Sagging Pants Turn Georgia Towns Into Fashion Police

Fashion fads have come and gone, causing dismay in each generation of parents. In the past, students had the hem of skirts measured from their knee, later students were sent home for short-shorts or inappropriate t-shirt slogans, yet none were ever considered “criminals.”

In the last few years, cities around the country have been dealing with the perceived “epidemic” of teens and young adults that wear their pants below the hips, low enough to show their underwear.

The trend has its roots in the prison system, but has spread into the so-called “hip-hop” culture and, as usual, impressionable kids have picked up on what their favorite artists are doing and are imitating it. Unfortunately, the reaction to this perceived problem is elected officials turning themselves into the fashion police by criminalizing dress.

The City of Hampton, a small town in South Metro Atlanta, recently received attention after passing a ban on “sagging pants.” The reason is behind their action, according the Henry Daily Herald, is the number of complaints coming from citizens. Hampton Police Chief Rad Porter says, “I felt we needed to do something about this conduct.”

Now someone caught wearing their pants more than three inches below the hips can be cited for “disorderly conduct” and could end up paying a fine ranging from $50 to $200.

The City of Jonesboro, not far from Hampton, is considering a similar ban on sagging pants even though Mayor Luther Maddox admits that “[i]t really hasn’t gotten out of hand yet.”

This may be a rude and undesirable trend, but looking like a fool in public is not illegal. Moreover, we have become a society so easily offended by some of the silliest things that we believe that governments should ban certain behavior even though it does not infringe upon our rights.

Whether the residents of these towns and their elected officials like it or not, the freedom of expression – which can come in many variations, including how someone dresses – is a protected form of speech under the First Amendment.

There are no doubt other more serious issues and problems in Hampton and Jonesboro that are in need of attention from their elected officials than how teenagers wear their pants.

by Bob Barr — The Barr Code

76 comments Add your comment

saywhat?

August 5th, 2011
4:55 pm

I am also fine with people wearing their pants anyway they want because after all, free speech is free speech. The only people we need to arrest are doctors who ask people if they have any guns in their home.THAT kind of speech just ain’t acceptable, right Bob?

BFS

August 5th, 2011
5:30 pm

Just another example of the effects of the “Hip Hop Culture” ruining America. It is not a black or white issue, just a matter of poor taste and really bad role models.

BOB FROM ACCOUNT TEMPS

August 5th, 2011
5:53 pm

sagging pants will get you arrested, but if you just wear the boxer shorts without the pants, that is not a crime in hampton.

LM

August 5th, 2011
6:03 pm

There are lots of fads I don’t care for, face piercings, facial tattoos, sagging pants, exposed thongs (when not at the beach), neon-colored hair…but should they be illegal? No, no matter how ridiculous they may appear. I saw a mother with her toddler (approx 2 yrs old) and the toddler had sagging pants. How is that kid supposed to learn to walk correctly?

But the folks who argue that others should move from where they live if they don’t like it are offering a ridiculous solution as well. Why should someone move from their home of 30, 15, or even 2 years just because people move in around them that wear sagging pants? C’mon.

A better solution would be to have businesses enforce their own dress codes, something along the lines of ‘No shirt, no shoes, no service’. Many convenience stores do not allow students to bring in backpacks. How about ‘pull up your pants if you want to be served’? Schools should have dress codes and should enforce students to observe them. And employers should let applicants with saggy pants know that they won’t be hired if they can’t dress properly.

People need to be taught that if they want respect, they have to dress like they deserve it.

Megan

August 5th, 2011
6:11 pm

So, if I get this right you are saying that people can do pretty much anything they want. So, it is OK if a person never takes a bath and never uses deodorant? What if they were seated next to you in a quality restaurant? What if the person sitting next to you on an airplane chooses to constantly pass smelly gas? I guess you are one of those that believe that innocent people do not have any rights. So, if I come to your desk and start spitting chewing tobacco in your trashcan, never caring how my aim is, you are OK with that? I do not have problem with the saggy pants as I am old enough to understand that this too shall pass. I firmly believe that society has the right to self police. At my age I am no longer worried about whether someone thinks I am a racist or bigot. Those are usually foolish people that are quick to judge and are looking for validation in life. The problem I have is taking one situation and saying it is wrong when there are a whole lot of disgusting things people do in life that are against the law and no one seems to care. Littering? How is this worse than the chewing tobacco example? A 300 pound person that does not bathe wearing a speedo to the store is acceptable? Is this worse than a person that picks their nose and eats it while in a restaurant? Worse that someone wearing saggy pants that show the person’s underwear that may or may not have been changed in the last week? Ar some point, polite society also has rights. So, if a restaurant decided to pass a dress code would you object? Does the business owner have rights? I object to to your statement as I witnessed a young man with his pants down below his crotch and his undies had stains in places that no one should have to put up with. I don’t care anymore about political correctness and I told him that how he was wearing his pants was nasty and reflective on him as a person. I am fed up with political correctness. I think we have lost our way as a caring society. We only care about disgusting stuff but socially acceptable behavior is no longer cared about. Yes, this is what is making out country great.

