Atlanta Baggy-Pants Ban Debate Drags On
By GREG BLUESTEIN

Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA "” Striped underpants peeked out of 19-year-old Jae Cripe's outfit as she took a stand Tuesday at an Atlanta City Council meeting next to a sign that proclaimed: "Clothes are not a crime."

Across the crowded room, 76-year-old James Allen was making his own statement, talking about the start of a "belt brigade" that could one day patrol the streets to urge kids to pull up their baggy pants.

It was a snapshot of the brewing debate in Atlanta over a measure that would outlaw baggy pants that show boxer shorts or thongs. Offenders would risk a civil penalty "” likely a fine "” but no jail time, said the proposal's sponsor, councilman C.T. Martin.

"We cannot continue to allow our community standards to go astray, and not stand up," he said.

Critics have claimed the measure is a new form of racial profiling that would allow police to target young black males who wear their pants far below the beltline.

"These are the hope of the future of young black men. They look at you as role models," resident Kim Bryant told the panel. "Yet you'd be willing to put them in jail because they didn't wear a belt."

But if Tuesday's hearing was any indication, the divide appears to center on age, not race. The bill's sponsors are black council members, and most of the supporters who spoke were aging residents who peppered their speeches with anecdotes of the civil rights movement.

"I don't think we're doing our ancestors due justice for some of the things we are doing today. It's time for us to push back," said Lonnie King, an Atlanta resident. "We cannot afford to let young people decide what's best for our community. Young people have a lot of good ideas, but we cannot allow them to denigrate our society."

The critics, including Cripe, a white woman who stood silently in the back of the room with her striped underwear on display, tended to be younger.

"It should be my personal choice what to wear," said Jimmy Person, 34. "Maybe young people should be more tasteful. But let young people decide for themselves."

R.E. Williams, a veteran Atlanta police officer, said he views the saggy pants trend as a measure of sorts because "the lower the pants are, the lower the self-esteem."

"It's a downright disgrace to walk into a classroom with your pants around your ankles," he said. "We need to let them know they are somebody "” that they can rise above the occasion."

Atlanta would not be the first city to ban saggy pants. Earlier this year, the town council in Delcambre, La., passed an ordinance that carries a fine as high as $500 or six months in jail for exposing underwear in public. Several other Louisiana governments have followed suit in recent months.

A similar proposal in Stratford, Conn., was soundly rejected this week by officials after critics claimed it would be unconstitutional and unfairly target minorities.

The Atlanta measure will likely face another hearing before it comes to a vote, and some sponsors say it is already starting a debate that's long overdue in the city's schools, community centers and churches.

"If nothing else, it's a great part of a conversation we need to have," said council member Joyce Sheperd.


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------------------------------ Run with me or run from me...
Original Post
Hoods of amerikkka, I say pull those pants up. I simply can't fathom how folks think that is fly.

My theory:

Should woman (perhaps young women) collectively decide it's not cool and that they won't mess with a dude with his pants hanging off his butt, I believe fellas will start pulling them up, pronto.

Women have awesome power in this regard.
quote:
Originally posted by ddouble:
"It's a downright disgrace to walk into a classroom with your pants around your ankles," he said. "We need to let them know they are somebody "” that they can rise above the occasion."



Establishing community standards is one thing and is a valid concern.

But I'm not sure that this measure (if passed) is going to boost anyone's self esteem.
Although making a dress code a law is a bit much, it's very embarrassing to see a grown ass man or woman walking around with their pants around their thighs or ankles, like they're going through potty-training all over again.
** I think they should be allowed to...even though I do not like the style myself....now i realize how stupid our school was with the shirt-tail thing.....puleeze...they should spend their time teaching someone something instead of trying to control them.....everyone wants to tell black males what to do like little boys but many of those same people do not give gives a fugg about their future long-term or goes the extra yard to make em scholars or keep em out of jail.............pulling your pants up will not make you smarter..making laws like that will make kids rebel......the key is to appeal to their sensibilities and show them why that schit is wiggedy wiggedy whack.............because there are more important issues than dress......
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
** I think they should be allowed to...even though I do not like the style myself....now i realize how stupid our school was with the shirt-tail thing.....puleeze...they should spend their time teaching someone something instead of trying to control them.....everyone wants to tell black males what to do like little boys but many of those same people do not give gives a fugg about their future long-term or goes the extra yard to make em scholars or keep em out of jail.............pulling your pants up will not make you smarter..making laws like that will make kids rebel......the key is to appeal to their sensibilities and show them why that schit is wiggedy wiggedy whack.............because there are more important issues than dress......



