Fashion Police in Politics | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Fashion Police in Politics


Brad Franklin

Let's just get to the bottom line. The "saggy pants" debate is perhaps the most ridiculous, over-talked issue of modern times. It's downright stupid. And might I add ... stupid.

Recently, local officials have dredged up the topic and even suggested putting laws on the books to prevent it. Nationally, many municipalities have instituted laws targeting those who sport sagging jeans. Some folks have even been jailed for it. For doing what Autauga County Alabama (are you surprised?) Circuit judge John Bush described as "showing your butt in court," 20-year-old LaMarcus Ramsey sat in jail for three days in April on a contempt of court charge.

Closer to home, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors is considering a proposal by Supervisor Kenneth Stokes to impose a fine on those considered to be showing too much of their undergarments. And apparently both Robert Graham and Peggy Calhoun agree. But a lot of folks will probably agree with me when I call this the most egregious misuse of government and taxpayer time in known history.

Look, I'm a parent. I'm also an artist. I constantly tell my boys to get a belt and "pull their britches up." I also catch myself slipping at times, because even I have let my pants sag. But what we don't need is for public officials trying to dictate fashion. We may not like it. I hate seeing the crack of someone's undercarriage as much as the next guy. But just like most fashion "trends," sagging jeans will eventually fade away just like tight jeans all but disappeared after the '80s, thank God.

Like most things that grown-ups try to force on kids, this is another attempt to put a surface, superficial solution on a deeply rooted problem. Pundits always like to find easy answers to crime, gangs, drugs or dropouts. It's much easier than actually talking to young people and getting their side of the story, whether that's about hip-hop, earrings or sagging pants.

Their solution? Let's fine them; let's lock them up. Because if these kids start pulling their pants up, it will surely curb the urge to steal or smoke weed, right?

Inevitably, they ignore poor parenting or the failure of horrible politicians (who, by the way, spend taxpayer time and money talking about sagging pants).

The premise that we can fix a generation by making them pull their pants up is laughable. It's not even a start, geniuses. It's nothing more than what a lot of politicians get away with in this town: giving the appearance that they're actually working.

And that's the truth ... shonuff.

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