more
>> specifically to the African American, and most specifically to those
>> whose
>> do rags less often serve the original, intended (do-keeping) purpose
>> than
>> they serve as a fashion statement, of sorts.
>> In that a fashion statement is 'something,' I was both inaccurate and
>> unfair
>> in stating the rags do 'nothing.'  (I wonder, though, is it most
>> accurate to
>> say the rag is making the fashion statement or that the wearer is, by
>> donning the rag?)
>> While you're absolutely right in suggesting it probably is of no
>> importance,
>> in the grand scheme of things, whether a hair cover does or does not
>> perform
>> a function, I respectfully suggest that it is in fact true that a
>> hair cover
>> always performs _some_ function, whether it's so simple a function as
>> protecting the wearer from the affects of sun, rain or whatever, or a
>> more
>> complex function as participating in the making of a fashion
>> statement, or
>> the representation of the wearer as a member, follower or even a
>> pretend-follower of a group, club or whatever.
>> Oh, and for the record, I understand that women made famous the do
>> rag look
>> during World War II (Safire, 'The to-do over 'do' and the do-rag,'
>> NYT,
>> 3/7/05) and that both men and women wear them now. But my original
>> comment
>> reflected my perspective, as coincidentally expressed in a Columbia
>> News
>> Service Report on 5/23/03
>> ( that
>> the do
>> rag look is "in-your-face ghetto," and I happen to intensely dislike
>> the
>> practice of people of whatever race or whatever background making a
>> point to
>> look, in their perception, as if they came from or were of a like
>> mind with
>> people unfortunate enough to live in a true ghetto.
>> That I am not alone in finding fault with the ghetto look was
>> exemplified
>> earlier this year in the reaction to some U. of Connecticut Law School
>> (white) students' behavior at an off-campus party. According to The
>> Smoking
>> Gun
>> (,
>> "do rags, gang signs and gold teeth" were both worn _and_ shown off
>> to the
>> world via postings on the web. Other UConn students and
>> administrators at
>> the law school criticized at the 'Bullets and Bubbly' party as
>> "racially
>> insensitive," according to that article.
>> (the other) doug
>> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: "Nappy-headed who'es" redux
>> Geez, the other doug, that's harsh! "The male of the species"? To what
>> species do you refer? What is the source of your implied claim that
>> the 'do rag' is peculiar to the male of the 'do rag-wearing species?
>> What is the basis of your stated claim "the male of the [un-named]
>> species is better known for the do-nothing 'do rag'' hair cover"?Why
>> do you think that the 'do rag is a do-nothing hair cover? What does it
>> matter whether a hair-cover perform a function?
>> IAC, the purpose of a (hair-)do rag, whether worn by a man or by a
>> woman, is to hold a hair-do in place until that hair-do has set.
> Ron 'Hollywood' Parro ;>{)
> "Footprints on the sand of time are not made by sitting down."
>     — Native American Proverb
Ron 'Hollywood' Parro ;>{)
  I'll bet the reason more people don't graduate from rodeo clown school
is because they don't pass Being Funny While Getting Gored in the Ass

The American Dialect Society -

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