yeah appl
quote:
Originally posted by ddouble:
With the crumbling infrastructure all over Atlanta, I'm baffled that a councilperson found the time to draft this law.

bang


*sigh*


I actually completely agree with "D"....
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
** I think they should be allowed to...even though I do not like the style myself....now i realize how stupid our school was with the shirt-tail thing.....puleeze...they should spend their time teaching someone something instead of trying to control them.....everyone wants to tell black males what to do like little boys but many of those same people do not give gives a fugg about their future long-term or goes the extra yard to make em scholars or keep em out of jail.............pulling your pants up will not make you smarter..making laws like that will make kids rebel......the key is to appeal to their sensibilities and show them why that schit is wiggedy wiggedy whack.............because there are more important issues than dress......


You make that sound really simple, K41 ... if only it were that easy. Roll Eyes

You (rightfully) speak of educating them ... but, you've got to get them into the school, first, to do so.

The young Black male with the mentality that showing the world his draws should earn him some measure of respect is usually not the studyin' kind! Eek And is more prone to end up in jail rather than school, But for the young Black male with enough presence of mind to take his appearance into account, it's usually the other way around. sck
can't argue with that...i guess it all comes from my day when cornrows and overly casual did not mean thug, underacheiver or nothing like that...many were top of the class types who did not let others scrutinize them on any other basis outside of their school performance.....
These teachers will criminalize our kids as soon as they walk into Kindergarten if they're not dressed correctly. They will immediately judge who will make it through and who will end up in prison and treat them accordingly.

I believe in clean, pressed, shampooed, fingernails clean. Everyday dressed "mini job interview."

I do not believe there's and employer anywhere who is going to hire anyone with their pants down around their knees, but then I come from another era. Anyhow, it works for me so far. The kids get mucho respect from Mrs./Mr. Massa.
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
can't argue with that...i guess it all comes from my day when cornrows and overly casual did not mean thug, underacheiver or nothing like that...many were top of the class types who did not let others scrutinize them on any other basis outside of their school performance.....


Yes .. those were the days, weren't they?? Smile
I do not agree with school uniforms

and I do not agree with this "law"

which dares to LEGISLATE a dress code....

while sagging may not be in good taste

it is certainly not criminal behavior and

is well within an individual's right to do so.

What of pot bellied white men with their sun-reddened butt cracks on display?

Do we really need to give law enforcement another trivial but legal reason to stop black youth?
Mandatory school uniforms are a poor comparison to this law (IMO school uniforms are the antithesis of the sagging style).

While I'm not a fan of the prison aesthetic currently in vogue, this law would provide opportunity to engage in "reasonable doubt" searches IMO. That's my #1 issue.
fro Dress is part of identity...part of socialization especially with adolescents. Actually a part of all of us. Fitting in is important....always has been. That said. But! When it's profiles us on both sides....gangs thinking you're part of another gang.....police thinking you're a criminal...this is where common sense plays in. Do I want to be labeled/profiled? Well....in many cases you're asking this to a pimpled-face kid who wants Jolene to like him...and she likes "bad boys." Any even if you're not a "bad boy", it's cool to play one. Cuz the cognitive ability of a teen is very limited...most times common sense is never an option. And the baggy pants has a history....first with the Latinos, then with immates....and then BAM! In the streets where almost every middle and high school and more often now elementary student is likely to be sporting baggy pants. When the clothing industry realized the money they could make, they made it into a fashionable trend. My boys wore them. And they had uniforms. How this happens....who knows. Yes, I bought their clothes...but kids share each other's clothes WITHOUT parents knowing....change them at the nearest gas station [I did it many times as a teen!]. The purpose? So they can walk inside their school...being cool....accepted-not once ever thinking about the consequences associated with wearing them. Heated fights with my boys as a result. So I compromised. A little bag. Not below the booty where you have to pull them up every five seconds. Only jeans. No Kakhis[sp]. No white t-shirt. No gang colors. Do I agree with Atlanta? [lookin' o'er my shoulders]Roll Eyes Yes! Why? Cuz our kids are dying in droves. We need to start somewhere. And modified the method later. It's a fact, massa's children can wear anything they want. Why take that chance of having SOMETHING ELSE kill our young people... especially our young men who have been targeted before and beyond Jim Crow? JMHO...is all. fro
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quote:
Originally posted by ddouble:
Mandatory school uniforms are a poor comparison to this law (IMO school uniforms are the antithesis of the sagging style).

