Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Baggy Pants Offend White Folks

I was furious when I read this article in the Toronto Star the other day. Here's an excerpt:
Proposals to ban saggy pants are starting to ride up in several places. At the extreme end, wearing pants low enough to show boxers or bare buttocks in one small Louisiana town means six months in jail and a $500 (U.S.) fine. A crackdown also is being pushed in Atlanta. And in Trenton, N.J., getting caught with your pants down may soon result in not only a fine, but a city worker assessing where your life is headed.

"Are they employed? Do they have a high school diploma? It's a wonderful way to redirect at that point," said Trenton Councillor Annette Lartigue, who is drafting a law to outlaw saggy pants. "The message is clear: We don't want to see your backside."
Besides the mind-numbing wordplay, where are human beings on the evolutionary scale when we have to fine people and throw them in prison for dressing a particular way? You think it's about decency and modesty that they're doing this? Think again. It's clear that the folks over in New Jersey feel that sagging pants are an indication of unemployment and high drop-out rates. They are also targetting only a certain population with this new law. Namely, young black men. It's no wonder that there's unemployment and school drop-out rates in a city that is so biased against the black population. Perhaps policy makers need to take a few sociology courses. Or, they could just try really hard to stop being bigots. Either option would work.

I wonder that the folks in New Jersey didn't feel the need to institute a law again females wearing mini-skirts that are so mini, they show your "backside." I was downtown today and saw a female wearing an absurdly short skirt, it was like wearing nothing. Or the numerous times girls flash their thongs or wear brutally innappropriate clothes. Why is there not a law in New Jersey about that, pray tell?

The answer is clear, because white girls may dress this way, and we wouldn't want them to end up in jail for 6 months, would we? And of course, the black men will end up in jail anyways, right? So why not just put them in ahead of time? What a contradiction. This is one of the most blatant racist laws I've seen recently. And law-makers down there are trying to justify it by assuming that males who dress this way are dangerous people. They define the clothing as "an indecent, sloppy trend that is a bad influence on children."

Heaven forbid the children want to wear low pants. What they are really teaching children in the long run is that if you're white, and in power, you can make up whatever laws you want, and not care about the impact on the affected population.

I'd rather see the kids wearing pants at their knees.

12 comments:

Elizabeth said...

*Very* interesting and poignant post, Asmaa. I had to double check to make sure it was your blog and not someone else's for two reasons: one, that you don't usually rant. At least not seriously. And two, that not knowing you personally but just through your blog, I'd say that modesty would be one of your hot buttons. Yet, you saw through the modesty issue and hit on something that not many would. Good for you! I'm not sure I would have seen it that way, had it not been presented to me. But seeing it, I definitely agree with you. Thanks for taking a stand.

maaz said...

ic, you've been reading stuff, i'm always fascinated by. i was reading an article talking about races in the US where for every one caucasian that was approved a mortage five african americanss were turned down. and this was across ALL income levels. so, they weren't even looking at the income, it was just if the bank wanted to trust you or not. or jsut being racist.

sadly there are many injustices against many races, and some of them have to do with our own preconceived notions.

its a deep social pychological problem in the US and to a certain extent in canada as well.

as well, i dunno if you'd read it. but i'd advise an essay by Imam Zaid Shakir called 'Islam, the Prophet Muhammad, and Blackness'. As well, he has an essay 'The Making of a Muslim' where he talks about his own childhood and growing up as an african american. both were fascinating reads.

yaser said...

but what would you say about black leaders (bill cosby for example) who support such initiatives? native deen even has as a verse in their latest song criticizing sagging pants.

Asmaa said...

Elizabeth, thanks for your comment and the link on your blog :) I'm glad that you saw a different perspective through my post.

Maaz, yeah I tend to get riled up about stuff like this but not necessarily post. Those sound like inetersting books, I may look them up.

Yaser, it's not the concept of the baggy pants that I'm supporting. I actually think that saggy baggy pants are rather odd. I'm trying to touch on something else in this post. The racism underlying some of the laws that are made in North America. The people in Trenton took this issue on as a modesty issue, but that's just a (not very clever) ruse for their inherent bias towards part of the black culture.

If we can't look past the apparent and into the deeper reasoning behind and effects of such laws, we'll never conquer racism.

yaser said...

Sorry I wasn't clear. What I meant to say was: is it still racism if /black/ leaders themselves push for the implementation of such laws? (as in new orleans)

Bilal said...

what? can they actually do something like this?
sounds quite ridiculous if you ask me...

Asmaa said...

Yaser, oh sorry I misunderstood. Well I don't think I could justify calling that racism then. This is just different parts of the black community wanting to see change. But I also doubt these individuals would go so far as to enforce, by law, their opinions on saggy pants.

Bilal, couldn't agree more.

sara said...

Asmaa, I thought you might want to see the kind of response your post is getting. Not much at the moment, only because the blog is read by very few.

Also, you should check out the post made by the Meghan chick. It's super retarded and I made a couple of comments on it at the bottom.

http://www.candormedia.com/voices/home.cfm

sara said...

Oops, try this link:

http://www.candormedia.com/voices/

mezba said...

the first that popped to my mind when I first read about those laws is that it's based not on decency but on anti-blackism. If they were really promoting decency then the first target would be the cheerleaders - but no we can't have that, can we?

Anis said...

A bit late but anywaya an Awesome letter in the Star. It was the Lead one too. congratulations... I think Haroon can retire now...

After reading the piece, I was also like wth, they send a reporter to the school and the only thing she comes out with is that boys and girls aren't interested in playing cooties...

i thought that schools were for education and this School performs a better job of doing that than the much vaunted public schools. which school can boast an above average score with so few resources...

Asmaa said...

Sara, thanks for posting the link and sharing my blog post :)

Mezba, lol for once you agree with what I have to say!

Anis, thanks :) though I think Mr. Siddiqui should stay at his post since my specialty is writing bitter diatribes, not unbiased journalistic pieces :D (as is quite evident from the blog).