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More Saggingpantsophobia

More Saggingpantsophobia

We’ve seen how concern over saggy pants has become an alleged dog-whistle, or something, for racism, or something, in airport security.

Now the town of Collinsville, Illinois, has taken it a step further, and is outlawing saggy-pants (h/t reader Mitch):

The City Council in the southwestern Illinois community voted 3-2 on Monday to ban saggy pants.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports the ordinance forbids pants that ride lower than 3 to 4 inches below the waistline of the underwear. A first offense is punishable with a $100 fine, while a second offense would carry a $300 fine plus 40 hours of community service.

The ordinance was passed over the objections of City Manager Bob Knabel, who argued that enforcing it would sidetrack police officers from more important issues.

But Councilman Mike Tognarelli says he trusts officers to use good judgment. He contends saggy pants are a symbol of gang activity and Collinsville residents don’t need to put up with it.

Clearly, this is an outrageous violation of the fundamental human right to wear saggy pants.


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I really would prefer that city councils concern themselves with more important issues. For example, pension and benefit costs driving them to ruin. That said, I do support execution on sight of such offenders.

Seriously, what business is it of the local constabulary how I wear my pants so long as I’m not exposing myself? If we’re going to legislate good taste, might I suggest outlawing visible tattoos.

The Law of Unintended Consequences. This could drive the local plumbers out of business. Then we’ll how the city fathers of Collinsville like having their privies backed up and overflowing.

This is still going on in Illinois?
It’s pushing twenty years ago that the same thing was going on in Chicago, and I was treated to far too much of a some kid’s jock strap.

I have a feeling this violates the first amendment, at least as it’s interpreted in Texas v. Johnson and cases since.

Sorry, Stromberg v. California is probably a more relevant case; I’ll get better at that after 1L.

Well Hockey Bum, it IS possibly a sign of gang activity.

The practice evolved from the arrest and 24-48 hour release of someone caught up in a drug sweep. Jails commonly practice the assault and suicide preventative action of removing from the possession of inmates their shoelaces, belt and any other items of clothing that can be easily used to kill themselves or others.

This results in recent arresttees being returned to the street with no belt and no shoelaces to hold up said trousers or hold on their shoes. This ‘look’ was imitated by wanna be gangsters and so it became ‘cool’ to walk around like that. (the shoelace part of this fad didn’t last long as too many practitioners found they couldn’t run very well without shoelaces. Running in baggy pants isn’t easy either but they can be held onto, unlike shoes, while running).

I’ve even seen trousers with a built in band at the top that looks like boxers shorts. (I guess for those who don’t want to risk the pants falling down or go ‘commando’ all time.)

Anytime you see someone with saggy jeans, are they folks who look and act perceptive and intelligent? Or are they rowdy, loud-mouthed, sneering thugs looking for trouble?

I also class the backward hat wearing crowd in this group as this is also a gangsta look imitation.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to jakee308. | July 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    You jakee308, together with the privileged Collinsville city council members who undoubtedly are all belt owners, have displayed your hateful prejudice against the unfortunate pantwearers in society who are beltless.

    Can I work for Think Progress now?

      Sorry, Maggot, you weren’t vitriolic enough and you almost made sense.

      Troll the KOS Kids and watch MSNBC to see how it’s done and then give it a try.

      It’s not the TYPE of clothing but the MANNER in which they are worn, Hockey.

      I don’t think it’s a good idea for Gov to try to regulate people’s actions unless there is a clear and proven threat that needs to be countered.

      I was just giving some additional information to some out there who may not realize where this ‘style’ and having grown up with it (I believe it started about mid-80’s or so) don’t pay it any attention.

      I know if I see someone wearing a baseball cap on backwards (unless he’s a baseball catcher or a welder) I subtract at least 10 IQ points for them wearing a stupid looking ‘style’ inspired by thugs and drug sellers that stopped being cool 10 years ago by those who started it.

    Hockey Bum in reply to jakee308. | July 15, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    So by eliminating baggy pants we’re taking a bite out of crime? And if gang members start wearing chinos we’ll ban those, too?

    khan in reply to jakee308. | July 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    This has urban myth (no pun intended) written all over it. I don’t buy i for a second.

In America, we give people a lot of rope. Some people rig great sailing ships which they ride into the future. Other people wrap the rope around their necks and then they walk up to the gallows and fasten it above their heads.

“… 3 to 4 inches below the waistline of the underwear”. Hmmm, I predict that if the offenders stop wearing underwear they can legally wear pants as low as they wish?

I know quite a few police officers who find saggy pants both helpful and amusing. First of all, it’s much easier to chase some hoodlum who has one hand holding up the pants that are almost to their knees. Second, it’s hysterical when the K-9 officer grabs hold of them since they frequently clamp on just below the waistline….something painful enough when there’s denim between those teeth and skin, and it will definitely leave a mark if it’s just a pair of boxers.

== ==
He contends saggy pants are a symbol of gang activity
== ==

So, why would the police want to stop gang members from signalling they are gang members? That makes them easier to identify and catch.

But, may the council has evidence that saggy pants CAUSE gang activity. That would be interesting.

PS Professor: Sheila Jackson Lee should be the Saturday Race Card Player of the week for implying that the Republicans aren’t raising the debt ceiling because of Obama’s race.

It has nothing to do with the fact that he’s presented a budget that even the Dems wouldn’t vote for. It has nothing to do with his yearly deficit being 3-4 times what the norm only 4 years ago. It has nothing to do with his refusal to agree to any meaningful cuts.

No. It’s cause he’s black. Yeah, that’s it.

it’s a laughable style but i certainly don’t want government making our fashion choices for us.

A_Nonny_Mouse | July 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Like 49er above, I fear there may be unintended consequences.

It’s occasionally happened (as televised on one of my guilty pleasures, World’s Dumbest Criminals) that a saggypantser fleeing police has had to stop and pull up his pants to avoid tripping himself; this pause in the chase allows officers to tackle the perp and cart him off to jail.

It’s one of those social darwinism things: they self-select for removal from society…

Maybe I’m just too middle-aged, too female, or too non-ghetto to get it, but when did sociopathic thuggery become admirable and a lifestyle to be emulated in any way?