Louisiana Parish Passes Ordinance Outlawing Saggy Pants

On occasion when I’m in public I wear my pants below my waistline. Yes, I’m known to sag my jeans on occasion. Not exactly a fashion statement on my part; but instead, I do so more as a matter of comfort. You see, when you’re my age and you’ve developed the type of gut most women envy, there’s a tendency to go without a belt. As a result, as has been my experience, there are instances when one’s underwear or butt crack may become visible. I’m sure we can all agree that this is indeed a fashion faux pas to the infinite power. However, I hardly see it as a crime punishable by death, or one that requires that I pay a fine or maybe even be subjected to hours of community service.

But don’t tell that to the Parish Council of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana who voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that makes the wearing of saggy pants a crime. Though this offense will never result in jail time, it isn’t surprising when you consider that Louisiana leads the world in incarceration per capita. That said, should this be a surprise? Besides, the state still has a sizeable African-American community, no?

TERREBONNE PARISH, La. — It will soon be illegal to wear saggy pants in Terrebonne Parish.

The Parish Council passed an ordinance Wednesday night that will impose fines for anyone who wears pants below the waist in public that expose underwear or what police and the courts determine to be too much skin.

Council members voted 8-1 to send the ban to Parish President Michel Claudet, who is expected to sign it into law.

Under the law, violators would face these fines:

  • $50 for the first offense.
  • $100 for the second offense.
  • $100 and 16 hours of community service for a third offense and subsequent offenses.
  • “Appearing in public view while exposing one’s skin or undergarments below the waist is contrary to safety, health, peace and good order of the parish and the general welfare,” the ordinance says.

Violating the law does not give police the authority to arrest violators or do a “full search,” the ordinance says. (source)

louisiana-parish-passes-ordinance-outlawing-saggy-pants-featNow I don’t know about you and where you may live. But considering the crime rate here in Memphis, I think it’s safe to say that Terrenbone Parish is the safest place in America. Maybe it’s just me, but if you have to pass such an ordinance, clearly there isn’t a crime problem in your municipality. Trust me, I’m pretty sure law enforcement officials in my city wishes they had nothing else to do but issue tickets to individuals for wearing their pants too low. What’s next? Are they going to have cops measure the hems of skirts like nuns used to do in Catholic schools?

Probably the most ridiculous statement in support of this ordinance came from Jerome Boykin, president of the local NAACP chapter.

Jerome Boykin, president of the Terrebonne NAACP, expressed his support for the law.

“There is nothing positive about people wearing saggy pants,” Boykin said. “This is not a black issue, this is not a white issue, this is a people issue.”

louisiana-parish-passes-ordinance-outlawing-saggy-pants-1According to Boykin “Young men who were in prison who wanted to have sex with other men would send a signal to another man with his pants below his waist.” Using Boykin’s logic, I guess the idea here is that individuals who choose to dress this way are sending a secret coded message that says they’re in full support of a sexual encounter with someone of the same sex(?).

Listen, this is foolish; and, I believe unconstitutional. Why? Because if the wearing of saggy pants in public is “contrary to safety, health, peace,” as the statute says. Shouldn’t they outlaw the wearing of any article of clothing that displays the Confederate flag? I mean, doesn’t that sound like a solid argument to you? No seriously, I need an answer, folks.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana sent a letter to the council explaining that the ordinance is unconstitutional and urging them not to pass it.

“To ban a particular clothing style would violate a liberty interest guaranteed under the 14th Amendment,” the letter says. “The government does not belong in the business of telling people what to wear. Nor does it have the right to use clothing as a pretext to engage in otherwise unlawful stops of innocent people.”

Yep, it’s too bad that those respectable negroes of Terrebonne Parish are clueless, and willing to compromise freedom. But hey, maybe if the law goes into effect, they’ll successfully rid the community of those awful butt cracks and visible underwear. If that’s the case, maybe they can then go after people wearing skinny jeans because we all know that the people who wear them are obviously promoting homosexuality, right? And of course we can’t have gay black men, right?

  • No doubt, Fleece Johnson is sure to be disappointed by this legal decision.

  • Mwatuanghi

    Man, they get the sagging pants story so wrong; pants were sagged in US prisons originally because inmates couldn’t wear belts. Only later did it become associated with sexual behavior. Devoting this kind of time and resources to something that can at best be interpreted by its critics as a poor fashion trend really shows just how screwed up their priorities are.

  • blackmelanic

    What’s disrespectFULL shouldn’t be somebodies ass showing. If this was the case body parts such as breast or cleavage in lower crop tops, tight pants, miniskirts or skimpy dresses would be considered offensive and disrespectful to self and community also wouldn’t it? Therefore putting a ban on this, shouldn’t it? Since this attire is associated with prostitutes and selling sex? What’s disrespectful is living in the state of CA and seeing white’s cross all the time within the borders of MEXICO AND CALIFORNIA ALL BECAUSE THEY HAVE INHERITED LAND PASSED DOWN FROM THEIR GREAT GREAT GRANDPAPPI WHO MOST LIKELY WAS SOMEONE WHO KILLED THE NATIVE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF CALIFORNIA, WHICH ARE THE MEXICANS/OLMECS WE CALL “ILLEGAL” TODAY. THAT S**T IS DISRESPECTFUL. WE SAGG CUZ WE DONT WANT TO ASSIMILATE WITH THOSE WACK AND UNCOOL. OF COURSE, YOU LIKE YOUR SYSTEM, CORPORATIONS AND EDUCATION — IT’S YOUR PEOPLE SYSTEM! WE NOT LIKE YOU WE MELANIC, SUN PEOPLE. THE HEATHENS ARE AND WERE THE BARBARIANS WHO CAME TO THIS PLANET IN SEARCH OF OUR PEOPLE THEN TOOK OUR MOTHER EARTH, LAND AND WOMEN.

  • hotairbill

    Could we please see pretty women doing this? Not the ones hanging on their cart handles at Walmart, but pretty ones over 18! So it’s not a crime to look!

  • (((d-_-b)))

    But what if you’re a skater boy from the burbs? Or a goth? Or a plumber?