Target: Ocala, Florida Councilwoman Mary Rich
Goal: Overturn arbitrary ban on “sagging” pants that discriminates against black men and young people
The city of Ocala, Florida is now trying to ban wearing clothing a certain way. This ban would make “sagging” illegal and punishable by a fine. Residents would no longer be able to wear pants that are “two inches below their natural waist line,” according to wtfv.com, a local news site. Now, anyone found guilty of sagging their pants will be charged $500.
Florida is not known for its progressive stance in attacking discrimination against people of color. The city of Ocala has now made official steps towards allowing more prejudice and racial profiling against black people. Residents have already expressed their displeasure with the ban, recognizing that it would disproportionately affect young black men and teenagers. Police officers could use this ban as an excuse to racially profile any black man whose pants don’t seem adequately “fit” enough for his waist. People’s clothing styles should be left to each individual and not determined by a city. Claiming that showing underwear is “disgraceful” is intolerant and suppresses personal freedoms. Councilwoman Mary Rich, who created this ban, should not have the ability to determine who can wear what clothing. The ban had been attempted in 2009, but no one else on the council had supported her. It is absurd to think police officers will be monitoring people’s clothing with a ruler to make sure pants are within two inches of the natural waistline.
Denounce this discriminatory ban on clothing. Stand up for personal freedoms and ask the city of Ocala to overturn this law.
Dear Councilwoman Rich,
I recently heard about your ban on “sagging” pants. This is a direct attack on personal freedoms and young black men’s attire. Your private beliefs about clothing should not be the precedent for what is “appropriate” for people to wear. Fining people for wearing certain clothing is prejudiced and does not recognize everyone’s own styles and cultures. By spearheading this campaign, you show that you want to regulate people’s clothing and actions, and ultimately promote police profiling.
Assuming that monitoring people’s clothing will somehow make your city cleaner and nicer is erroneous and neglectful of what really is required in making a city beautiful. You should be focusing on other issues, instead of arbitrarily discriminating against certain people. As you probably know, this ban will disproportionately affect young men of color. In addition, the $500 price tag of wearing baggy pants is ludicrously high.
Please overturn this ban. It is discriminatory and attacks the personal freedom to wear what one wishes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tom Evil via Wikipedia