While I'm not a fan of the prison aesthetic currently in vogue, this law would provide opportunity to engage in "reasonable doubt" searches IMO. That's my #1 issue.


Couldn't miss that opportunity to HISS could ya? Cool In your usual haste to hiss, you failed to appreciate that I did not actually compare the two. With that said both school uniforms and the no pants sagging concepts are both

authority asserting control over an individual's style of dress.

*Hiss* do you know what a poor comparison is?
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I remember when people used to talke about youth wearing their pants below their knees, they were describing the fad figuratively. Now, I see young men walking down the street with their pants literally below their drawers.

Having to watch that is a my big pet peeve of mine.

I've been known to give wedgies, tighten belts, and pester even those I don't even know that well just to get them to cover up.

But, I'm pretty libertarian when it comes to the legal aspects of topics like these.

I think people should legally be able to walk around the buff if it so pleases.

I'm kind of a minimalist when it comes to the law. I'm for the minimal amount of legislation needed to keep society civil.

So, thumbs down to the law.

Wedgies do work, though.
We had an interesting discussion on this very topic today in my African Studies class. It was LENGTHY and very informative.
Basically the trend of saggin' pants represents several things.
First of all the term saggin' is niggas spelled backwards which within itself has symbolic meaning. Wearing saggin pants comes from the men who have been in prison and had their belts taken away from them by prison officials so that they wouldn't harm themselves or others. This also applies to young men you see walking around without shoe laces on. In prison this saggin' pants phenomenon created a situation where men were able to exploit other men for sex. When young men wear their pants in this fashion they also send a message that they are available for homosexual male relationships. If they are in jail, they of course can be and often are raped by other men, however on the outside it leaves children doing something that makes them vulnerable.
Secondly, what our instructor so beautifully pointed out is that the dress is part of a larger 'secret society' code of conduct and part of a rite of passage ritual. The way he explained it was that the young folks wear sagging pants as a part of symbolism with them going through a ritual to become men. This goes along with various 'slang', dress, symbolism associated with gang or wanna be gangsters. This ties into what many have said is the rite of passage of young boys going to jail. The instructor went on to teach that instead of the elders doing our jobs to give our children the correct rites of passage and a decent upbringing, they have been left alone to fend for themselves. I AGREE! The children have enough sense to know that they must go through some sort of trial, ritual or initiation to become adults while adults sit around and let the kids rule them. That really hit home for me personally. I really never thought of it like that.
Oh and there is a difference between baggy pants and saggin' pants. Baggy pants are just baggy, but the waisted portion of the pants are worn on the waist. Now saggin' pants are where the waist line of the pants are worn below the waist. Correct grammar is important when discussing these types of issues.
fro Excellent analysis, Sista Yemaya. Smile Socialization in human behavior is a ritual performed all over the world. I agree parents have left this very important transciental passage to schools, teachers and unfortunately....the streets-which is why we [black folks] are where we are [with our children] today. Used to be a time when WE had TOTAL control over our "youngun's" behavior....not anymore. Time has certainly changed. Great post! tfro
I don't want to see no man's ass hanging out of his pants while I'm getting groceries at the damn grocery store!! The fuck!?!?!

I saw a dude in a parking lot walking with his wife(?) and carrying his kid. all of his ass was hanging out and his shitty drawls was wedged up in the crack of his ass. The fuck!?!?!

I don't need to see that shit!!!

I'm not homophobic but that's the gayest ass shit I've ever seen in my life. What the fuck is the point of even wearing pants if I can see your stankin' ass?

Fuck - forget the pants just don't wear shit. Just walk around in public with one of them gay ass plain white T's with nothing on underneath. That's reeeaaal manly. Next thing you'll see is some dumb motherfucker walking around with nothing on but some Timberlines and wearing a baby bib like a loin cloth.

Uniforms are very much needed, particularly, in all inner city public schools.

If you ain't never taught in an inner city school you don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, so git off yo soap box, sit down and shut up. These kids got enough peer pressure bullshit to worry about without getting dogged out by everybody in school for not having on the latest fashions. Even with the dress code you got some kids out there wearing funky, fucked up uniforms because their mama is a nasty ass, irresponsible ho.

Fashion is getting so damn out of hand nowadays you have to put a stop to that shit before the girls start coming to school naked and the boys just grab a whole roll of fabric and wrap up in it like a ghetto mummy. Y'all better wake up and smell that damn coffee!
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:
If you ain't never taught in an inner city school you don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, so git off yo soap box, sit down and shut up.




