Letter to the Edfitor

Letter to the Edfitor

Have we actually become this shallow? America has too many negative issues to focus on besides sagging pants. Several cities around the United States have enacted sagging pants laws. Breaking these laws come with fines and even jail sentences. Whatever happened to the right of self expression?

“I think passing a law about people wearing sagging pants is a waste of time. We should be focused on creating jobs, improving our schools, getting health care, dealing with the war in Iraq. Any public official who is worrying about sagging pants probably needs to spend some time focusing on real problems out there,” said new President Elect Barack Obama (Harris 2008).

Many feel these new laws are targeting African American youths. Debbie Seagraves, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia said, “I don’t see any way that something constitutional could be crafted when the intention is to single out and label one style of dress that originated with the black youth culture, as an unacceptable form of expression (Koppel 2007).”

Benjamin Chavis, the former executive director of the N.A.A.C.P., said “I think to criminalize how a person wears their clothing is more offensive than what the remedy is trying to do.” “The focus should be on cleaning up the social conditions that the sagging pants come of and that they wear their pants the way they do is a statement of the reality that they’re struggling with on a day-to-day basis (Koppel 2008).”

Whether these new dress code laws are racially motivated or not they are still unconstitutional. “Palm Beach Circuit Judge Paul Moyle ruled Sept. 15 that a “sagging pants” ordinance in River Beach, Fla. Was unconstitutional after a 17-year old was arrested and held overnight in jail (Muhammad 2008).

It seems as if the government has found yet another way to infringe on society’s First Amendment rights. Next the government will attempt to pass laws against baseball caps being worn sideways or...

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