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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Sagging into style-Councils push for fines as they glance at pants

Roderick Aaron, South Campus student, supports the sagging look.  Photo by Julissa Treviño/The Collegian
Roderick Aaron, South Campus student, supports the sagging look. Photo by Julissa Treviño/The Collegian

By Montreal Spencer/reporter

Roderick Aaron, South Campus student, supports the sagging look.  Photo by Julissa Treviño/The Collegian
Roderick Aaron, South Campus student, supports the sagging look. Photo by Julissa Treviño/The Collegian

The playground chant about London, France and seeing someone’s underpants might not stave off saggy britches, but a hefty fine might.

Dallas and Fort Worth city councils are now trying to pass ordinances to make the fad illegal.

According to the New York Times, “Sagging began in prison. Oversized uniforms were issued without belts to prevent suicides and their use as weapons in the late ’80s and early ’90s. The style spread through rappers and music videos, from the ghetto to the suburbs all over the world.”

Billboards displaying messages such as “Granny says pull ’em up” can be seen all over Dallas and Tarrant counties.

Sagging pants have been illegal in Delcambre, La., since last June. The fine is as much as $500, and even up to six months in jail, according to The New York Times.

Dwaine Caraway, Dallas city council member, talking about the sagging pants ordinance told the Dallas Morning News, “It’s something that’s not acceptable. We’ll probably seek a fine. We’re not seeking jail time.”

Caraway added, “It’s disrespect, number one, to themselves and it’s a disrespect to all females.”

A Dallas gospel rapper, Dooney The Priest, wrote a song, “Pull Your Pants Up” in an effort to persuade the youth to do just that.

In the song, he sings that “if you sag your pants you like men.” The rapper has received a lot of backlash from the homosexual community since then. 

Sagging pants also are a big issue nationwide.

Caraway and Dooney The Priest made appearances on the Dr. Phil Show to make their arguments.

The Fort Worth City Council, according to The Dallas Morning News, issued a statement saying, “It might result in them [young people] being negatively stereotyped and harm their ability to be accepted and participate in general society.”

Some TCC students agree with the idea of people being ticketed for sagging their pants, including several on South Campus.

“I don’t think boys should sag their pants because I don’t want to see their underwear,” student Nicole Bowen said. “What’s the point of wearing pants if you’re going to wear them to your knees? It means you’re available in prison.”

Ruby Cameron, another student who does not like the style either said, “To me, it’s tacky, and it leaves a bad impression on people.”

Sagging has been against school dress codes for years. Even the NBA instilled a dress code to provide a more professional look for players.

Other students, like Dominick McCoy, disagree with the idea of the proposed law and say it would violate their first amendment rights to expression.

“It’s just another excuse for them to ticket us, and I think it’s racist. It’s not a good idea at all,” he said.

Student Idara Akpata does not believe laws will make a difference.

“People are going to wear what they want regardless, and there are plenty of other laws to worry about,” she said. “If it’s illegal, people are going to do it, like when they still drank during prohibition.”

Juan Estrada, another student, said students should be allowed to dress like they want.

“People wear trench coats, have dyed hair or tattoos, and that is not illegal. They should be able to sag too.”

Some students disagree with sagging but think people should not be fined for doing so.

“They shouldn’t be ‘mooning’ people, but they should still have freedom of expression,” Steven Perkins said.

Jerry Glenn said, “As long as it’s decent, the government shouldn’t regulate how people dress. That’s not their job.”

Jason Watson also expressed displeasure for both the style and the law.

“I think it looks stupid, but I don’t think they should be ticketed for it. Tell them I said, ‘Pull them up’ If I want to see your underpants, I’d take you to dinner and a movie first.’”

Like sagging, the issue to stop it does not appear to be dying anytime soon. Those who do sag, might want to start watching where they do it. It might cost them.

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