PLEASE tell me that someone is not allowing you to come into contact with small children on a daily basis!! Eek Confused Eek
Dudes running from the police, while holding up there pants....

hillarious 20

The wide stance, pregnant walk they have to do to keep them up, all the while keeping it gangsta...

hillarious 20

The dingy boxers lol

The thought that he had to physically pull his pants down in order to achieve the perfect sag lol

--------------------------------

And I'm still trying to figure out

WHY HE THINKS THAT'S COOL?
˜Pull 'em up or pay up' is new law in Mansfield

MANSFIELD "” "Pull ˜em up or pay up."

That's Police Chief Don English's interpretation of a new law that takes effect in Mansfield on Sept. 15

Anyone caught wearing sagging pants who exposes his or her underwear will be subject to a fine of up to $150 plus court costs, or face up to 15 days in jail.

Mansfield aldermen voted unanimously at today's 4:30 p.m. meeting to enact the new law.

The law makes it illegal to found in a "state of nudity, or partial nudity, or in any indecent exposure of his or her person or undergarments, or be guilty of any indecent or lewd behavior."

City attorney Richard Z. Johnson Jr. said he used a similar law in Delcambre as a guideline in creating Mansfield's ordinance. Several municipalities and parish governments in Louisiana have enacted similar laws in recent months.

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AI...REAKINGNEWS/70813038
Louisiana???? OK that's just another law to be potentially abused by the authorities against young black people. I'm sorry but they are specifically targetting our kids, when the laws need to be uniformly applied. I don't have a problem saying what I said about the sagging pants however, you know we cannot trust these DA and lawmakers with this type of issue. Remember the Jena 6, Marcus Dixon and Genarlow Wilson. It's one thing for us to say and execute some corrective action within the community, BUT when white people do it you may as well be implementing the Black Codes all over again.
I strongly disagree who's putting these 'codes' out there and who's enforcing them.

ALSO, we need to stop viewing our seed with disdain! That just burns me up! If you don't like children, you don't have any business teaching at a school! Mad That's just trifling and a waste of my tax dollars!
This is part of the reason why our kids are so messed up now. I had a situation with my kids like this in Kindergarten. I was about to cold cock the teacher and principal right on out. I swear I had more sense than both of those hoes put together. I had to get my kids out of tha situation and I thank God that I was able to. Too many of our kids are in this situation and we talk about it, but do nothing about it. But this is going to turn into another topic. So I will end it here.
quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:
Louisiana???? OK that's just another law to be potentially abused by the authorities against young black people. I'm sorry but they are specifically targetting our kids, when the laws need to be uniformly applied.


Locked Up in New Orleans

Robin Templeton


"I never got paid," Dewitt Solomon tells me. Nine months before the levees broke, Solomon had a minimum-wage job busing tables and washing dishes at Messina's, a popular New Orleans tourist restaurant. But instead of paying him directly, Messina's gave Solomon's paychecks to the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff's Office. Solomon, who was serving time in the Orleans Parish Prison--the eighth largest penal institution in the country and the largest correctional facility in Louisiana before Hurricane Katrina--was enrolled in the sheriff's work-release program.

The prison was supposed to give him his wages, minus the $500 a month it deducted for room and board, the day it returned to Solomon his freedom. Solomon says that the sheriff still owes him $1,500.

Sitting at the kitchen table at his home in New Orleans's West Bank, Solomon and I are feeding bottles to his twin sons. The babies weighed less than two pounds at birth. Now, at 13 months, they're startlingly small but chugging away at the formula like they're in a race to catch up. Solomon's 5-year-old daughter is prancing around the room with a Dora the Explorer coloring book. She has proclaimed that the cartoon heroine is her twin sister. The resemblance is, actually, striking.


Solomon says he tried for months to recoup his lost earnings and never got a call back from the sheriff's office. He gave up after floodwater washed away his only proof, the pay stubs he'd saved from the restaurant.

Solomon sounds more resigned than bitter. "It's not that I couldn't still use the money," he says. "I'm just glad I got in and out before it got any worse." Solomon describes how his brother-in-law was arrested on trespassing charges when he went to check on storm damage to his father's home. His cousin was also arrested for a nonviolent crime weeks ago, and no one in the family has been able to make contact or even determine where he's being held.

New Orleans has the highest incarceration rate of any major US city--double the national rate. Louisiana also locks up more people in local jails than any state due in part to state laws, unheard of in other parts of the country, that paralyze due process.

