(credit) Many of you’ve heard already, but Black and Latino men will face six months in jail and $500 fine for wearing baggy jeans in Delcambre, Louisiana. The AP reported this week.
DELCAMBRE, La. — It soon will be a crime in this Cajun-country town to let the waistband of your pants sag too low in public. Mayor Carol Broussard has said he will sign an ordinance the town council approved this week setting penalties of up to six months in jail and a $500 fine for being caught in pants that show undergarments or certain parts of the body. Mr. Broussard said he has nothing against saggy pants but thinks people who wear them should use discretion. "It’s gotten way out of hand out here," he said. Albert Roy, the councilman who introduced the ordinance, said he thought the fine should be in the $25 range.
The Major said: "Just wear it properly. Cover your vital parts. I mean, if you expose your private parts, you’ll get a fine. If you walk up and your pants drop, you get a fine. They’re better off taking the pants off and just wearing a dress." Who are they? Who else wears saggy pants besides Blacks and Latinos? In the wake of Katrina, and as people of color struggle to put their lives together, this ordinance is mocking and insensitive, not to mention, untimely, and unnecessary. Laws should deter crimes. Not benign, cultural self-expression. This ordinance will only track more men of color in and out the criminal justice system. The people of that town should stage a protest. Everyone should wear their pants really low. And see how many the police can stuff into jail at one time. Will then the Mayor see the futility of things? Or maybe we should all write the mayor an angry letter. What would you tell Broussard?