We can’t let pride slide to the floor
Published 11:36 pm Saturday, May 26, 2012
I’m sure that if Hinds County Supervisor Kenneth Stokes and I listed our political views, there would be very little overlap.
But his proposal to outlaw saggy pants throughout Hinds County would get my support. He offered a similar bill as a Jackson city councilman in 2009, but the measure failed when some council members were afraid that the law would be unconstitutional.
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Can’t you just see Ben Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson waltzing into Philadelphia’s Freedom Hall with their knickers halfway down their Founding Father backsides?
As judges interpret the Constitution today, I assume this would fall under the denial of a First Amendment right to freedom of speech?
To display one’s backside or underwear — notice the “under” — might be seen as a right by today’s youngsters, but it is disgraceful to everyone watching them. It has nothing to do with the color of one’s skin, either. A bare backside of any color should be reserved for one’s home.
Race, though, eventually will be brought into any argument and one might think Stokes’ actions are directed at black youths, a sign of racism. But Stokes is black, and that should end that.
Jim Stirgus Sr. also is black — as if that matters — and he has been pushing such regulations in Vicksburg for years. He summoned me to his perch at a Vicksburg High basketball game many years ago. Pointing to saggy-drawered students, he shook his head in disgrace. “You need to write something about that,” he said.
And I should have. Here is what I should have said then: You look ridiculous. It’s an embarrassment to yourself and your family. Have pride in yourself. Look at the successful members of our community and notice where they wear their pants.
Just because you believe it is a right does not make it right. If you have the right to show us your hind-parts, we have the right to declare a war on crack.
Stokes likely will face the same challenges on a constitutional basis, mostly because our spineless politicians are not willing to make a statement. He said he believes this iteration of the ban will be upheld if saggy pants are included in the legal definitions of indecent exposure.
Whatever definition fits, who cares. In this case, the ends justify the means.
And I am not talking about hind-ends.