• victoriapeckham

The Tribune reports today on suburban Lynwood’s ban on sagging pants, a trend described by Mayor Eugene Williams as “not right.”

“It’s ugly and stupid,” Williams told the Trib. “I wouldn’t walk around my own house with my pants hanging down—why do I have to accept that out in public?”

“Ugly and stupid” seems like a pretty weak rationale for a municipal ordinance—as far as I know nobody’s tried to ban these guys, for instance, though they meet those criteria for sure. And the public-private dichotomy doesn’t necessarily hold up—there are plenty of things you wouldn’t wear outside your home that you’d wear inside. But as the Trib reports, saggy pants have been worrying the nation for years. Here’s a roundup of a few cross-country concerns behind the prohibitions, though none really address the racial cringe factor that the bans provide:

Trenton, New Jersey:

“Are they employed? Do they have a high school diploma? It’s a wonderful way to redirect at that point,” said Trenton Councilwoman Annette Lartigue, who is drafting a law to outlaw saggy pants. “The message is clear: We don’t want to see your backside.”