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)
Now 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.”
According 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?