Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lumpkin wants to outlaw Sagging

Another mother says it’s time we send a message to young people that the way they dress is indecent and shows a lack of respect for others.

While knocking on doors recently to be elected to the Racine County Board, hundreds who greeted me at the door said that next to young people not having a job available to them, they need to pay attention to how they dress. “How can they get a job dressing the way they do,” said one elderly lady, pointing to a young man walking down the street with his jean lowered below his buttocks and his underwear showing.

Sagging pants was never meant to be fashionable. Prisoners wear their pants this low because belts are a popular way to commit suicide by hanging oneself, to hang others, or to use as a weapon in fights. Prisoners are also not allowed to have shoestrings for the same reasons. But there is an even more obvious reason why pants are sagging in prison. If the pants are below a man's bottom, it is to introduce to other men that he is a homosexual. As Eazy E once said about women in short skirts, "For easy access, baby."

A Racine Unified School teacher said that she was embarrassed and expelled a student from her classroom when his genitals were exposed because he was sagging.

So bewilder, Dee Weather, once handed out over 200 free belts to teens walking around sagging on the grounds of the Juneteenth celebration.

Donnie Snow, who occasionally referees basketball games, said it was humorous to him to watch one player dribble a basketball down the court with one hand, while holding up his paints with the other.

Yolanda James, a local pastor, and a mother of a 16-year-old son says that sagging should be “sag appropriate.” “When you are at the club, with your friends, or at your home, sag,” she suggests. “But when you are going out in public and you need to represent yourself, you should dress appropriately,” she explained.

The so-called fashion statement has gone beyond a trendy look, to a show of defiance!

In the next few weeks, I will be introducing legislation to end sagging on county property. This I realize is a small step, but it will send a message that a large segment of the community is against the practice.

My approach to the law is simple. We’re talking about someone who has on pants whose underwear is apparently visible in public. The law that I propose addresses the indecent issue, and not the style of clothing or the brand.

This is nothing new. In one city, supporters of an ordinance outlawing “sagging pants” gathered 5,000 signatures last March to put a proposed ban to a vote. It passed.

“The ordinance was overwhelmingly passed by the citizens,” said Francis Muhammad, a Nation of Islam student study group leader in nearby West Palm Beach.

In Flint, Mich., Chief of Police David Dicks had a similar negative sentiment about the low pants fashion statement. He announced in June that his officers would start arresting people wearing sagging pants that expose “skivvies, boxer shorts or bare bottoms,” according to media reports.
Chief Dicks, 41, offered an interpretation of the laws: Pants pulled completely below the buttocks with underwear showing is considered as disorderly conduct; saggy pants with skin of the buttocks showing is indecent exposure, and saggy pants, not completely below the buttocks with underwear exposed would merit a warning.

Several places have enacted baggy pants bans including localities in Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey and Illinois. Penalties range from fines or warnings to jail time. Other communities are considering sagging pants bans. Bans have been rejected in Natchitoches, La.; Stratford, Conn.; and Pine Bluff, Ark.

We must begin to be a beacon of hope to our young people. This generation does not yet understand that even though they may be a great person, they will disqualify themselves from many opportunities because society will instantly judge them by the way they are dressed. Although we cannot legislate morality, we can take a stand as a community against practices that will compromise the integrity of our young people. Together, we can raise the standard and cause our youth to have more respect for themselves and others.


Anonymous said...

How 'bout you also go after:
1. Ladies showing bare muffin tops,
2. Ladies showing too much cleavage,
3. Ladies wearing white pants so their panty lines show.

Help really clean up the county grounds!

Downtown Brown said...

Sup. Lumpkin, I realize your intention here is grand. But the fact is what you are proposing is neither the job of the City nor County Govt. to enforce. It's ridiculous and stupid for people to dress in such a way, but it is a free speech/ expression issue. (If schools, govt buildings, or private businesses wish to ban such behavior the Constitution would support their right).

I have every right to wear clothes that make me look fat or thin, but as long as they cover my "junk"; my clothing choice will be determined by me. Not my govt.!

There area a great many things you can do Mr. Lumpkin to improve the lives of Racinians, starting your term with INCREASING Govt. is not the right directions. Cutting spending and making Racine more business friendly is the right direction.

You choose to dress well, and I dress well. I don't provide "great service" to customers that come into my shop who dress this way..because I don't want that look associated with my business. Others make the same decisions and judgments about people. I urge all young folks to dress in a way that encourages respect of yourself, and others. If you do so I and others will treat you with greater respect.

But Mr/ Lumpkin we don't need laws about "Sagging", Bra straps, Thongs or Berka's, or muffin tops.

Heather in Caledonia said...

I must agree with Downtown Brown. It really is noone's business what I wear as long as things are covered. In this case, as long as someone is wearing underwear, they are "covered." Have you noticed how many girls wear pajamas in public? I think that is a silly practice and makes them look lazy, but there certainly shouldn't be a law about it. The best way to go after this would be to publicize what low-hanging pants means and to make fun of it. Buy some billboard space. Tell them they look like fools. Being ridiculed by their own family and friends might change their behavior without infringing on their rights.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Downtown Brown please do not lose focus to the mission and that is opening doors instead of making them difficult to open. Education instead of giving big brother another reason to profile and harass. It appears to me you are attempting to punish the people that got up and voted for you. Things that make you say Hmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

He won't be the first NEGRO that has change his stripes in the middle of the game and at what expense!!!

Anonymous said...

Until your culture calls for fathers to marry mothers and to take part in their childrens' lives, you are doomed. Without structured families, chaos ensues. No one can change this but yourselves. You already know this.

Anonymous said...

Let them keep saggin'.

It's easier for the cops to catch them when they're running with their pants around their ankles.

Heavyjoe said...

Heavyjoe: I agree with Mr. Lumpkin wholeheartedly. And I support his efforts 100%.As for the comments from anonymous "It appears to me you are attempting to punish the people that the people that got up and voted for you", I am sure that individuals that appear in public showing their nasty boxers or naked bootys or not actively involved in the political process. This stupid activity is a badge of delinquency, with its distinctive walk conveying thuggish swagger and a disrespect for authority.
Bill Cosby criticized sagging at an NAACP event in 2004. President Obama cme out against it in 2008. He stated "Some people might want not want to see underwear. I am one of them". The most important factor in getting a job is selling yourself to the employer, in spite of your qualifications. What kind of impression does an individual think one makes to an employer while sagging.
I do see one positive aspect to sagging. It makes it easier for the police to catch them, when they are being chased.