Sagging Your Pants? Risk a Fine Or Jail Time
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Beginning mid-way in September, the law in Mansfield, Louisiana are imposing a city-dress code that prohibits the sagging of pants. Pant-saggers can be fined $150 (plus court costs) or be thrown into jail up to 15 days. Seriously?
The logic of the rule, is "race-blind" and relying on standards of "decency," regardless of the fact that purveyors of the style are black men. In the West Ward of Trenton, Councilwoman Annette Lartigue is drafting an ordinance to fine or enforce community service to curb this national epidemic. She said,
"It's a fad like hot pants; however, I think it crosses the line when a person shows their backside. You can't legislate how people dress, but you can legislate when people begin to become indecent by their body parts."
Has she actually seen anyone wear sagging jeans? There's pretty clearly no actual skin exposure involved, and certainly nothing vaguely comparable to hot pants. Moral decency isn't really the issue here. Essentially, lawmakers are trying to control a group they see as "threatening" -- young, black men. Since people are more likely to believe that black men committed violent crimes (whether they did it or not is unimportant), it now follows that we should simply outlaw whatever it is that black men do that's too, you know, black.