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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Fashion police

We've all heard jokes about the "fashion police" going after so and so for what they wear. Now the jokes have come true:

It's a fashion that started in prison, and now the saggy pants craze has come full circle — low-slung street strutting in some cities may soon mean run-ins with the law, including a stint in jail.

Proposals to ban saggy pants are starting to ride up in several places. At the extreme end, wearing pants low enough to show boxers or bare buttocks in one small Louisiana town means six months in jail and a $500 fine. A crackdown also is being pushed in Atlanta. And in Trenton, getting caught with your pants down may soon result in not only a fine, but a city worker assessing where your life is headed.

"Are they employed? Do they have a high school diploma? It's a wonderful way to redirect at that point," said Trenton Councilwoman Annette Lartigue, who is drafting a law to outlaw saggy pants. "The message is clear: We don't want to see your backside."

OK, I don't want to see their backsides, either, and if schools want to ban the look, it might cut down on distractions in the classroom. But city ordinances to dictate the way people dress? Mabe we just ought to have city uniforms so police can quickly determine who belongs and who needs to be run out of town.

Unless plumbers and construction workers are going to be targeted as enthusiastically as teenagers, I might find myself on the same side as the ACLU on  the issue. More needless legal clutter.


Bob G.
Mon, 09/17/2007 - 8:34am

Only baboons in heat have the "right" to bear their buttocks (and that's for perpetuation of the species)...
Hmm...a pubescent message being sent here?

I thought we were more evolved than that.

Then again, I applaud the efforts to do away with this type of "dress" we allow today.

But it does make it easier for the cops to chase down a perp whose pants make him waddle like a penguin...LOL



N Ford
Mon, 09/17/2007 - 10:58am

This isn't an issue of race. The bottom line is, as Bob G. stated, people don't have the right to bare their bottoms in public. I should not be required to stare at a young man's bottom on the city bus or sidewalk.

The cities passing ordinances spcifically targeting the "sagging pants" are indeed adding legal clutter to our system and feeding fuel to the ACLU and other groups who are dying to scream "racism" whenever they get a chance. I would think that an old fashioned arrest for indecent exposure citing an ordinance already on the books would suffice.

Mr. Clean
Mon, 09/17/2007 - 11:32am

I would think that any buttock exposure would already be covered under laws covering indecent exposure. So why would we need this law? This is ridiculous ... I guess that all crime has been solved, and the politicos have nothing else to do.

Street Light
Mon, 09/17/2007 - 11:37am

I think this is ridiculous...It is a violation of our rights to ban baggy or saggy pants! It is not only a fashion statement, its a cultural thing, Hip-Hop is a culture and it not right and its not fair. contrary to a peice in the article, baggy jeans has no connection to their employment or their level of education. I am a 24 year old young man, I have already recieved a Bachealor degree and I am currently working on a Masters Degree to be a Pastor. I am the director of the morning program at a local elementary school and am a leader in my church....does it make me a bad person because i wear baggy pants? If i am comming out of a youth service and policeman happen to be standing down the block are they gonna arrest me and the kids with me for wearing baggy clothes? Where does the line get drawn? this law is designed only for young blacks and hispanics, it is racist and prejudice. If there was a 40 year old white plumber, whose pants were sagging, i guarentee you he would never get a disciplined for it. Things like this contribute to the endless cycle of oppressing minorities in this country. Its bad enough that so many of us are growing up in the projects, below the average national income, they need to find more ways to hold us down. You know the people that this directed towards will have trouble paying any fine, its not right. Most guys that wear baggin pants always got basketball shorts on under their jeans anyway, so they are not even showing their boxers, what are they gonna do in that situation? this law is ridiculous, if the law makers ever started making laws like this in NY, i would move out

Mon, 09/17/2007 - 11:37am

This trend wasn't only because they didn't have belts it also allowed "easy" access for other inmates. When you let your son know this will he still want to when his pants low?

Mon, 09/17/2007 - 11:55am

Personally, I don't like this trend. I hate it whenever I see people wearing pants the way they do. It is like what I always say; "if your pants are loose, get a belt or a smaller sized pants". That's just me. But these are people only expressing their style. Not because we don't like it gives us the reason to make criminals out of them. Isn't this what America is all about? The freedom of expression?

I think as long as I don't see skin, then there shouldn't be a problem. The government should punish criminals and not make criminals out of nothing...

Are we that paranoid that these so-called "baggy-wearers" will start a revolution? When they can't even run with it.

A J Bogle
Mon, 09/17/2007 - 12:02pm

Plumbers and other tradesmen have earned the right to show their cracks -"if you aren't showing crack, you're not working hard enough" ;)

Dallas has a similar baggy pants, exposed underwear law

Bob G.
Mon, 09/17/2007 - 1:55pm

There used to be a nickname for the "tradesman" version of being able to notice a butt-crack peeking over the waistband....

We called it a "Norge"....!

(God's honest truth!)
Remember...there's baggy, and then there's saggy-baggy. One is less confining, while the other is downright slovenly!



A J Bogle
Mon, 09/17/2007 - 3:03pm

"We called it a