Are Your Jeans Sagging? Go Directly to Jail.
If the readers review the "New Crime Bill" signed into law by then president Bill Clinton, African males wearing baggy clothers, dreadlocks, bandanas, (of any colour) the presence of predominantly Black-ink tattoos, sunglasses and a congregation of four or more African males standing as a group for an extended period of time, (depending on the judgement of the officer(s) on the scene) can be stopped, searched and detained even if they are not suspected of having committed any crimes. After the Clinton made racial profiling legal, various municipalities have followed suit with similiar ordinances of their own and teh trend is not abating.
- The Angryindian
JAMARCUS MARSHALL, a 17-year-old high school sophomore in Mansfield, La., believes that no one should be able to tell him how low to wear his jeans. “It’s up to the person who’s wearing the pants,” he said.
Mr. Marshall’s sagging pants, a style popularized in the early 1990s
by hip-hop artists, are becoming a criminal offense in a growing number
of communities, including his own.
Starting in Louisiana, an
intensifying push by lawmakers has determined pants worn low enough to
expose underwear poses a threat to the public, and they have enacted
indecency ordinances to stop it.
Since June 11, sagging pants
have been against the law in Delcambre, La., a town of 2,231 that is 80
miles southwest of Baton Rouge. The style carries a fine of as much as
$500 or up to a six-month sentence. “We used to wear long hair, but I
don’t think our trends were ever as bad as sagging,” said Mayor Carol
An ordinance in Mansfield, a town of 5,496 near
Shreveport, subjects offenders to a fine (as much as $150 plus court
costs) or jail time (up to 15 days). Police Chief Don English said the
law, which takes effect Sept. 15, will set a good civic image.
the indecency laws may be the real issue — the hip-hop style itself,
which critics say is worn as a badge of delinquency, with its
distinctive walk conveying thuggish swagger and a disrespect for
authority. Also at work is the larger issue of freedom of expression
and the questions raised when fashion moves from being merely
objectionable to illegal.
Sagging began in prison, where
oversized uniforms were issued without belts to prevent suicide and
their use as weapons. The style spread through rappers and music
videos, from the ghetto to the suburbs and around the world.