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Brooklyn "Stop the Sag" Billboards

Senator Tries to Appeal to Self-Respect of Saggy-Pants Wearers

Haters of saggy pants have been trying to raise waists for years. After complaints from the ACLU (civil liberties) and NAACP (racism) rolled in, and a Florida judge ruled it is unconstitutional to deny people the right to wear pants loose and low, it seemed the saggy-pants side had won. But now Senator Eric Adams, from New York state, has a new tactic: he's put up six billboards in Brooklyn that say "Stop the Sag."

He makes a formidable case with this YouTube video. Calling baggy pants self-imposed degradation, he says young men can raise their image by pulling up their pants. It's not a fashion statement, he says, but a style that rose out of prison culture.

In 2008, the incoming police chief of Flint, MI, announced he'd start arresting people donning slouchy pants. That same year, a baggy-pants ban passed in Riveria Beach, FL, when 72 percent of voters raised their hands for a ban on pants that sit below the waist and expose skin or underwear. That, really, could be anyone on a bad day!

But why is a politician so invested in this? Is this just the same case the Florida judge already called unconstitutional, but with a better argument?

Join The Conversation
GregS GregS 7 years
I told my son in no uncertain terms, that if I EVER caught him with his pants hangin' below his butt, I'd take them and his underwear down and whallop his bare butt regardless of where he was or with whom. It comes from the prisons. It's an indication that he's a bottom. Do I need to continue?
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
A couple inches of boxers hanging out is fashion, as long as the shirt covers it. At least I think so. Anyway... Obviously helping young 'thugs' realize their full potential and become functioning members of society is meaningful to him. People judge you by how you dress, whether it's saggy or ripped or mismatched or ill-fitting; what a powerful video, what a great message. A ban on saggy pants definitely isn't constitutional though. Indecent exposure? Only if they charge every woman who shows her thong over her pants. Actually, that's not such a bad idea... maybe they could do away with the low-cut-shirt/exposed bra look too... I hate that look.
Yesi-Jukebox Yesi-Jukebox 7 years
Well you have to start somewhere to get the culture to respect themselves. I think starting with the sagging pants is just fine. Get these guys to see that they need to start working on themselves and stop focusing on giving off this image that they are "cool"
bryseana bryseana 7 years
I don't think a person's fashion sense determines who they are. Just because guys wear their pants low doesn't mean they're going to commit a crime. I'm pretty sure Bernie Madoff wore "sophisticated" business suits while he was conning people out of their money.
ShaynaLeah ShaynaLeah 7 years
While this may seem frivolous at the outset, I think that he's right - you have to change the culture if you're going to change the actions people take, and emulating prison styles is a fundamental part of that - the role models for fashion, decision making, etc, should never be from convicted felons.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
self respect, btw
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
well, to be honest, i think it is important (not really THIS important though) because its one of the many factors that will play a part in having more respect, class, less crime in poor areas, etc.
bryseana bryseana 7 years
I don't see how it's a racial issue. I've seen white guys wear their pants like that too. I don't like the look, but it's no more offensive than ripped up jeans. It's just a fashion preference. If it were up to me all guys would dress like James Bond.
EmilieLove EmilieLove 7 years
I live in New York State and near Brooklyn. While I am not a fan of guys who think that wearing pants that only come up to their knees is attractive, I think that Senator Adams has many, many larger and more important issues in New York that he should be focusing on. It sounds to me like this is the sort of campaign that someone takes up when they're trying to divert attention away from failures in other areas.
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