District attorneys have sixty days from the time of arrest in a felony case and forty-five days in a misdemeanor case to decide whether to press charges and typically use the full statutory time limit. From there, it takes an average of three months for detainees to get a court date. It can take up to three years to get to trial. According to a recent study by the Vera Institute of Justice, 41 percent of those entering the Orleans Parish Prison would qualify to be released on their own recognizance. Instead, the city opts to lock people up if they can't post bail, which is true of three-quarters of the jail's detainees.

While it was bad before the storm, "now the system is only working to pick people up," says Loyola University law professor Bill Quigley. "It's a vacuum, sucking poor people in and keeping them in. Being arrested now equals being sent to prison."

Nearly a year after Katrina, the city's backlog of cases reached at least 6,000. Judge Arthur Hunter of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court declared that "it is a pathetic and shameful state of affairs the criminal justice system finds itself in" and said that he would mark the one-year anniversary of the storm by beginning to release poor defendants.

But just as Hunter was declaring a constitutional state of emergency last summer, New Orleans was hit by a devastating crime wave. With half its former population, the city saw its crime rate escalate back to pre-Katrina levels. By the time it was gearing up for its second post-Katrina Mardi Gras celebration, national media were pronouncing New Orleans the murder capital of the United States.

Under the headline "Dysfunction Fuels Cycle of Killing in New Orleans," the New York Times reported in February that a "uniquely poisoned set of circumstances" was fueling the violence, including the destruction of the city's only crime lab, friction between police and prosecutors, community distrust and fear of the police, uncooperative or vanished witnesses and "murderers' brutalized childhoods." The majority of victims and suspects have been young African-American men--many teenagers--caught up in a drug trade that was reinvigorated, reorganized and made more lethal amid turf wars in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina ......

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070910/templeton
Yemaya ...

I feel you, my Sister ... I really do. But here's my take on this situation. sck

The bottom line is, our kids walking around with their underwear showing is not a good thing! Eek There is nothing progressive or impressive about it. Even if they are mirroring prison or thug life, it's not a proper way of presenting themselves out in public.

You are absolutely correct that we need to be pulling our children's pants up before they go up in the streets ... since when they're out there, they are representative not only of themselves, but for us as a community! But the truth of the matter is we don't. We allow it to be encouraged on TV and in their music, and many times, even if not encouraged, it is accepted by the child's own parents! Eek

I believe we have dropped the ball here. And, instead of us doing our jobs, there are now laws instituted that are doing it for us. It's a shame, yes ... but, the way I see it, we had first dibbs at getting this situation under control before it got to this point. If we would police our kids before the real police do, we could give them a lot less reasons to abuse the system, as well as our kids in the process!

JMHO Smile
Will They Arrest Britney in Mansfield for Sagging Pants?
By Earl Ofari Hutchinson, New America Media. Posted September 6, 2007.

Sagging pants are an easy and convenient symbol of the supposed dereliction and menace of young black men. The consequence of that symbol and thinking has been devastating.


It's a good thing that Britney was at the MTV TRL show in London a year or so ago and not in Mansfield, Louisiana when she pranced across the stage with her pants slung low around her behind. If Spears had dared to show so much belly and behind flesh in the town on September 15 she would be fined $150 or tossed in the slammer for 15 days. But we all know that the screwy, harebrained law that the fashion censors in Mansfield and a handful of other Louisiana cities passed in recent years that mandate fines, community service, and now jail time for sagging pants wearers don't really apply to the male or female Britneys of the world. They apply to young black males. The laws are much more than a terribly wrong headed effort to regulate public dress, decency, discipline or moral values. They reinforce the worst media and publicly ingrained stereotype of young black males as drug dealers, drive by shooters, gang bangers and educational cripples.

Sagging pants are an easy and convenient symbol of the supposed dereliction and menace of young blacks. The consequence of that symbol and thinking has been devastating. Despite the plummet in crime rates, racial stereotypes have deeply embedded the popular and terrifying belief that crime in America comes exclusively with a young, black male face. The result: nearly one million blacks are now warehoused in America's jails, the majority of them young blacks, and a significant number of them are there for non-violent, petty drug crimes.

