This blog is your leading pants-related resource. Okay, so this is the first time I’ve blogged about pants, but dammit, with a name like Electric Monkey Pants I better have some pants turf staked out, ya heard?
Okay, so some uptight folks are trying to introduce stringent pants regulations when we don’t even have decent electronic voting regulations. I guess it’s easier to legislate against somebody who can’t fight back. Pretty much everybody who wears saggy pants is not in a position to pass laws, which is probably part of why they’re wearing the damn saggy-ass pants in the first place.
Proposals to ban saggy pants are starting to ride up in several places. At the extreme end, wearing pants low enough to show boxers or bare buttocks in one small Louisiana town means six months in jail and a $500 fine. A crackdown also is being pushed in Atlanta. And in Trenton, getting caught with your pants down may soon result in not only a fine, but a city worker assessing where your life is headed.
“Are they employed? Do they have a high school diploma? It’s a wonderful way to redirect at that point,” said Trenton Councilwoman Annette Lartigue, who is drafting a law to outlaw saggy pants. “The message is clear: We don’t want to see your backside.”
The bare-your-britches fashion is believed to have started in prisons, where inmates aren’t given belts with their baggy uniform pants to prevent hangings and beatings. By the late ’80s, the trend had made it to gangster rap videos, then went on to skateboarders in the suburbs and high school hallways.
I didn’t know that shit started in prison, but it makes sense: That’s where our (mostly minority) youth are spending a lot of time these days because of insane, pointless drug laws and a prison-state mentality, with GW as the crooked warden.
It’s worth noting that black people face harsher, less forgiving punishments from our draconian drug laws even though the percentage of white & black teens using pot is almost the same.
Shop owner Mack Murray said Trenton’s proposed ordinance unfairly targets blacks.
“Are they going to go after construction workers and plumbers, because their pants sag, too?” Murray asked. “They’re stereotyping us.”
The American Civil Liberties Union agrees.
“In Atlanta, we see this as racial profiling,” said Benetta Standly, statewide organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. “It’s going to target African-American male youths. There’s a fear with people associating the way you dress with crimes being committed.”
A Few Questions
There are some questions that popped into my head after reading this story. Let me try to answer them as they come:
Are these laws targeted at blacks? Almost certainly.
Are saggy pants a real problem? Fuck no, it’s mostly a fear-based response by legislators who are terrified of their own kids.
Will there be more laws like this? Of course. Like I said, those wearing saggy pants are generally not in a position to legislate back.
Are these laws going after a deeper problem? Yes, but they’re attacking the symptoms rather than the core issues. The real problem is that our society requires an underclass to clean our toilets, mow our enormous lawns and serve us our drinks.
The Racial Divide
If you’re a rich, white person who has his or her Harvard graduation date marked on the calendar from the day you’re born, you probably have no idea why someone would hang around in the ‘hood all day selling drugs, listening to that “crunk” and sagging your damn pants.
Well guess what, elitists?! They don’t fucking want to live in the ‘hood and sell drugs to get by, but what other options do they have? Are you gonna hire’em? They’re not like you, are they? They speak differently and they have weird customs like the way they sag their pants. (OMG!)
Sagging pants are a way of fighting back against the uptight culture that demands conformity even as it espouses the (vague, far-off) concept of “freedom”. They look ridiculous precisely because that’s the goal. If it pisses off whitebread America, it’s cool. As a way of fighting against the system it’s pretty feeble, but that proves my larger point that the underclass has no other options available to them.
For my part, I would encourage people not to sag too low simply because it becomes hard to run from the cops when you’re sagging down to your ankles. Am I gonna create a law to fight this scourge? Fuck no; I would repeal laws, starting with our drug laws, which seem designed to permanently disenfranchise our poverty-stricken youth. The upper class can buy their kids out of jailtime, but if you’re living in the ‘hood you probably can’t afford Johnnie Cochran.
Black people are especially fucked these days since the elite is coming down on them harder than ever while the Mexicans are coming across the border anxious to take their jobs, eager to be the new underclass. Shit, due to this competition among the disadvantaged, rich people now get to watch labor costs drop even more than they dared dream; meaning they can get their landscaping done cheaply than before (“yay, Capitalism!”). Of course, that cheap landscaping doesn’t pay enough to enable the workers to buy a house and become citizens. Nope; gonna send that money back home (where things are just as stratified by race and class).
The Class Divide
Ah, race and class. Two things Americans hate to talk about, yet the problem stares us in the face every day. Who’s washing those dishes in the restaurant after dinner? Who’s cleaning those toilets? Instead of paying a living wage and giving the underclass a hand up so that they can join the middle class we seem to be focused on keeping them down.
Then we blame them for their position, as if it was all their fault.
The truth is that America wants an underclass. We need it. We need somebody to do the crappy jobs that nobody wants because we’re unwilling to pay a fair wage to the people who break their bodies doing hard physical labor. In many ways slavery, or at least some of the ideas that fed it, carries on today in that the rich like to set up pyramids with themselves at the top. If you’re gonna be on top of a pyramid, that means many, many more people have to be on the bottom, and (most important) you have to prevent them from getting up to the top.
The pyramid theory of society has been tried many times and it always fails. Weren’t we trying something new in America? Weren’t we trying to level the playing field and give everybody a shot? Somehow that got lost as the rich set up their system of control so that a free people became bonded by economic manipulation far beyond their control.
Political freedom means nothing if you have to work all the time just to keep food in your belly. What the underclass wants is economic freedom. It may be too late since the rich already control everything of value. What’s left but revolution?
We Know Best
If sagging pants are our biggest problem we should consider ourselves lucky. Surely there’s more important things to consider, but these laws against clothing point to some deeper issues. So, should we ban those baggy pants?
I’ll tell you what: We can ban saggy-ass pants if those who like their pants baggy also get to pass a few rules and regulations of their own. I foresee an ordinance that requires people wearing suits to loosen those ties. After all, if you wear your tie too tight you risk cutting off the circulation to your brain, leading to an increase of shitty laws like this one.