US officials call for ban on saggy pants to remove unemployment
Washington, August 8 (ANI): In a hearing on Monday, officials from a county in Mississippi brought new legislation regarding sagging pants to the forefront in an effort to weed out an "indecent" wardrobe choice that's keeping the Jackson area youth out of work.
While the question of whether banning saggy pants will solve the Jackson area's unemployment issues is still up for debate, the severity of area's economic state is not.
As of June, unemployment at Hinds County stands at 9.1 percent, with approximately 22.5 percent of residents living below the poverty line as of 2010.
The Hinds County saggy pants ban would make sagging one's pants more than three inches below the hip or exposing underwear or skin in that area a misdemeanour.
First-time offenders would only receive a warning; following the second offense, the offender must pay a 10-dollar fine and complete two hours of community service.
If the offender is a minor, the minor's parents would also be fined.
Supporters of the ban, such as Supervisor Kenneth Stokes, say that outlawing sagging pants will help to adjust the culture of Hinds County.
"Here in Mississippi, the majority of the elderly or the older people have a bad feeling about the sagging pants," ABC News quoted Stokes as saying.
"When you have a person with sagging pants coming to a job interview, they have a worse chance than someone who comes to the interview with their pants not sagging," he said.
According to ACLU representative Bear Atwood, representatives from the Mississippi chapter of ACLU have decried the proposed ordinance as particularly discriminatory against black males and an infringement on personal freedom of expression.
"The saggy pants ban would be unconstitutional," she said.
"Hinds County is a predominantly black county, Jackson is predominantly black, and our real concern is that this is, intentional or not, going to end up targeting black neighborhoods and, for kids who have done nothing other than wear their pants too low, brings them into contact with the police unnecessarily," she added.
Atwood said that while the county's goals may be good, there are less controversial and more effective ways to raise kids' self-esteem and instil in them the value of proper dress. (ANI)
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