Sagging pants are such a soft and juicy target for the scapegoat of young black males that even comedian Bill Cosby couldn't resist taking a swipe at it and them in his now legendary tirade a couple of years ago against low-achieving, badly behaving young blacks. He fingered sagging pants as proof to him that they had become a menace. Cosby later made a partial recant of his knock and explained that it was a call for action and not a broad brush stroke indictment of all young black males. But it was too little, too late. The sagging pants equals black male perversity notion was even more firmly imprinted in the public psyche

Though Cosby is one of the best-known blacks to fan negative racial stereotypes, he's hardly the only one. Despite much evidence to the contrary, many blacks routinely trash, demean and ridicule themselves. In fact, it was the African-American councilpersons in Shreveport, Mansfield and the other small towns that dredged up the ridiculous sagging pants laws. Some blacks in the rap and hip-hop world, of course, are deeply complicit in fanning the stereotype. The rap moguls have reaped king's ransoms peddling their music-video-cartoon version of the thug life. The rebellious young of all colors that shell out billions to enrich them are almost totally mindless of the social complexities, and the artistic and intellectual richness of the black experience. Even more tragic, some blacks further bolster the thug life stereotype by committing or winding up as victims of violence. The murders of rap icons Tupac Shakur, and Notorious BIG have been the stuff of cheap media sensationalism.

The spate of sagging pants laws does even more social damage than just reinforcing vile stereotypes and potentially swelling the jail population. It also confirms for many that the problems of poor blacks are self-made and insoluble. Many employers admit that they won't hire young blacks because they believe they are lazier, more crime prone, and educationally deficient. Many politicians, even without the excuse of ballooning state and federal budget deficits and cutbacks, mightily resist efforts to increase spending on job, health and education programs for the poor.

In Shreveport, where the sagging pants law passed by a narrow four to three vote, the opponents raised the standard arguments that the law infringes on personal and freedoms, probably violates free speech, free expression, constitutional protections, and will overburden police and the courts by forcing them to waste valuable time and resources measuring the hem line on pants when they should be about the business of dealing with serious crimes. The opponents of the law though didn't raise any protest that the law won't provide jobs, skills training, fix failing schools, and provide greater mentoring and family support programs for young black males.

The sagging pants law has been the butt (pardon the pun) of jokes, and much ribald fun-poking. But stereotypes and bad social policy are no laughing matter. The city fathers and mothers in Mansfield, and the other towns that foisted the law on their books should stop the craziness, realize that this law solves no problems, and wipe it off their books. That is before some other cities are tempted to follow their lead and make themselves look silly and pass this crazy law too. That is unless they plan to arrest Britney for her bottom dragging pants.



Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His new book The Latino Challenge to Black America: Towards a Conversation between African-Americans and Hispanics (Middle Passage Press and Hispanic Economics New York) in English and Spanish will be out in October.


http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/61850/
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Even though I hate to see boys walking around with their pants below their butts, I don't think it should be legislated. First, it is an invasion of rights to be told what to wear and how to wear it. Second, it it becomes any type of law at all, it will only be yet another tool that can 'legally' be used to harrass, imprison, and criminalizing adolesent behavior in young Black males in this country.----It would all backfire and be turned against us as a group. We have to stay in prospective against the propaganda machine; we have to fight to subliminal suggestion to hate on young Black American males. We to remember that when Madonna made it fashionable to young females in this country to actually wear their under garments as outer garments back in the eighties (not merely just show some of it but literally all of it), there was not uproar about it. Also, if young white males had started this fad, there would not be many complaints, it would be written off as just another fad of adolescent rebellion. Nobody wanted to legislate how people wore their clothes when wild and crazy white rock fans were walking around with holes in the ass of their pants, when white women down south used to wear their shorts so short that you could literally see their naked butt cheeks hanging from them, not to mention all the white males that used to walk around in pants that they would wear below enough the belly that you could actually see their butt cracks.

So hold up, before you are lulled into another reason to dislike, hate, disrespect, or look down on the young Black males in this country, let's find another way to get through to them, a way that does not involve the police and criminal records, etc., or just wait it out----no fad live forever, that's why it called a fad----once the youth of that fad grow or mature up, it will be history.
Banning Saggy Pants is the Wrong Conversation. Low Power Community Radio is the Right Conversation Banning Saggy Pants is the Wrong Conversation. Low Power Community Radio is the Right Conversation BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
Local lawmakers in Atlanta, Dallas and other cities pretend to address crime and destructive aspects of corporate-delivered youth culture by targeting the appearance of black youth --- with local ordinances to file or jail the wearers of sagging pants and exposed thong straps. But the public airwaves over which commercial youth culture is delivered are owned by the people and regulated by their elected representatives. If regulators and legislators did their jobs, would the odious fare of BET, MTV and their commercial radio clones be the only messages permitted to reach the ears of young people?

