Legal support for “saggy pants” defiles advancement for black youths
Melvin B. Miller | 7/12/2013, 1:18 p.m.
A major responsibility of adults is to provide youngsters with sound advice and counsel. Of course it is natural for the young to resist the wisdom of their elders, but that is no reason for adults to acquiesce and accept as legitimate the course of action the young wish to pursue.
One must question, therefore, how the odious “saggy pants” style gained such popularity. Not only is it aesthetically unappealing and exceedingly undignified, but in some states it is also a violation of public decency to expose one’s underwear as a fashion statement.
In Massachusetts, a young man wearing saggy pants could be found guilty of “open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior.” Such an offense could land him in state prison for three years. But even more significantly, “saggy pants” make the youth a target for police. A perceived violation of a crime against “… decency and good order,” provide ssufficient justification to be stopped by the police.
According to reports, civil libertarians in some states have decided to challenge any “saggy pants” prosecutions. They assert that Americans have a constitutional right to dress the way they choose. That is technically correct. However, it is not beneficial to African American boys to have them believe they can benefit from a style of dress that is repugnant to polite society.
It is time for youth to focus on winning strategies. A style of dress that puts a target on your back is unwise. Attracting bad attention will not get you to the goal line.