Micah

August 5th, 2011
6:18 pm

I have nothing against fads. We wore high top fades (haircut), shags (again haircut). Polyester shirts and bell bottoms. But the sagging pants are ridiculous. The wearer looks like a moron, and I can’t imagine why anyone would follow a fad that’s an inconvenience!! Have you seen these nuts constantly pulling and hold the pants? Watch one trying to run with those pants like that. The police must love this fad.

Ben

August 5th, 2011
6:25 pm

Well put Megan. There are laws that make sense and those that make no sense. If a town or city wants to pass a law for their citizens, so be it. Why do we have to pull over for funerals? This makes no sense to me and why are we putting up with the funeral police. Who cares about the dead person or their family and friends? Most states do not have this law so why does Georgia waste police officers time and money to stop traffic when there are real crimes that should be tended to. Same argument about the baggy pants. Dumb to police nonsense like this when we can’t fund education. Take from the children and give to the mourners. Makes sense to me convoluded as the logic really is.

BFS

August 5th, 2011
6:37 pm

@ Ben— What a douche-bag. I hope you never have a loved one die and have to travel from one end of the city ot the other one without the “Funeral Police”. These officers do an amazing job trying to get accross town TOGETHER!.

Go stick something sharp in you eye.

Quantese

August 5th, 2011
6:42 pm

Big fat women in Spandex is an uglier sight, to me, than some kid with droopy pants.

The pants thing will eventually fade away as do all fashion faux pas. Unfortunately the fat women problem is here to stay.

gman

August 5th, 2011
7:03 pm

That’s why things are better in Saudi Arabia: no Fatah chicks, man.

Ben

August 5th, 2011
7:10 pm

@BFS TO show your stupidity, just what does stopping traffic have to do with anything? Your whininess show the lunacy of this law. Besides, I have had loved ones die but I was raised to not feel sorry for myself but to celebrate their life. No one I loved wanted me to walk around feeling sorry for myself. Yes, I missed them but how is moping around going to accomplish anything? Your backward ideas are so self centered it is pathetic as your retort about sticking something in my eye. Your religious background shows hypocracy. Besides, this was an analogy. If a person gets to walk around with their pants down as is their right, even though they are in a minority, then take this to the 10 Commandments. Your right to post them on the court house steps but where are the other religious materials that morally and legally should be posted next to the 10 Commandments. Oh, that’s right. I understand you.

Donna

August 5th, 2011
7:44 pm

BFS. Ben has a point. In this country over 200 million people can get from one side of town to the other without police escort. I was born and raised in Georgia and accepted this law but it is pretty backwards. Sort of the alligator on a leash law. Sort of like the low pants law although I do applaud the towns that are doing this. If the law works then no more hilarious articles about the bad guy trying to escape police running away trying to hild his pants up and then falling when the pants fell to the ankles. These I will miss.

Jefferson

August 5th, 2011
8:37 pm

Ban bad purfume, some of it is worse than tobacco smoke.

impliedconsent

August 6th, 2011
7:27 am

Chief porter missed the mark here. He should encourage the hip hop punks to wear their pants below their butts. They don’t wear belts, so they are usually holding them up (trying to look all gangsta). When they are running from the cops, its easier to catch them when the pants drop to their ankles. My kids laugh at these logic challenged gangsta wanna-be’s.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

August 6th, 2011
11:10 am

The Barr Code,

Sagging pants, short skirts, and inappropriate t-shirt slogans are a few of the many perverted by-products of integration. Prior to integration or the good ole days, I distinctly remember African Americans having conversations with their brothers or sisters which had a foundation in reality.

But after integration was imposed upon us, it’s like a tale of two cities. Listen to conversations on “black talk radio shows” especially 1380 waok radio. The vast majority of African Americans are having conversations based on pure fantasy as if it were grounded in reality. And the radio hosts and their studio guests are classic examples of it.

