Residents of Dublin, Ga. could face more than just the fashion police after local lawmakers on Sept. 2 passed an amendment to the city’s ordinance code making it unlawful to wear sagging pants in public.

The new law passed after Mayor Phil Best said that he received numerous complaints from citizens about the fashion faux pas, according to CNN.

“It’s time we all have a mutual respect for each other … what a person does in the privacy of their home is fine,” Best said in an interview. “But if I had an 8-year-old daughter, I don’t think she needs to be subjected to looking at someone’s rear end.”

Crystal Hart, a former school administrator who now lives in Baltimore, said that she agrees with measures to curb the trend that is popular among all races, not just African-Americans.

“I think it’s a good idea,” she said. “It is indecent and it’s disrespectful to the young men themselves. Everybody does it now. When I worked with young men in the schools, we enforced a dress code and worked hard to develop a good image. But now they walk around with their underwear showing. It goes against everything we’ve worked so hard for.”

According to Dublin’s indecent exposure ordinance, “the city finds that the exposure of a person’s buttocks, genital area or undergarment is offensive and indecent,” and have received “reports of sagging baggy pants being used to facilitate theft crimes. And there is evidence that indicates that wearing sagging pants is injurious to the health of the wearer as it causes an improper gait.”

Not using a belt to secure clothing in Dublin is now akin to public displays of masturbation, nudity, and defecation. Violators will be issued a citation and penalties could include “$25 on the first offense and not more than $200 for each subsequent offense,” as well as possible court-ordered community service according to the new law.

“I don’t know a law or ordinance that doesn’t stand scrutiny by the people and the court system. So time will tell,” Best said about the possible effectiveness of the new law.


Melissa Jones

Special to the AFRO