AlterNet just posted a piece on certain states enacting laws against baggy pants. I’d have filed this story under humor if I was kidding – but I’m not. Cities around the country including Cocoa Beach, FL, Lynwood, IL, Boston, New York City and Shreveport, LA have enacted – or are in the process of enacting – laws that will limit how low your jeans can go. Penalties for excessive revealing of tighty whities include fines, community service and even prison time. Pretty good law, if you’re CCA – pretty stupid and racist one, if you’re not.
These laws are obviously designed to target urban Black youth.
Reasons cited, include public health and a plethora of puritanical morality issues. The public health bit has to do with the way people in baggy pants walk. Allegedly, this sort of gait may potentially damage the hips, later in life.
When I was a kid, we wore bell-bottom jeans, tie-dyed shirts and beads. We flashed each other peace signs, and spoke in an argot that sounded like nails on a chalkboard, to our parents – which is why we did it. Every generation seeks to find their identity, and rebellion is a fact of life, not only in Human societies, but in Animal ones as well.
Personally, I thing baggy pants and backward hats look pretty stupid, but when I see pictures of the Woodstock generation, I’m reminded of just how stupid we looked, as well. What I think of the fashion, doesn’t matter. People who dress this way have the right to do so. Self expression is not only a right, it’s a sociological necessity. As long as one is not exposing that which society deems indecent – waggling your junk in front of people – you should be able to dress any way you want.
From the AlterNet article:
Saggy-pants laws violate a basic First Amendment right to free speech and the liberty interest in expression. Clothing style is one of the most personal forms of expression. An individual’s liberty interest is a basic right that falls under the same category as the other liberties guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. Like stop
and frisk and other so-called crime-fighting initiatives, saggy-pants laws invite trouble. Based on “a look,” police target certain communities, usually the African-American community, even though people of all races wear pants that might fall under the legal prohibitions. This racially based profiling leads to a disproportionate number of African Americans being stopped and searched unnecessarily, which in turn leads to unnecessary arrests for questionable minor offenses. The fact is that no link has been found between wearing saggy pants and increased crime or threat to public safety—but clothing has become a pretext to stop and search people for other things.
This whole thing is symptomatic of much deeper issues, like the criminalization of youth, the School to Prison Pipeline, the lobbying for and enactment of laws that benefit the private prison industry, and the creation of a Criminal Class, that underpins America’s new Jim Crow culture. These laws, and others like them, need to be stopped. This becomes a 10th Amendment mandate, in that states or municipalities are enacting laws that expressly violate Federal equal protections and rights deeded us by the Constitution.
Here’s the link to the AlterNet page:
BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.
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