The Low Power Community Radio Act in Congress right now is a real solution to the problem of getting more positive choices and voices on the radio. So why aren't black leaders rallying people around it?
Banning Saggy Pants is the Wrong Conversation. Low Power Community Radio is the Right Conversation
by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

"It's really legislative malpractice, that targets and criminalizes young black males who consume a cultural message conveyed to them by BET, by MTV, by black commercial radio and other corporate for-profit media...."


In case you missed it, local lawmakers around the country have come up with a brand new answer to corporate youth culture and its glorification of prison, booty-shakin' drug slinging, and nihilism. It's also a proven way to get their names in the news for taking a stand. Their new approach to these problems has found its way to the legislative dockets of dozens of communities. Their solution? A legal ban on sagging pants that expose underwear, with fines and/or jail time for those caught wearing their pants too low.

The bans are on the legislative dockets of Atlanta and Dallas and have already passed in several Georgia and Louisiana cities.

"It's a profoundly backward idea," according to Dr. Jared Ball, a professor of journalism at the University of Maryland, and a candidate for the presidential nomination of the Green Party. "It's really legislative malpractice, that targets and criminalizes young black males who consume a cultural message conveyed to them by BET, by MTV, by black commercial radio and other corporate for-profit media. Local lawmakers who want to address the nihilism, the self-hatred and the disrespect spread by corporate media should instead zero in on the corporate media that make billions of dollars every year spreading those messages, instead of aiming the police, fines and jail at those who consume the messages."

Atlanta city councilman C. T. Martin, local sponsor of that city's sagging pants law, claims that his intention is not to target black youth, or to jail offenders, but rather to start public conversation, to as he put it in a public meeting on September 5, "...continue the work [TV actor Bill] Cosby started".

"Then it's the wrong conversation to start and the wrong work to continue," says Dr. Ball. "The public conversation we need from lawmakers is not more of this tired noise about 'what's wrong with these young folks?' The correct conversation starts when we ask how come these destructive but highly profitable messages of self-hatred are practically the only ones our media regime allows to reach the ears of young people over the public airwaves --- the public airwaves which are owned by the people and regulated by their lawmakers. Legislators should be targeting the profitable pipeline, not the consumers at the end of it."

Dr. Ball is on to something here. Media mediate public consciousness. The song "It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp" didn't win the Hip-Hop Award --- it won the Academy Award in 2005. Instead of regulating the clothes young black people wear, lawmakers should be regulating the media, ensuring that more positive and constructive messages are allowed the chance to compete for the ears of our young people.

There's bipartisan legislation in Congress right now that would do exactly that.

The Local Community Radio Act and the low-power FM station licenses it would provide, each with a three to five mile broadcast footprint, are real legislative and regulatory answers...

The Local Community Radio Act of 2007 (HR 2802/S. 1675) sponsored by Reps. Mike Doyle and Lee Terry and Sens. John McCain and Maria Cantwell will open up licensing for hundreds, perhaps thousands of not for profit, locally owned FM low-power radio stations in rural, urban and suburban locations across the United States. This legislation will enable thousands of community groups across the country to start their own FM radio stations.

If the recent history of not for profit community radio is any guide, those stations, will be only too eager to provide the programming Americans want but cannot get from the owners of commercial radio and TV. They'll cover local news, which is altogether absent from broadcast commercial radio. And they will broadcast the work of local and other artists who cannot get airplay on for-profit commercial radio either because their music isn't commercial or "gangsta" enough or because they can't afford the payola (bribes) required at commercial radio stations.

The Local Community Radio Act and the low-power FM station licenses it would provide, each with a three to five mile broadcast footprint, are real legislative and regulatory answers to the problem of negative and degrading imagery in the media. Local community radio is a real and substantive answer to payola too.


The private owners of newspapers, of radio and TV station licenses decided long ago that the less thought public gave to questions of media ownership and regulation, the better off we would all be.


The black stake in low-power FM radio is particularly stark. In the real world there are thousands of hiphop artists with intelligent, positive messages who can't reach young audiences because the lawmakers and regulators haven't done their jobs and constructed a media regime which allows the public to make choices in its own interest. As Davey D pointed out in Black Agenda Report earlier this year


"...while 58 percent of blacks between ages 15 and 25 listen to hip-hop daily, most are dissatisfied with it. They find the subject matter is too violent, and women too often portrayed in offensive ways... Blacks are used largely to validate musical themes being marketed to the white mainstream. In other words, while 90 percent of commercial rap artists on TV and radio are black, the target audience lies outside the black community... commercial hip-hop has become the ultimate minstrel show, and rap artists are pushed by the industry to remain perpetual adolescents."


