Alexandria,LA-The hip-hop culture popularized “saggin” in the early 90’s. It was utilized by officers in prisons to reduce hidden weapons well before Hip-Hop stars introduced it to the public. It remained popular after officers started providing belts and more fitting uniforms in the prisons gay inmate population, using it as a symbol of availability.
Many communities across the United States is considering sagging pants a crime, and a growing number of Louisiana communities are on the list of active members enforcing the law. In Fact, Louisiana was one of the first states to push lawmakers to pass a law preventing undergarments being shown because of low worn pants. There are now enacting indecency ordinances in place to prevent what many feel is a violation to themselves and to their children. To put it bluntly, citizens feel there is no “right” available to indecently expose oneself in public, and lawmaker’s tend to agree.
Saggy pants have been against the law in Delcambre, La Since June 11. This is located 80 miles SW of Baton Rouge, and the population is 2,231. Mansfield population 5,496 located near Shreveport is taking action against the offensive style as well. It is a matter of time before other communities start enforcing this law as well.
Many citizens are tired of it. It is seen as not only a violation but as a threat. Alexandria citizens are pushing for the ordinance to be implemented in the community. One resident in the black community said “it is embarrassing, and an insult to black men trying to work hard and make a difference”. He went on to state “that is one reason the stereotype lingers today.”
The fines connected with the law banning “sagging” can be up to 500.00 with 6 months in jail. This legislation has been pushed in large by African-American officials. Michael Eric Dyson, the author of “Know What I Mean?: Reflections on Hip Hop,” stated, “ They've bought the myth that sagging pants represents an offensive lifestyle which leads to destructive behavior. “Atlanta Councilman C. T. Martin called saggin an epidemic. “We are trying to craft a remedy,” and went on to say that seen the problem as “a prison mentality.”
It is not a matter of if but when the new laws and ordinances will become effective in Alexandria. Citizens will continue to push for the changes, and they hope that the lifestyle it represents will be less glamorized to young people by the blow.