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Getting In Your Pants

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The government wants to get in your pants! A recent wave has begun where states are taking action against the dangers of sagging pants.
The Story

Areas in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana have instructed bans against sagging pants that require men and women to wear their pants no lower than 3 inches from their waist or they could receive a fine of $25 for first time offenders and up to $200 for repeat offenders. A punishment of 40 hours of community service could also be issued.

Florida tried this in 2008 and the courts ruled that it was unconstitutional and violated people’s 14th amendment. And Hinds County Mississippi trued it in 2012 and was struck down as well (for damn good reasons). What’s changed??

The Problem

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) executive director Marjorie Esman stated,

“clothing is a form of expression protected under the Constitution of the United States. To ban a particular clothing style would violate a liberty interest guaranteed under the 14th Amendment of the US.. Constitution.”

The problem is that the economy is still in Hell, unemployment is burying the country in poverty, prejudice abounds, fascism is real, and the most diplomatic president we’ve had in I don’t know how long is in his last term; so, how are sagging pants such a menace that state legislation needs to “crack down” on it??

The judicial system is already waging war on American civil liberties with their Voting Acts repeal, stop-and-frisk, and affirmative action attacks. Now they want to police fashion. It never ceases to amaze me how conservative thought prevails in such situations (much like the abortion debate) yet that same wing of thought decries “big government” while handing the government power over the simplest factions of our lives. I get that some people feel sagging is disrespectful or just unseemly; however, the issue is not their opinion. The issue is that they are so attached to this opinion that they will support the most extreme of measures in combat against it.

Furthermore, it’s not as if police officers aren’t wasting enough of government money and their time accosting tax paying citizens. Now we’re handing them carte blanche to supervise our every move. This will prove even more dangerous for minorities who already are disproportionately targeted. They might as well legalize racial profiling now and stop faking.

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“Niggas should sag down to their socks out there — They trying to get people to not sag, please. Can’t tell people how to wear their fucking clothes. This ain’t the fucking slave days. Fuck that.”

– Game
The Point

This is the result — as most of our country’s failures over the past 20 years — of the aging Baby Boomers clinging for dear life to their power and positions in an effort to keep the world as they knew it. The younger generation’s (I include myself here) apathy and indifference is the reason they get away with it. We are the first generations to not hold our country accountable for the conditions in which they force us. That will be our undoing.

We cannot be fooled into believing this is about decency. Nor is this about public interest. Maybe it’s about money (Albany, GA made $4,000 off sagging pants fines in 2011). Maybe it’s about it’s about the ethical decline of civility in our country — where rather than teaching and instituting practices of good conduct, we’d rather see people strong armed into conforming to public opinion. Whichever the case what is evident is that we are on a slippery slope away from diplomacy, democracy, and freedom (all the things that once made america great). The day is coming when we will look up and find that we have become what we presume people in other countries are: enslaved to a dictatorship.

I’m not sayin’; I’m just sayin,’

An Angry Black Man

4 Comments on Getting In Your Pants

  1. This shit is ridiculous. And the nerve these fuckin’ lawmakers have to act as if there is no racial motive behind this. I’ve personally witnessed a guy at a club literally with his pants as high as Steve Erkel being told he was “violating the dress code” for having his pants sagging! Now they’re making it a criminal offense?! As if leaving ANYTHING up to the discretion of police officers is a good idea.. Imagine the outrage there would be if someone proposed a law against cowboy hats and boots and wearing pants so tight it looks as if someone has a wedgie. Whose to say someone can’t find that “offensive to the eye”? Man, this really is a fascist country.

    • Yo I think you hit the nail on the head with the question about do we say what everyone finds “offensive” to the eye. This is why I say this has a lot to do with our generation not actually coming to power because the Baby Boomers have decided to hold the reigns until they die. Think about the vanity of the last 20 years with the obsession over anti-aging, plastic surgery, 40’something and 50 years olds dating people 20 years younger than themselves, the constant push for “conservative” values (because we know the radicals of yesterday are the conservatives if today), and the sudden significance of Medicare and elder care (although our generation won’t have anywhere near the same benefit when it is our time) and the push of propaganda to make our generation appear to be irresponsible and selfish (so there is no respect for our ideas). And, of course we sat back and let it happen and in the economy that they destroyed (we will be the first generation to not be able do better than our parents), we have no political and economic power.

      What they don’t realize is that they aren’t just shoving their “ethics” and “morality” down young people’s throats they are setting our government up to be an oppressive force that will take us a generation or two to rectify before it becomes unbearable. Once again their self-centeredness will create backlashes that, in George Bush fashion, will be the succeeding leader’s burden.

      • That’s some important analysis. I must confess I never thought of it like that, as being a generational thing until you just pointed it out to me’! It makes sense. And it’s also crazy to think that our generation is in a sense “having the wool pull over” our eyes being as we are the 1st to really grow up with the Internet. We have ways of keeping informed previous generations couldn’t have dreamed of. Maybe what’s missing is we aren’t organized in every city and town to push against the system. I know in my town it’s almost impossible to find any sort of activism or grassroots movement to really get involved in, which is probably why I ended up blogging, to at least try and raise awareness more, ya know?

        • I definitely agree. I think the issue is that we grew up WITH the Internet. We don’t have the confidence and altitude in it that younger generations do because we witnessed the kinks. So we’re caught between traditional communication and organization techniques (that do not all still work today) and newer techniques (that we have not all mastered). Which renders us impotent and irrelevant to the current course of things. I think we have to force ourselves to become experts — not just knowledgeable — about social media, google, and the information that is available to us. We have to then transcribe that through mediums that we use (social media and community organizing). By linking the two we can lay the groundwork for the future.

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