We should not expect to hear much about this legislation or about the revolutionary prospect of locally owned low-power FM radio on the corporate TV or radio news, or in the newspapers. The private owners of newspapers, of radio and TV station licenses decided long ago that the less thought public gave to questions of media ownership and regulation, the better off we would all be

When the FCC considered lifting the few remaining limitations on how many radio stations a giant corporation could own in a single market or nationwide, you scarecely find a newspaper story on it. TV and radio coverage were entirely absent. Still, more than a million people offered comments opposing further consolidation of radio station ownership. The 2006 federal legislative push by phone and cable companies to kill network neutrality on the internet and remove from local jurisdictions the power to regulate their own broadband futures has received next to no coverage in the corporate press either, but FreePress and others generated a million petition signatures against it anyway. Sadly, the campaign to do the same thing state by state has been covered even less.


"If you're disgusted with the choices some of our young people seem to be making, it makes sense to aim our ire at the media regime and the message it conveys"


So Atlanta's Mr. Martin and the other lawmakers who insist legal sanctions on youthful clothing choices are the answer may be smarter than they sound. While their approach is guaranteed not to solve any problems, and their "conversations" are all about regulating or blaming the consumers of bad messages instead of regulating the messages and those who profit from delivering them, they seem to understand one thing very well.

They know what will get picked up in the corporate evening news and talk shows. They know what the topics of the corporate-funded "brain trust" panels at the Congressional Black Caucus's Legislative Conference later this month will be. They understand that big media would rather limit the conversation to "what's wrong with those kids?" and steer public attention away from how we can achieve a fair and equitable media system that meets the public needs. They seem to understand that it's easier to flow with the owners of media than with their nominal constituents.

"If these lawmakers had any sense of responsibility" according to Dr. Ball, "they wouldn't be coming up with more excuses to target, to further criminalize and profile black youth based on the way they look. They would be promoting the Local Community Radio Act. They would be boosting and popularizing constructive non-profit media, which provide voices and choices opposing the destructive ones put out there by privately owned media like Radio One, Clear Channel, MTV and BET. They'd be chasing real solutions instead of the same old stuff."

Again, we think Dr. Ball has it right. If you're disgusted with the choices some of our young people seem to be making, it makes sense to aim our ire at the media regime and the message it conveys, instead of concentrating exclusively on the consumers of that message. It's time to call your representative in Congress. Demand that they sign on to and support the Local Community Radio Act, HB 2802 in the House of Representatives, and SB 1675 in the Senate.

What members of the CBC are actually for more voices and choices on the radio, and which ones are fine with the way it is now? How many of them will be at the FCC hearing in Chicago on September 20? These are some of the questions those of us who will be attending the Congressional Black Caucus's Legislative Weekend this month will put it to some of our African American members of Congress in person.
quote:
Originally posted by sunnubian:
So hold up, before you are lulled into another reason to dislike, hate, disrespect, or look down on the young Black males in this country, let's find another way to get through to them, a way that does not involve the police and criminal records, etc., or just wait it out----no fad live forever, that's why it called a fad----once the youth of that fad grow or mature up, it will be history.


Yeah ... good luck with that one. Roll Eyes
Baggy pants ban "unconstitutional," rules US judge

Tue Sep 16, 2:02 PM ET



MIAMI (AFP) - A Florida judge has deemed unconstitutional a law banning baggy pants that show off the wearer's underwear, local media reported Tuesday.

A 17-year-old spent a night in jail last week after police arrested him for wearing low pants in Riviera Beach, southeast Florida.

The law banning so-called "saggy pants" was approved by city voters in March after supporters of the bill collected nearly 5,000 signatures to put the measure on the ballot.

The teen would have received a 150 dollars fine or community service, but he spent the night in jail due to a history of marijuana use, the Palm Beach Post newspaper said.

"Somebody help me," said Palm Beach Circuit Judge Paul Moyle, before giving his decision.

"We're not talking about exposure of buttocks. No! We're talking about someone who has on pants whose underwear are apparently visible to a police officer who then makes an arrest and the basis is he's then held overnight, no bond."

"Your honor, we now have the fashion police," added public defender Carol Bickerstaff, who asked the law be declared "unconstitutional."

The judge agreed with Bickerstaff immediately, reported the Post.

Laws that ban low-slung pants are on the books in several US cities, including Delcambre, Louisiana, where offenders can be fined up to 500 dollars or jailed for up to six months.

Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia are among the larger US cities considering similar measures.



http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080916/od_afp/usfashionjusticeoffbeat

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