We’ve all seen the current trend bans on various things but the latest thing someone has attempted to ban screams city officials with too much time on their hands. The mayor Pro-Tim of Dallas Texas attempted to ban the wearing of baggy pants, an offence punishable in the cities of at least 12 other states across the country, by up to a $500 fine or 6 months in jail. The “baggy pants” at issue being loosely defined as pants that hang below the waist or display a person’s underwear; fortunately for the youth and others targeted by this in Dallas Texas, information on the cost and man power needed to enforce such an ordinance made him decide to drop the legislative aspect of the issue, instead launching a campaign of billboards, presumably paid for with tax dollars, calling for everyone to pull up their pants. This Dr. Phil Show segment also included members of the hip-hop community along with parents on both sides of the saggin’ issue. Proponents campaign site that it is both disrespectful to self, women and the rest of the general public to dress this way. Down sides ranged from its origins that started in jails to others speaking of their 3 year old daughters and the indecency of seeing someone in public with their boxer shorts showing, to one rap star saying that saggin’ spelled backwards was code for niggas and yet another individual stating that a person could get shot if the police mistake someone pulling up their pants for pulling out a weapon or mistake sag for a hidden weapon. And as Americans in America, in the new millennium we all should be saying you’ve got to be kidding me!
Put aside that this is what we’re reduced to, that with all that’s going on in our country, our world that this is what prominent city leaders choose to focus on; let’s clarify that most of the claims made are ludicrous on any level never mind legislative. As to the issue of decency various degrees of sag exist, some only showing waste band of boxers others simply loose fitting; not to mention the majority of those who sag their pants tend to wear oversized or overly long shirts that cover the boxers, all you see is a large shirt and baggy pants. It has grown beyond the jails or fashion to cultural identity. As to the mayor Pro-Tim of Dallas’ assertion that it puts a target on the backs of African American youth, it brings out a heavy question for proponents of a ban like this; is it a decency issue or another way of unfairly targeting them? It is ironic that the mayor Pro-Tim of Dallas mentions respect when it can be asked when is he going to respect the nuances of his own culture, the youth of his own race, when are we, as a nation, going to start to respect the various aspects of African American culture? There was no evidence given or police officers present to validate the claim that youth can get shot this way, use it to steal or youth wearing such attire trying to get a job forget have trouble finding one because of it, yet the guests wasted no time saying so.
Where is the mayor’s, and officials of the 12 other states who actually issued this ban, respect for their tax paying citizens? How about not wasting tax payer dollars on billboards advertising a pants campaign, not pulling their police from actual crime prevention to write tickets to individuals saggn’ their pants, not clogging up the local court system insuring violators are punished. The fine being a penalty that can break poorer families, 6 months in jail that could cost someone their job or derail an education, all over pants! How about the mayor Pro-Tim respecting well known persons like those featured enough not to spark such an issue they must now waste their time dealing with? If city officials are so devoid of things to do how about starting a campaign to improve their cities education system, their healthcare system, focus on better policing and crime prevention, taking the guns and drugs off the street? How about respecting the real issues plaguing the black community and this nation the housing market is in crisis, the economy, we’re fighting a war and they’re debating pants; on the positive side, there is an African American for the first time in history who was poised to, and became president while they’re expecting us to start debating pants. Believe it or not, we’ve seen what happens when people start legislating such things; it’s the burqas and full veils of Afghanistan. It is not the state of our youth that should be of concern; it is the state of our adults.