I’m sorry Bob. But sagging is much more than a fashion fad which causes dismay to each generation of parents. Unlike the good ole days, we are talking about a generation of people who can’t read or write. And if they have the ability, they have no basis to understand the implication of what they are reading and writing. As a result of being deliberately dumb-ed down, they have become evil too.

“Educated” integrationist African American leaders, their devilish black minions, and government are to blame for the insurmountable psychological problems visited upon sagging and un-sagging African Americans in our society today, especially the federal government.

I can assure Americans that anything integrationist African Americans leaders, their devilish black minions, or governments do to address any problem that they created will only aggravate it.

Amen?

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

August 6th, 2011
2:29 pm

An example of integrationist African Americans forced to live in a fantasy world is when the New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions were caught red handed deliberately dumbing down African American children in Atlanta Public Schools. Afterwards, you would think the parents of black children would abolish APS. But that is not in the offing. In the words of Obama, “crazy Joseph Lowery” and other integrationist African American “leaders” are rallying to support the “good” results in the Atlanta Public Schools.

Amen?

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

August 6th, 2011
2:33 pm

“Similar perverted fantasies and immoral behavior have been forced on us since integration was mandated in the south, 1970. Just ask rappers or their supporters whether or not good music is being made these days. And the elitist are paying the rappers like most of our refined integrationist mischief makers, e.g. Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby, Al Sharpton, Tyler Perry, Beverly Hall, etc…”

Amen?

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

August 6th, 2011
2:35 pm

It’s obvious to me that young African Americans wearing their pants below their hips is unrelated to fashion fads that cause dismay in each generation of parents. The reality is that the perversion occurs because they are being deliberately dumbed down by black refined and unrefined mischief makers in exchange for money, fame, status, plush jobs, and materialism etc.

Amen?

Gramps

August 6th, 2011
7:13 pm

Well, I tried this pants on the ground thing and my butt is so withered that my pants fell right around my ankles at WalMart and there was a cop picking up a sandwich and I got arrested for attempted assault with a dead weapon even tho I was nowhere close to anybody else. Dang cops!

And I’m mighty careful to obey the funeral procession law. Except after the 500th car I’m getting back on the road even if it’s the Pope that died.

ConcernedGeorgian

August 7th, 2011
11:09 pm

All I have to say is….there is nothing and I mean nothing more disgusting than seeing someone’s pants hanging well below his hips and seeing his underwear hanging out. Give me a break. That is plain indecent!!!!!!!

I Love Life Cereal

August 8th, 2011
8:50 am

I can’t believe we’re discussing drooping pants when there are real criminals we’ve got to STAMP OUT!

Right now, somewhere, little girls are trying to raise an honest dollar by running a lemonade stand.

Quick-to the squad cars! Time to stamp out these evil vermin!!

[...] The Barr Code | Sagging Pants Turn Georgia Towns Into Fashion Police Local government nannies will deliver us from this form of obscenity. The City of Hampton, a small town in South Metro Atlanta, recently received attention after passing a ban on “sagging pants.” The reason is behind their action, according the Henry Daily Herald, is the number of complaints coming from citizens. Hampton Police Chief Rad Porter says, “I felt we needed to do something about this conduct.” [...]

ImpliedConsent

August 8th, 2011
2:18 pm

@Gramps: nice one …
@ConcernedGeorgian … apparently you haven’t been to a Walmart recently. There are PLENTY of things (people?) more disgusting. ( http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/photos )

doug

August 8th, 2011
4:58 pm

What the heck happened to parents who dressed their daughters like ladies and sons liKe gentlemen? I guess my kids are a part of a dying breed of Americans. Then again, Americans are a dying breed altogether.

E

August 8th, 2011
10:13 pm

9 times out of 10 those police on funeral processions are on paid detail working on their off hours. Very few departments escort funerals for free any more.

GEORGIA GOP REDNECKS LIKES A POLICESTATE

August 9th, 2011
9:10 am

PICK ON THE BLACKS FOR HOW THEY DRESS? WHITE FOLKS WHILE YOUR BUSINESSES AND HOMES ARE ROBBED? THE POLICESTATE COPS ARE ONLY HARRASSING PEOPLE WITH BAGGY PANTS AND DRIVING WHILE BLACK?
WHERE ARE THE COPS WHEN A WHITEWOMAN OR BLACKWOMAN IS BEING ROBBED OR SHOT? THEY ARE SOME WHERE BUSTING A LEMONADE STAND OR TICKETING SOMEONE WITH BAGGY PANTS!

P.S. GOD HAS SOMETHING IN STORE FOR THIS EVIL WHITEMAN POLICESTATE!